A Quick Guide to Belgium at Angoulême

Posted by on January 27th, 2011 at 8:41 AM

As ever, the Comics Festival in Angoulême is one the highlights of the year for European comics connaisseurs and true to form, the website of the organisers is once again a true horror to behold in terms of user friendliness. You’d think that it would be easy to incorporate a tag system so that creators’ point of origin can at least be quickly established. So without further ado, here’s a quick guide to all things Belgian at the comics festival this year:

First up is the official selection:

  • Brecht Evens visual tour de force The Wrong Place (reviewed by myself right here)
  • Olivier Schrauwen’s wonderfully absurd The Man Who Let His Beard Grow (once again reviewed by myself right here) and soon to be published by Fantagraphics
  • Judith Vanistendael’s biographic tale of her relationship with an illegal immigrant called Dance by the Light of the Moon (published in English by Self Made Hero)
  • Dominique Oblet’s iconoclastic Chronographie is also in this selection (reviewed by Bart Beatty at The Comics Reporter).

and in the Youth category there’s also Game Over by Adam, a Francophone auteur. Which leads us neatly into the exhibition spotlighting french language creators from Belgium (as you may know, Belgium has two major offical languages: Dutch and French, neatly divided geographically – not counting Brussels though -; I know I lose track too sometimes but WE’RE ALL HUMAN BEINGS –  except for people in politics – ). The exposition is called ‘La nouvelle bande dessinée: belge francophone’ and focuses on new avant garde creators housed at publishers at the edge of comic storytelling like Frémok, Nos restes or L’employé du moi.

As a dish on the side there’s a solo exhibition by Dominique Goblet who won the highly prestigious annual prize École Européenne Supérieure de l’Image with her graphic novel To Pretend Counts as a Lie.

And if you’re thinking ‘But where do I buy all these delicious comics?’ Now there’s no excuse because the Flemish Literary Fund is present with their  “Chez les Flamands” pub where you can buy Belgian comics coupled with signing sessions.

There you go! Have fun, I’ll keep watching for updates from the home front. And if any creators want to send me an update with their schedules and/or itinerary, feel free to email me at bartcroonenborghs at gmail.com or comment on this post (which is maybe easiest).

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