Angoulême – there and back again!

I’ve just spent a fine few days in Angoulême at the Festival international de la bande dessinée, the largest comics festival in Europe. My fellow translator Michele Hutchison and I decided that a visit to Angoulême was well overdue, as we’re both big fans of graphic novels and, having worked together on translations of two of Brecht Evens’ books (The Making Of… and The Wrong Place), we thought the comics festival would be the ideal opportunity to check out new books and possible translation projects.

In addition, this year was a big year at Angoulême for the Dutch contingent. With the support of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Creative Industries Fund NL, and the Dutch Embassy in France, around twenty big names from the Dutch comics scene created silkscreen prints of their work and made a poster exhibition throughout the city: La bédé est dans la rue. Here’s me very helpfully pointing at some of their work!

And here’s Michele with a more strategically placed pointer…

We had a couple of days of comics, fun, meetings, lunches, watching great interviews with Rutu Modan and Alison Bechdel, and buying books and souvenir mugs. Then we capped it all off with a long and leisurely morning at the fabulous Cité de la bande dessinée, an incredible complex of buildings dedicated to the exhibition of comic books and graphic novels. An absolutely incredible place to visit for any comics fan! I’m sure we’ll be going back to the festival another year. Vaut le voyage!

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