At long last, I’m going to the Angoulême Comics Festival! Or to give it its proper name, the FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE LA BANDE DESSINÉE.

The Angoulême Festival is the largest non-manga comics gathering in the world, as some 200,000 comics lovers flood the medieval town to look at displays, listen to concerts, get books signed, and if previous show reports I’ve read are accurate, drink French wine until 1 am. In other words, it’s just like a comic-con, except instead of being in a hotel with an 80s carpet, it’s in a Medieval French village. The show this year runs from January 30th until February 2nd, and yes, that means I’ll miss the Super Bowl. Oh well.

Going to the Festival has been a lifelong goal of mine and now, thanks to the Festival organizers, I’ll be covering it for Publishers Weekly.

I’ll have more details as we get closer, but I’m pretty darned excited for this. Angoulême has long been recognized for the excellence of its exhibits and the way the whole town is taken over by comics, exhibiting a respect for the artform that makes US comic-cons look like beginners. This year’s spotlights include Grand Prix winner and festival president Willem, Jacques Tardi, Gus Bofa, the Journal du Mickey, character Mafalda and Ernst and Rebecca, and much more. While my knowledge of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition is ok for a normal person, I have a lot more to learn, and hopefully, this trip will enable me to share as much of it as possible.

Cela va être merveilleux!


  1. Congrats! You’ll be able to witness firsthand how fucked the Grand Prix jury is, and how illeterate they are when it comes to US or Japanese comics. The story spread from last year is this: Willem, a press cartoonist, won while Chris Ware, Alan Moore, Akira Toryiama or Kastuhiro Otomo were ignored because a large part of the “Acacedemie” voting for the award simply did not know who these persons were.
    But there’ll be good wine (and good food, don’t under-estimate that)

  2. You may want to keep an eye out for the Claire Wendling Angoulemne exclusive which she posted on facebook. I could not follow it all, but it seems to be chocolate bars with a signed Wendling cat print.

  3. You won’t miss the Super Bowl because it doesn’t start until after midnight Sunday (Paris time), so you can stay up late and watch it live at 1am in the morning!

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