Maxime Garbarini Goes To Angoulême

Maxime Garbarini writes for Bleeding Cool;

Hey, my name’s Maxime Garbarini, and it’s my first time in Angoulême on the other side of the table. I’ve been here several times as a visitor, more than 10 years ago so I was so thrilled and honored when Scarce chose me as one of the artists featured in their booth this year.

As the author and artist behind SAGA, CloseCallComics ‘s first webcomics, I had previously been to different Comics Conventions, in Paris and Lille but nothing could prepare me for the craziness of Angoulême. The insanely talented artists everywhere made me feel really lucky, finding a little corner of a place among such talents. This festival pushes everyone to give out their best and I saw not only cool books but incredible booths as well, lots of creative ideas, either small press or big shot books companies, it impresses me to see how far you can go with paper and hard-time thinking.

About the festival itself, I must admit that I did not see everything there was to see. Sorry about the exhibitions and missed panels, maybe next time.

My goal coming to Angoulême was to reach as many people as possible and try to get in contact with editors or potential partners for Close Call Comics’s future. Webcomics are not that popular in France yet. We have a lot of “blog BD” famous and succesfull but few of them actually tell a continuing storyline. Close Call Comics’ SAGA . And sadly Angoulême did not give a lot of room for “american comics” (I mean mainstream super-heroes tale) this year, besides Panini’s booth of course. And because this type of comics is what I love most and what I hope to be a part of, I was somehow a bit disappointed I guess, as a fanboy and as an aspiring artists who looked for advises or professional insights.

Add to this, that my webcomic is free and therefore I have nothing to sell, except badges (with headshots of the characters), you could think that I almost had nothing to do here…

…but, and this is a big BUT, the audience is simply fantastic. Thanks to Xavier from SCARCE magazine I had several sketching sessions during the festival, and thanks to Gabriel (Close Call Comics PR extraordinaire) I had so many people coming up to see me and ask me about SAGA. I had a blast explaining the origins of the concept, introducing the characters and above all offering free sketches to all of them. Lots were Marvel characters (because they’re the most popular here) but most were my own characters which felt really awesome. If I had to pick a favorite moment (appart from drinking cocktails at the festival press lobby) it would be these two cute kids, around 10yo who asked millions of questions about the characters and litterally read out loud the pages I had print. They were the best and made my day, if not my whole year. I think younger kids have a really fresh outlook on what a webcomic can bring to them. They seem to be less attached to the physical paper object and have no problem enjoying on-screen stories and brand new characters even though they clearly know their Marvel encyclopedia by heart. This brought me lots of hope for the future of webcomics in general and SAGA in particular.

Thank you Angoulême, for those sparkling eyes kids and for all the other dozens sketches I had the chance to draw for all the other visitors.

Maxime Garbarini is a self-taught penciler reading comic books since childhood.He is now author, writter, penciler and inker of SAGA, a comics he created 2 years ago and released on Close Call Comics, the online label he also created.Close Call Comics has been founded after Maxime’s first experience in publication of a 80 pages book with Hachette, a famous french editor. Seeing that many comic book readers invest a lot of their time in online content, blogs, forums, web comics, and fan fiction, Maxime explored other ways in which he could present his work. He begans  to think that, as an amateur author, he could reach more people through online publishing than he could in print.Maxime registered the trademark “Close Call Comics” and created the website www.closecallcomics.com, an online label that gives the public free access to his comic series: SAGA.

The online self-publication offers many benefits to the author: no manufacturing worries, low operating cost and more flexibility with the publication schedule. This is also a very direct and simple way for the fans to give their feedback.

SAGA, the first series of Close Call Comics, paints the fate of several generations of people whose lives are disrupted by the side effects of a mysterious new energy.  Saga’s mission statement is to tell an exciting, entertaining and unique story, through its characters and multiple forms of media, and the evolution of its universe from WWII to present-day.

Today, Close Call Comics offers several entries on the website to discover the univers of SAGA. Besides reading the weekly pages-episode, you can also discover the short stories presenting the characters and written by different authors, Fan-arts in the Bonus section or Characters profiles, news, …