News posts

Angoulême 2011: Photos

Posted by on February 7th, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Association co-founder Mattt Konture
Check in for the official Comics Journal/Metabunker photo reportage from this year’s Angoulême festival.

Moebius exhibition in Paris

Posted by on February 6th, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Right now there is an impressive exhibition in Paris about the seminal French artist Moebius/Gir, or Jean Giraud as is his real name.


The exhibition is called “Transe Forme”, a play on words capturing much of what Giraud’s career has …

Angoulême – A Minister Visiting

Posted by on February 6th, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Here’s an interesting web TV documentary from the recently ended festival in Angoulême, dealing with the fact that the Minister for European Affairs, Laurent Wauquiez, visited the festival. This could only happen at a French comics festival. During the second …

Angoulême – Exhibitions Galore

Posted by on February 6th, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Being at the comics festival in Angoulême, France, means visiting a great number of exhibitions, as this is one if the major means of communicating with the audience here. The last four days I have tried to visit as many …

Angoulême 2011: Aftermath

Posted by on February 3rd, 2011 at 11:31 AM


This year’s Angoulême festival was a solid if somewhat unremarkable one, plagued more than usual by the cultural myopia that has always characterized it to an extent. Its organizers described it as a success, but below the surface, it turns out, lurk conflicts of financing and responsibility.

Art Spiegelman Grand Prix

Posted by on January 30th, 2011 at 2:25 PM


It has just been announced that Art Spiegelman is the recipient of this year’s Grand Prix at the Festival Internationale de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême. Selected by the festival’s academy, which is composed of former recipients, he joins Will Eisner and R. Crumb as the third American (and fifth non-francophone) to be bestowed this, the highest European honor that can be accorded a comics artist. Spiegelman has long been an obvious choice, but it has still taken the notoriously francocentric academy long to recognize him. The author of the seminal graphic novel Maus, surely as influential in Europe as in America, will act as next year’s president.

Angoulême: Saturday

Posted by on January 30th, 2011 at 12:07 PM


As usual Saturday brought the crowds to Angoulême. It is difficult to get around, but it brings to the festival a heady atmosphere of art and commerce. Even the Association staff decided today partly to suspend their ongoing strike in order to support their artists who had turned up to sign their books. Killoffer, Gerner, Baudoin, Sury, Ruppert & Mulot, and several more were drawing up a storm for the throngs passing through the doors to the Nouveau monde. There is talk of upcoming negotiations between direction and staff, but for the moment the situation remains strained.

Sean Michael Robinson: Criminal Contexts: The Simpsons “Child” Pornography Case and Its Implications

Posted by on January 28th, 2011 at 2:58 PM

“Kutzner led dual lives. On one hand, he was a respected middle school teacher who led a responsible, crime-free life and, undoubtedly was a positive influence in the lives of many students. […] But in his secret life, he intentionally sought out sexually exploitive material involving young children for purposes of sexual gratification.”

– Government Sentencing Memorandum, U.S.A. v. Steven Kutzner

(c) Nonrequired Element of Offense. — It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist. -Title 18 U.S.C. 1466A

In 2010, Steven Kutzner was working as a science teacher at Lake Hazel Middle School in Boise, Idaho. A year later, Kutzner’s in prison, where he is sentenced to remain for the next 15 months. That’s the temporary part. For the rest of his life he will be a sexual criminal in the eyes of his community. He will never start over. He will not work or volunteer with minors of any age, nor will he “reside or loiter within 300 feet of schoolyards, parks, playgrounds, arcades or other places primarily used by children under the age of 18.” Kutzner has joined the ranks of his fellow citizens Christopher Handley and Dwight Worley, all three punished for possessing visual depictions of fictional crimes against fictional characters.

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Angoulême: Friday

Posted by on January 28th, 2011 at 11:31 AM

As mentioned in several places already, the big story here is the ongoing strike at L’Association (I’ve been writing about it here and here). Their booth, which is placed at the head of the big so-called Noveau monde tent (which houses all the small press publishers, fanzine emporia, etc) has a massive sign up saying “Employees on Strike,” with pamphlets out explaining the situation, and no books for sale. One speculates whether, as bad as this surely is for the publisher (in terms of sales in addition to everything else), it might also be something of a perverse, unintended PR scoop. At any rate, this particular Angoulême will surely be remembered by many as the one with l’Asso on strike.

Anime/Manga Porn Battle Heats Up in Japan

Posted by on January 20th, 2011 at 6:02 PM

The battle in Japan over pornography censorship Bill 156 is intensifying. Last month, media companies Kadokawa Group Publishing and Animate jointly announced they would take their wares away from Gov. Ishihara’s Tokyo Anime Fair and host their own simultaneous event, “The Anime Contents Expo.” Several other major publishers and producers are joining them.

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