Sunday, January 2, 2011

The French, they do this comic book thing differently

The main reason for going to France at this crazy time of year is be at the Angouleme Festival International de la Bande Dessinee, from January 27-30. I have my four day pass, I have accommodation, I have the train ticket booked from Paris. This year, it's Hong Kong in the spotlight, along with much more. The exhibition design hits a high standard and I am really keen to see this year's work for myself.  

The Copyright Agency Limited provided me with an airfare to travel to France and see this festival. I was thrilled to receive this funding because it supports research into graphic novels and I look forward to sharing what I learn when I return. In youth literature there is much talk of young people and their interest in comics and graphic novels, which may be true. But in Australia we produce so little of our own material. Artists like Shaun Tan don't come along every day - so how can Australia's book industry nurture the graphic novel culture? I am hoping that Angouleme might provide a few hints. After all, a festival in the middle of winter, hundreds of kilometres from Paris, where accommodation is at a premium, but still attracts nearly 250,000 people, must be doing something for readers.