‘We didn’t expect this phenomenon to last’: France’s comic-book tradition is hitting new heights

The market for bédé visual storytelling almost doubled over the course of the pandemic, but can the birthplace of Asterix continue to nurture creators?Like thousands of French people, Sylvie Pinault discovered comic books during the pandemic. Though bandes dessinées – literally meaning “drawn strips” and often simply referred to as BD or bédé – are venerated in France as the “ninth art”, the 52-year-old had preconceptions about them being for children. That changed at the start of 2020, when her partner suggested they go to the gigantic comic-book festival in Angoulême. The following year, with the country locked down, the limpid cover of Léonie Bischoff’s graphic novel Anaïs Nin: A Sea of Lies caught her eye in an exhibition that the cancelled festival had put on in Paris’s Gare d’Austerlitz. “It had a different style – maybe that lowered certain barriers I had,” says Pinault. It became her first comic-book purchase, and she took her maiden voyage on France’s infinite ocean of hand-drawn possibilities.Three years on, we are pausing for breath in the main exhibitors’ hall, Le Monde des Bulles (The World of Bubbles), at Angoulême. Pinault is clutching her copy of the Nin book, freshly signed by Bischoff. “She never knows what colour she’ll start a line with,” Pinault marvels from their exchange. “That leaves room for spontaneity.” The thin flooring underneath us is vibrating from hundreds of feet, milling around the stands for Dargaud, Casterman and other big publishers,... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2024-02-06 14:00:36 UTC ]
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