On loan to Buenaventura Press, from January 25th to February 3rd I was in France to attend Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême. My trip to Angoulême was bookended by brief stays in Paris, a city I hadn't visited in 8 1/2 years. Here are some photos I took while I was in France...
I flew to Paris by way of Chicago... Looking back on this photo I genuinely envy The Sleeping Chef of O'Hare Airport, when I landed in Paris I had't slept for over 30 hours and I hadn't a clue as to where I would be staying because I hadn't reserved a room before I left Seattle. (I'll try to only write this only once: the 9 hour difference between Seattle and Paris is NO JOKE.)
From the airport I took the RER and then transfered to the Metro which spat me out into the 11 arrondissement... and this is the first thing I saw. My vision was so blurry from lack of sleep I thought I was seeing things.
From what I could tell by peering through the dusty windows Tête Rock Underground is some kind of comix gallery...? I'm not sure because the place was locked up tight. I took these photos at around 8am on a Monday morning and as anyone who's visited France can attest, things don't really start doing until 10:30 to 11:00 am. Anyway, I meant to come back when they were open but never did.
I went from hotel to hostel to hotel again on a mission to find a place for the night. Every place I went to was either closed (?) or full up and I was beginning to despair... even though I was excited to be in Paris. I stopped for some coffee and to gather my wits. I went to a couple more places and learned how to say "no vacancy" in French.
FINALLY I found a place to rest my bones! (No, not the van...) After I paid the man I started up the narrow stars to my room and Bruce Springsteen's "Born In the USA" started up with me. Say what you will, but Bruce aint my guy, tredging up those stairs to his blue collar anthem made me feel sick. But I digress... So, I'm in my room, dog tired... I know if I go to sleep I'm fucked and after all I am in Paris... Splash some cold water on my face, I head out into the Paris cold to do some exploring!
Now... if I were to tell you this was a comix trip would you believe me? Literally, right around the corner from the hostel where I was staying are the offices for L'Association!
It was still pretty early, the streets were free of people and I wasn't sure if anyone would be in. I walked up to these big red doors and knocked.
This is the first thing you see when you walk into L'Association's space. My immediate thought was "My Gawd! It's French Fantagraphics! Except they're shorter and dressed better!" There was interesting crap piled everywhere!
I got to spy some advance copies of upcoming L'Association titles, such as Spermanga by Pakito B0lino...
Page after page, this book looks amazing and it's all in English!
Here's the proofs for Red Monkey dans John Wesley Harding by the talented Joe Daly. The American edition of this book is due out from Fantagraphics this coming July under the title The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book.
While I was flipping through the proof and sipping some much needed coffee (Merci!) the print run for the book was delivered! just in time for the festival.
It was time for me to go. As I shuffled off I walked past this strange tent. Its rumored that many years ago this tent was once the temporary home of Kim Thompson!
This is what you see as you leave L'Association... I gotta say, it was really inspiring to be so far away from home and to be surround by such nice folks who, like Fantagraphics, are trying to make the world a better place (at least, that's how I see it...).
Revived by coffee and good company I was off to the legendary Un Regard Moderne.
On my way to Un Regard Moderne I spotted this poster for the movie Valkyrie with a V for Vendetta mask placed over Tom Cruise's pensive, Nazi mug.
(The Slide Show will continue soonish with part two.)
Now available for preview and pre-order: Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941, an indispensable collection of comic book heroes from the best and the brightest of the first generation of the Golden Age, including Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Fletcher Hanks, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Basil Wolverton. This book is scheduled to be in stock in late February or early March and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 11-page PDF preview containing an entire story by Will Eisner and Lou Fine starring The Flame!
Now available for preview and pre-order: Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers, the first-ever collection of Golden Age comic-book visionary Boody Rogers's wacky, weird, wild and sexy yarns, culled from the pages of such forgotten classics as Babe, Darling of the Hills and Sparky Watts. This book is scheduled to be in stock in late February or early March and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.
View a photo & video slideshow preview embedded here. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window (recommended). And visit the product details page for a downloadable, 12-page PDF preview containing an entire Sparky Watts story!
Dash Shaw has finished his online serialization of Bodyworld, which you can now read in its entirety, beginning here. Frank Santoro calls it "the most formally inventive comic being made today," and you know, I think he might be right. This is gonna be a Book of the Year candidate whenever it comes out (old hat to Dash by now), and probably a Book of the Decade frontrunner, too.
On behalf of everyone at Fantagraphics, I'd like to welcome Ulysses Kupperman Dougherty to the world. Ulysses was born on Monday night to our own Michael Kupperman and his lovely wife, Muire Dougherty. Luckily for comics fans, Michael turned in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 just before the big day. We can't wait to meet you, Ulysses.
I'm not usually prone to the doom-y flight of fancy, but my first thought upon seeing the photo above was: thank goodness a flaming meteor didn't hit that spot at that moment. L to R: Crumb, Ware, Clowes, Tomine, Buenaventura. Sauve, France, Jan. 27, 2009. Alvin Buenaventura has uploaded many more incredible photos such as above and below, from Sauve and Angoulême, to Flickr. Look for a guest appearance by our very own Jason T. Miles, who promises to post his own Angoulême pics soon.
View a brief photo slideshow preview embedded above. Click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window; there, Flickr users with safety filters set to "moderate" or higher will be able to view additional, R-rated images (including the front and back covers).
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