Lest we forget, all the hubbub about the Grand Prix aside, the Angoulême comics festival is now underway and a glorious festival it is. Here’s an insanely long list of the authors attending and a piece at Forbdidden PLanet on what else is going on.

But let’s not forget that the Festival is more than the annual hubbub over who will win first place next year. There’s also exhibitions, debates, and lots of books to browse through, and films to see. Guest of honour Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame) is the subject of a homage, with a host of creators from all over the world contributing artwork featuring characters and themes from his work. In the Espace Franquin, birthplace of the Festival, the Musée Hergé has created an overview of the work of Hugo Pratt, with loads of original artwork (including preliminary sketches, study work and layouts), but also focusing on the literary aspect of the master’s work. The main expo of the Festival, however, is the retrospective on the life and work of Morris (Maurice de Bevere) and his most celebrated creation, Lucky Luke. This seminal western celebrates its seventieth anniversary this year, but his creator has never enjoyed the same broad recognition as his contemporaries Franquin, Peyo or Jijé. With more than one hundred and fifty pieces of original artwork, and a host of historical documents that have never been shown to the public before, the Festival and the Musée want to change this, and show the importance of Morris, and his typical animated style for the evolution of European comics.

Lucky Luke, Otomo and Pratt! Damn!

Jen Vaughn is attending on behalf of Comixology and doing daily diary comics for Mental Floss. The first one eschews writing about food, travel or shoes so what else is there to talk about!

Anders Nilsen is also in France and has a schedule here and sketches on his site.

FiBD Angoulême is one of the world’s great comics events; hopefully it’ll be even better in the future after this year’s controversies.


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