Scarce Magazine At Angouleme For Bleeding Cool

Xavier Lancel is the editor-in-chief of famous French magazine SCARCE on US comics. the magazine has been running since 1983, making it one of the oldest magazine in print on US comics. The latest issue covered the whole DC science-fiction Helix line, with extended interviews of Christopher Moeller and Elaine Lee.

 The 40th International Bandes Dessinées Festival (FIBD) in Angoulême started…..under water, lots of water. Two days of non-stop rain limited movement between the different sections of the festival.

Another complicating factor was the country-wide enforcement of the Vigipirate plan, a major anti-terrorism security plan, edicted since France military involvment in Mali. That meant that, for the first time, people’s bags were checked at every tent entrance and that the flow of people entering each booth would be slowed to prevent too much overcrowding.

Like each year, we had several signing guests at the SCARCE Booth : Abby DENSON (Dolltopia, Tough Love…), Fred HARPER (Dr Strange, Animal Man…), Maxime Garbarini (Close Call Comics), Mast’ (Pax Arena on Thrillbent) & Geoffo (Vic Boone). This nice combination of styles, origin and experience offered a wide choice for everyone stopping by the booth.

Abby Denson laughed hysterically when she realized that the French names of Uncle Scrooge’s nephews were Riri, Fifi & Loulou and that the French pronounciaton of Hulk (Ulk!) made you think someone was having a throat problem instead of prononcing a superhero name.

For the first time, artists attending the shows were able to vote for their favorite artist of the year. Alas, communication on this novelty was blurry (everyone believed it wuld start with the next edition) and its organization was too rushed (hostess would propose artists to vote on Saturday afternoon, with a closing time only 6 hours away).

I moderated a debate on the 50th anniversary of the Spider-Man comics. A similar debate was organized around Avengers. On the other hand, nothing special was made to celebrate the festival’s fortieth anniversary…

Seeing the amount of debate around online bandes dessinées, it seemed like, at least, France is starting to realize that the subject of webcomics is not a joke or a short whim. The fact that half of the artists on our booth have only web editions of some of their work was certainly a sign of that.

Concerning the « scandal » around the choice of the Grand Prize Winner, I can’t say I’m surprised to learn that most of the old grand prize winners who voted had no idea who the manga or comics artists in the ballot were. Something will have to be done, so that future voters will not vote someone out by ignorance, but by knowledge of its work.

The situation is not really different it seems in the US : most of the « old » artists I had the chance to interview for SCARCE, often had no knowledge at all of the young successfull artists working right now in the US comics field.”

Sparkling Abby Denson at the SCARCE booth.

A young fan of Mike Carey’s Lucifer wa smore than Happy to find our Mike Carey devoted issue. We then treated her with a free translation of one of Mike Carey’s novel.

Christophe, faithfull SCARCE writer, and Fred Harper, at the SCARCE Booth.

Fred Harper and Tony Breed at La Girafre bar in Angouleme

   David Boller at Le Tire Bouchon vine restaurant in Angouleme. We were so happy to learn that, at last, his Endless Sky comics biography will be released in France in March 2013.

This cat from Le Café Chaud, that we baptised Oscar, really impressed us. Last year, he made Xavier bleed by biting him. This of course, inflamed the imagination of Abby Denson and Fred Harper, depicting him in attack mode.

The poster for my debate on Spider-Man 50th anniversary.

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