Festivals in January? There can be only one

Published On January 4, 2011 | By Joe Gordon | Comics, Continental Correspondent, Conventions and events

Our monthly overview of comics festivals in Europe is a bit shorter than we would like it to be this time.  However, it’s quite understandable – after all, who in his right mind is going to put up another festival in the same month as that behemoth of comics fests: the annual Festival de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, France.  From January 27th until January 30th everyone who’s anyone in comics in France, Europe or beyond, will be present in what’s normally a quiet little town in the South-West of France.  And there will be mayhem…

First of all, the official programme is filled to the brim.  The Festival boasts extensive exhibitions with work by Baru and Charles Schulz, a large-scale introduction to the French mega-hit that is Lanfeust de Troyes, an overview of current Belgian Francophone comics, an introduction to Hong Kong comics, and an exhibition about the reinvention of the classic French comics stars, les Pieds Nickelés.  And, of course, a whole lot more, including the traditional exhibitions for young and upcoming talent.

Another mainstay of the Angoulême roster, is the Concert des dessins, during which ten cartoonists will draw an original work as written by Charles Berbérian, on the stage of the Angoulême city theatre, while being accompanied by a a full-fledged orchestra.  And that is just one of the many comics-related events that flood the festival’s programme, along with a one man comedy show by Le Chat creator Philippe Geluck, a showcase by New York rockabilly band Heavy Trash, a complete separate Manga programme (with exhibitions, projections, interviews, etc.) and also quite a lot of animation aimed especially at kids.

And finally, of course, there will be a lot of creators present at one of the many booths in the giant tents around the town.  Whether you are looking for a self-publishing hopeful, a small, literary publisher or one of the popular Big Five, you’ll find them all in Angou.

You can expect a day-to-day report from the festival as it happens.  Be prepared…

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

10 Responses to Festivals in January? There can be only one

  1. “You can expect a day-to-day report from the festival as it happens. Be prepared…”
    Cool, pass by and say hello in the BD Alternative space.
    I’ll be there everyday as a guest of French magazine Scarce and to promote my book.



  2. Johnny T Hanson says:

    I am looking forward to your coverage of this years exhibition. Always wanted to go myself, but it will probably never happen. Remember lots of pictures !!!

  3. Cliodhna says:

    This is going to be my first Anougleme and I am beyond excited!! *happy dance*

    • Richard says:

      Sadly Angouleme falls in school term, so unless I negotiate some magical leave of absence (unlikely) or the government decides education in rural Yorkshire is pointless and closes primary schools (horribly more likely than me getting a leave of absence) I’m going to have to wait till I retire to experience it.

      Which is why any and all reports and photos will be gratefully received! Send ’em in folks.

  4. Joe says:

    Would love to go over to it too, even with my rusty French I’m sure I’d still enjoy it (and I can always just look at the pretty pictures when language skills fail!). Cliodhna, David, by all means give us a shout if you are writing up your trips and posting pics so we can point folks to ’em, the more the merrier

  5. rob jackson says:

    It’ll be my first time too so I’ll make some kind of report once I get back.

  6. I’m really bad at this sort of thing but I will try and keep some notes and things. I always forget to get my camera out. Too busy talking rubbish. Will try.

    I was wondering what UK presence would be there. The Alternative Press gang can’t make it this year but I think the B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S. crew will be there again.

    Where is everyone situated? Are we scattered all over the place?
    I just read that
    “There were 351 [festivals] in France alone last year, with 9000 author invites attended. Angouleme in January had 215,000 attendees, dwarfing the likes of San Diego and New York Comic Con.

  7. Just heard through the grapevine that Paul Gravett will be at the fest too.
    Anymore UK folk?