The webcomics blog about webcomics

This Thing Hardly Changes From Year To Year

By which I mean, the map of San Diego Comic Con’s exhibitors, in handy PDF form, which I painstakingly re-capture and format every year. Well, not this time! I’m keeping the maps from last year to the extent that they match the layout this year

The North Half Layout Is The Same
It’s on the right side of the overall floor map, and apart from a logo change or two, the booth numbers and major players correspond to the same layout as last year:

The Webcomics, Small Press, and Independent Press Pavilions remain reasonably accessible from the “B” lobby. Let’s break ’em down.

The Last Stand Of Webcomics?
It’s been a long run, but more and more creators are opting to skip SDCC; of course, once you give up a booth you won’t get it back in the current decade, so expect to see a bit more holding on. Centered roughly on booth #1332, you’ll find a majority of the webcomickers who will be at the show within about a 1.5 aisle radius; some are slightly outside the orange area, but not too far. Those that return are for the most part at the same booth number as previous years, but there’s been some upheaval, as we shall see.

Alaska Robotics
with Marian Call
Booth 1137
Blind Ferret Booth 1231
Cool Cat Blue Booth 1330
Digital Pimp Booth 1237
Cyanide & Happiness     Booth 1234
Dumbrella Booth 1335
Girl Genius Booth 1331
Jefbot Booth 1232
Monster Milk Booth 1334
Rhode Montijo Booth 1329
Sheldon and Drive Booth 1228
TopatoCo Booth 1229
Two Lumps Booth 1230

Notes:

  • :01 Books appear to have been relocated to booth 2800, and taken Macmillan Children’s Publishing with it (2802).
  • Rhode Montijo (of Happy Tree Friends fame) in 1329.
  • No news yet on which TopatoCo creators will be along; we’ll update once we know.
  • Hachette (1116), Harper Collins (1029), (1117), and Simon & Schuster (1128) remain in Publisher’s Row; Knopf Doubleday appears to be skipping.
  • As of this writing, Booth 1332, the heart of Webcomics Central, is listed for Flex Comics which sells (quoting here) Bro Tank shirts and does occasional mash-up strips with a fitness theme. Far be it from me to criticize a webcomic for selling t-shirts, but given that the shirts are on the front page and the comic found off at a link, I’d say it inverts the normal order of things.
  • But that’s still not as bad as booth 1235 going to Pulsar Entertainment LLC, which appears to have its origin in a talent contest (ugh) and is celebrating its own launch by running its own contest (double ugh) with all entries granting a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to Pulsar Entertainment (triple ugh). They’re over next to Blind Ferret; I’m sure Sohmer will have lots to say to them.
  • Dumbrella this year will only be Rich Stevens and Andy Bell; they’ve invited Cards Against Humanity to share space.
  • Meredith Gran will be at the show with husband Mike Holmes, but I don’t have a definitive location yet. Possible locations include Image (Gran), :01 (Holmes), and Dumbrella (both). More when I have it.

Small Press Abides
Right by the Webcomics section is Small Press. Here you should find:

Bob the Angry Flower Table K-16
Ben Costa Table O-07
Claire Hummel Table Q-15
Kel McDonald Table M-12
Wire Heads Table N-15

From the Small Press section, you’re close by:

Cartoon Art Musuem Booth 1930
CBLDF Booth 1918
BOOM! Booth 2229
Oni Press Booth 1833
Gallery Nucleus Booth 2643

Notes:

  • Gallery Nucleus will feature arty types when they aren’t hanging out at Mondo down in booth 835. Keep an eye out for your Scotts C, your Beckys and/or Franks, and alumni of the various Flight anthologies.
  • No confirmation yet on which webcomickers will be at the BOOM! booth when, but I’d expect a pretty strong rotation.

Now head back toward the “B” Lobby into the Independent Press area and you’ll find Terry Moore at Booth 2109, which is split (in accordance with tradition)with Jeff Smith (who remains the best). You’re also not too far from the Jack Kirby Museum at Booth 5520 which, yes, is a very large number but is actually just inside the B1 entrance. Weird, right?

Going back to that larger map of the northern half of the exhibit hall. Wedged in between the Marvel and Image megabooths you’ll find Keenspot in Booth 2635.

The Far End Is Exactly The Same
There’s still some neat stuff if you keep wandering past the video games, Star Wars, Legos, and suchlike.

Give yourself half an hour or so, try not to spend all your money on Copic markers (Booth 5338), and you’ll find both Udon Entertainment (home of such worthies as Christopher Butcher and Jim Zub — although rumor is Zub is sitting this year out — at Booth 4529); and The Hero Initiative (at Booth 5003). Zub’s onetime Skullkickers artist, Edwin Huang will be in the Artists Alley at table EE-19, and Katie Cook will be at table HH-17.

Offsite
Every year for the past half-decade the amount of stuff you can see outside of the exhibit hall has grown; I’m guessing we’re only a year or so away from complete parity. If you know of anything especially good, let us know and we’ll add it here. Otherwise, just wander the city and see what you got.


Spam of the day:

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This sounds suspiciously like it’s intended for serial killers.

Pretty, Pretty, And Noooooo

Let’s take them each in turn, shall we?

  • Pretty! The Perry Bible Followship may only update very occasionally, but it would be a mistake to ever count Nicholas Gurewitch out; he’s always got something intriguing cooking in his brainmeats, and just the other day we saw the most recent creation reach fruition.

    Notes on a Case of Melancholia, Or: A Little Death is an Edward Goreyesque book, mostly silent, about a Death working through things with his¹ shrink. Readers with long memories may recall that this book was the subject of a Kickstarter ’bout recall“>two and a half years back², which was to have been fulfilled ’bout two years ago.

    Better late than never, though, and given the detail in the art, I can see how 48 pages worth could take longer than anticipated. US$25, limit one per person, domestic orders only for the moment, please. If you missed out on the Kickstart, this is your chance to get a copy (not as fancy as the Kickstarter version, but you haven’t been waiting for years, so suck it up).

  • Pretty! The Nib has gone through a lot since its launch: key player in the current iterations of This Is Fine and Pepe The Frog³, critically-acclaimed book (and calendar) publisher, a slew of awards for its contributors, and the odd hiatus or two. Latest adventure: an animated series, the first episode of which dropped today. Four comics by Jen Sorensen (Trump and various Sergeis in the Oval Office with the nuclear football), editor Matt Bors (snotty know-it-all and how not to get shot for being black), and associate editor Matt Lubchansky (where Trump’s hairpiece comes from … it ain’t pretty) round out this iteration, with more to come. I know I said Pretty! up top, but you know what? close ups of Donald Trump in cartoon form are kind of horrifying, which is probably the point. Well done, The Nib.
  • Noooooo! Okay, if you are not current on Stand Still, Stay Silent, maybe go away and get caught up. Minna Sundberg has never been sentimental about her post-apocalyptic story … the characters who’ve stepped into the Silent World have succeeded so far on dumb luck as much as anything, and even the people that conceived of their mission figured it was a longshot that would end up killing everybody involved. Heck, the prologue started by killing nearly everybody except five small casts of characters, along with the majority of the world; post-apocalypse was never going to be a cheery place.

    But Tuuri is so cheerful, so calmly competent, and it’s been so many strips from her possible contamination that it looked like she’d be … not okay, probably go back home and have occasional nightmares forever, but not this. Kitty can tell she’s infected and halfway to horribly mutated. The signs are there. She can hear the voices of the horrors as they reach out to claim her.

    The best scientists left in the known world have spent 75 years trying to come up with a treatment or vaccine, to no avail. Barring a miracle from the realm of gods and spirits, we’ve reached the point in the zombie movie where the protagonists have to kill their friend. It’s terrible, and the terror we feel reading is earned honestly instead of a cheap twist. It’s great storytelling and I hate it simultaneously. Go as peacefully as you can in the face of this abomination, Tuuri. We’ll miss you.


Spam of the day:

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Trying to figure out if there’s anything in the world I want less than knockoff handbags allegedly designed by a sarcastic human tangerine

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¹ Based on the description; personally, I think that capital-d Death transcends the biological concepts of gender, but that may be one of the things a personification of a primal and eternal force needs to work out with their shrink.

² Disclaimer: I had to go look it up, it was so long ago.

³ Respectively, no, it’s not, and he’s dead, Jim.

Lyon BD Is Just Three Days, Or He’d Keep Writing

We at Fleen continue to bring you all the news from the world of French [web]comics, courtesy of Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin. Take it away, FSFCPL!

Lyon BD, like most French comics festivals, is run as a non-profit. That does not mean admittance was free (5€ a day, or 8€ for both days), but that means among others aspects it relies a lot on volunteer labor. [Editor’s note: That admission rate would be in the range of US$5.50 to US$9.00 for a city-wide festival]

But just because it is a non-profit does not mean you are dealing with unprofessional people. Case in point: when I came Friday morning to get my badge as an accredited member of the press (which also allowed me free entry), they couldn’t find my name among the envelopes containing the individual badges. That was going to be a problem: without a badge, I would not have been able to enter no matter how much I paid, since the first day was reserved to professionals (and accredited hack webcomic pseudojournalists).

But Mélodie Labbé, who was the Lyon BD point of contact leading up to the festival proper (for RSVPing to events, notably) was present and doing badge delivery herself too, my name did ring a bell to her, and so she took a blank badge and wrote in my name so that I could enter and access everything I could as accredited press; I did not even have to show the email accepting me as accredited press (I was able to come back on Saturday, and this time my “real” badge was found. I won’t lie: getting to wear [this](attached image) rocked).

More generally, Lyon BD did treat attendants and exhibitors well: there was free water from water dispensers (as previously mentioned), tables for lunch inside the city hall, allowing food brought in, and nearby seating allowing for a pause to read your haul, signage in the streets to find your way when going to offsite events (exhibitions, lectures, etc.), and lastly but most useful for me this Sunday¹, the last day: a free cloakroom, since my train was departing straight after the festival (admittedly, that last service was not open to the public: only exhibitors, journalists, etc.).

Lyon BD is also remarkable for its initiatives besides running the show proper. For instance, I previously mentioned they originally commissionned the Boulet/Inglenook drawn concert collaboration, but even though this was the 12th edition I first heard of Lyon BD only three years ago from their Hero-ïne-s exhibition, where they asked comic creators (including Boulet, through which I heard of it) to reimagine comics with female leads, because even in this day and age in French comics, female leads are still rare.

The works themselves have been posted on the web (some of which I’d very much pay to see made!), and you can buy it as a book which additionally contains interviews with the featured creators, small essays on sexism in and around comics, etc. The exhibition itself is touring (it was not at Lyon BD this year, though), but I do not know where it will be shown next.

Since there were fewer events of interest to me on Sunday (there were a few, but colliding with Scott McCloud’s lecture, and there was no way I was going to miss that), I decided this was the opportunity to try and meet some of the creators showcased in this project, especially as a number of them are local to the area.

Highlights of the day:

  • Meeting with Paka at the Lapin booth, who mentioned to me that his collaboration with Cyprien, Roger et ses humain (previously mentioned here) was now available in English on digital platforms, among them Comixology; this can be a viable way to discover this work, at least as an artist.
  • Catching Hero-ïne-s contributors Efix, Marie Avril, Emy), Anjale (note that I was still dressed as Clark Kent), and Yan Le Pon (links to their own pieces) and chatting with them about their contributions and the general state of comic book heroines. Most of them were even generous enough to sketch in my copy of the book.
  • Watching Scott McCloud’s lecture presenting his latest book project: the pitch, the need for it, case studies of examples and counter-examples, etc. Even with half the time taken by the translator, it still had so much information density that no summary could not possibly do the lecture justice. McCloud is going around the con circuit, so I implore you to go and catch a performance of his lecture, you won’t regret it.

    He went straight to a signing after the lecture (in fact, he was signing for most of the duration of the festival, and his line was always packed), so I was not able to have any aside time with him, but I did get a few answers: during the lecture, he had a few words about Powerpoint (probably the visual communication medium office dwellers create the most), and it will be covered in the book (one of my interrogations from the announcement).

    At the end of the lecture, during the Q&A session, he confirmed in response to my question that, while there would be no dedicated chapter (the book not being organized along media type, but along other concepts), the teachings would not just be applicable to static media, and some of the examples would be from interactive media.

    Lastly, I went in line for the signing, and once I reached him I asked one last question: what, if anything, he did find different in French cons as opposed to U.S. cons. His answer was that in his experience signings were mostly the same, but in panels in France he appreciated not having to spend nearly as much time justifying how comics could serve important endeavors: French people have little trouble believing that.

  • At the same signing, meeting Bou … oh, wait, is that the line for him?! One, two, three … ten … OK, there is no way I can reach him before the festival closes its doors. Too bad, maybe next time.

It was then time to leave, but if they keep up like this, I will most certainly be back next year. I would like to close by thanking Lyon BD festival for evaluating and accepting my press badge application, without which I would not have been able to cover the festival as much as I did; and of course, for putting out a great festival.

And that will wrap up Fleen’s coverage of LyonBD 2017. With any luck, we’ll have more reports from a variety of festivals from FSFCPL in the coming years.


Spam of the day:

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_______________
¹ Fun fact: Sunday was also polling day for the French general elections, and mainland France does not have mail-in voting or early ballots, and I hope it never has online voting: so I had to appoint a proxy to vote on my behalf, there is no other way to vote while away on polling day.

Lyon BD, Deuxième Jour

We continue the reporting of Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin from the grounds of Lyon BD. If you missed Day One, it may be found here.

The main attraction of a French comics festival is getting to meet the comics creators themselves, or more specifically, getting them to sketch and sign in one of their books you brought; that last part is important: the creator typically won’t have his books on hand, and by himself is not set up to take your money. This means sketches are free as a rule. Though if you don’t own any of their books, not to worry: they are available for sale at the festival so you can have your copy when you get in line for the signing.

So for instance for Lyon BD:

  • A temporary location inside the city hall was set up as a bookshop (an offshoot of a local bookshop, in fact).
  • A big reception room and several smaller ones inside the city hall were set up as table space for invited creators, independently of any publisher.
  • Inside a common tent on the Place des Terreaux, Glénat (one of the biggest French comics publishers) had set up a giant booth where one end was set up as a bookshop, and the other end as table space for their creators; same for Decitre (the association of Dupuis, Dargaud, and Le Lombard).
  • In the same tent, smaller publishers (Lapin, Warum/Vraoum, Rouquemoute, etc.) had booths where the creators were set up directly behind piles of books (though the publisher himself handled the transactions).
  • And a few isolated signing events were set up in bookshops around the city.

And so that you could best visit creators at the right times, this giant banner¹ was put at critical junctions in the festival … Oh wait, that is only creators A to K, a second banner was needed for creators L to Z. Columns are approximate time: Saturday morning, Saturday early afternoon, Saturday late afternoon, etc. up to Sunday late afternoon.

Other booths present included booksellers specialized in original and historical editions of comics, art schools, publishers of youth books (not just comics), etc. It was not a big festival: for instance, a few major publishers (Delcourt, Soleil) did not have a booth. But as you know, it is not the size that counts: what counts are the people I wanted to meet and that I knew would be there.

So, Saturday: the first day (out of two) of the main festivities.

This setup was less than ideal by some aspects. For instance, France remains under a high terror alert level which means bags had to undergo visual inspection whenever entering the festival, and that included whenever you wanted to go from the city hall to the tent on the Place des Terreaux (and the converse) as they were close, but not directly connected.

Furthermore, weather became rather nice and actually a bit hot (28°C, or about 81°F) which was felt more under the tent due to the lack of air circulation (a few booths were able to put up ventilators); especially by your correspondent, who chose to go that day dressed as Clark Kent: in a full suit (plus hat, and small S on the chest, under the shirt. My apologies: I forgot to take photos). But those were only inconveniences, and volunteers were on hand to help, for instance to bring drinks to people stuck in their booths; the organizers had also put water dispensers under the tent for attendees to get water, for free.

Interesting live programming was also scheduled for Saturday, in particular a jazz and drawn comics concert involving Florence Cestac (only woman so far to have received a Grand Prix at Angoulême), which unfortunately I had to pass on due to a collision with another event I wanted to attend at 3:00 PM.

By the way, did I mention the Lyon city hall was a very nice place?

Highlights of the day:

  • In the main reception room used for signings, getting to say hello to the German creators showcased in the exhibition (mentioned in my last post): Reinhard Kleist, Thomas Von Kummant and Isabel Kreitz (Birgit Weyhe was signing elsewhere), but I spent most time chatting with Flix about his book, The Pretty Girls; this is actually a series of relationship and drama strips self-contained in one page, and contrary to most body representations in comics (comics being a very coded medium), even from France, he features great body diversity: his girls are fat, slim, tall, small, even old or young… they are all meant to be pretty.
  • Chatting with the creators at the Lapin booth, in particular Tim, who reminded me I could point you to his Promenade (going for a walk), since there is no need to translate it. And he’s right. It it comics? You decide. And Cy², since I was interested in her Real Sex From Real Life [NSFW], but more on that later.
  • A panel on comics being featured in Le Monde’s morning digest app. Of note was the fact it is still hard for comics to make inroads in a newspaper that was one of the last holdouts of the “if it’s boring, it must be serious” school of thought: often interesting initiatives around comics are declined, even when money is not an issue. On the other hand, when the principle of having comics in the app was accepted, then getting budget to pay lump sums to the creators was not an issue.
  • A panel with Cy, Fabien Vehlmann, and Julie Maroh about their respective comics projects around sex Le vrai sexe de la vraie vie, l’Herbier sauvage, and Corps Sonores). Their approaches vary in the details (Vehlmann collected anecdotes through in-person sessions, while Cy used an online form), but the basic approach is the same: in order to show sex not as an ideal, but as it is practiced, they use comics to show such stories of real sex, and build them around raw material collected from other people so as to provide actually representative and diverse experiences. As such, even if not directly educational they all have a documentary aim.

See you next time for Sunday …

Fleen, as always, thanks Lebaupin for his attention and insight.


Spam of the day:

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______________
¹ Note the use of autrice, a feminine form of the word auteur which has recently resurfaced (because when auteur is used for both masculine and feminine forms, it tends to erase female creators), and is still not widely accepted.

² Who, by the way, is tag teaming with Boulet to cover the animation festival in nearby Annecy this week.

Looking Like A Two Post Kind Of Day

So Kickstarter just dropped an interesting project for the first few weeks of summer:

Now through July 31, a group of over 65 exceptional artists, designers, musicians, and makers will be back on Kickstarter, putting new spins on ideas from their past projects.

They’re calling it Kickstarter Gold, and there’s an impressive array of projects already live (43 as of this writing), including such webcomickers as Zach Weinersmith (a new Science Abridged book to match the previous Holy Bible Abridged), K. Lynn (a new edition of Plume), Ryan North (I quote: SHAKESPEARE PUNCHES A FRIGGIN’ SHARK… and/or other stories), and Scott Kurtz (previous Table Titans stuff, with a focus on a previously-missed stretch goal).

Let’s just say it’s been a future-expensive morning (which, considering that it’s commemoration of US$1 billion in pledges) and leave it at at that. Kickstarter Gold runs through 31 July, with various projects concluding funding before then.

Before They Get Away From Me

It seems that you enjoyed Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebaupin’s writeup of Day 1 at Lyon BD las week, at least as much as he enjoyed writing it; FSFCPL has further contributions of Days 2 and 3 at Lyon BD, but I’m going to make you wait a little for them. Last Friday’s congressional bid news¹ bumped some other stories that I think are still relevant and which I don’t want to get stale. So let’s see what we would have talked about on Friday had Pete Sessions not picked up a challenger.

  • We’ve mentioned Pénélope Bagieu more than once here at Fleen, including news of her biocomic series of remarkable women (Les Culott&ecaute;es) being acquired by :01 Books, to be published as Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked The World. It’s under that name that we’ll find some spectacular news from Variety:

    Penelope [sic] Bagieu’s Feminist Graphic Novel ‘Brazen’ Set For Animated TV Series

    Penelope [sic] Bagieu’s daringly feminist graphic novel “Brazen” (“Culottées”) which portrays bold and rebellious women around the world, is being turned into an animated TV series by a pair of French production banners, Agat films & Cie and Silex Films.

    Developed into 30 episodes of three minutes each, “Brazen” will explore the lives of 30 women such as Nellie Bly, Mae Jemison, Josephine Baker and Naziq al-Abid.

    Sarah Saidan, an Iranian filmmaker who studied at France’s prestigious animation school La Poudriere, is on board to direct the series that will air on Gaul’s public broadcaster France Televisions.

    Here’s hoping that some channel will follow :01’s lead and bring the animated shorts to English-speaking shores.

  • Hard to believe, but yesterday was but one month to the day since the Taptastic TOS shitshow got noticed and rapidly walked back; one of the bright spots to come out of said shitshow was the commentary of IP lawyer Akiva Cohen, who contributed some much needed expertise and a healthy dose of reality to the discussion. Cohen took some time out end of last week to drop some new wisdom under the hashtag #WebcomicsLawSchool, with the day’s lesson being on that perpetual source of misunderstanding, copyright registration:

    OK. Time for #WebcomicsLawSchool. This week’s topic, Copyright Registration: When, why, & how?

    [Side note: the best thing about that thread is the phrase This week’s topic, as Cohen is dropping knowledge on the regular. Did you know this? I didn’t know this. That’s why I’m talking about it, so you’ll know this and keep your eyes out for more. As always, keep in mind that Cohen’s advice is general and while he is a lawyer, he’s not your lawyer unless you pay him to be, in which case he’s not talking about your business in public. Okay, back to the smart guy stuff.]

    First thing to know: You don’t need to *register* your copyright to *have* a copyright #WebcomicsLawSchool

    As soon as you “fix” your creative work in a tangible form – get it out of your head and on paper, performed, etc.

    You have a copyright in that work. Nobody can take it without permission; if they do, you can sue them.

    Well, sort of. Because “you can sue them” is one of the primary reasons to actually *register* your copyright

    Until your copyright is registered with the US Copyright Office, you cannot file a copyright lawsuit in Federal Court.

    And that’s the key idea, the one that in my experience tends to be misunderstood more than anything else in copyright law — copyright is automatic, but there are hoops to jump through to preserve your legal options².

    Those hoops are well-established, and your job is to go through the #WebcomicsLawSchool history to see what more Coehn has to say, because that’s where the thread ends — his kid was doing something adorable, and that outweighs giving free legal advice to the internet.

    Hint: it starts here. Bookmark the hashtag, keep an eye on the posts, they’re really helpful.


Spam of the day:

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Simple. Pay me one million dollars, I’ll quit all the smoking you want me to.

_______________
¹ Which, due to a fortuitous bit of timing, I believe we were the first to report on; I happened to see Rob DenBleyker’s tweetnouncement about two minutes after it went live, and we had our story up about ten minutes later. Fastest typing of my blogging career.

² And no, the “poor man’s copyright” of mailing yourself a copy to prove creation date doesn’t count.

He’s An Entrepreneur, A Job Creator, And Hell Of Smart

As seen on Rob Den Bleyker’s Twitter just now:

I just applied to run for U.S. Representative as a democrat in my district (Texas 32nd). I have no experience. Let’s see where this goes.

As recent elections have shown us, having no experience is no bar. I’ve known Rob for years and he’s really, really sharp. If I lived in Texas’s 32nd, I would absolutely consider him sincerely; taking into account that the incumbent is the odious Pete Sessions, I’d be even more inclined.

It’s a long way until November 2018; Fleen will attempt to interview DenBleyker on his candidacy as the opportunity presents itself.

From Our BD Desk

"Crayon", they said. Right. Photo by FSFCPL. Click to embiggen.

Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin¹, as noted earlier in the week, spent some time prowling the recent Lyon BD, and he’s brought an extensive recap. Pret-ty sure that there’s no other webcomics blog this side of the world with a report from Lyon (or anyplace else in France), so be sure to share with your friends. Take it away, FSFCPL!

The Lyon city hall is a very nice place.

This is in fact not the usual location for Lyon BD, but with the French general elections, which happened the same weekend, preventing the use of the Palais du Commerce where it usually takes place, it had to find a backup location, and kudos for the city council of Lyon, and in particular the mayor, Gérard Collomb, for opening the city hall for use by the festival.

And so that is where your correspondent found himself in Friday morning to attend the first day of Lyon BD festival. The public was not allowed yet, reserving that day for interactions between creators, publishers, booksellers, students, and other professionals, including journalists. For instance, a number of publishers were set up with tables in a dedicated room so that students could come get feedback and inquire about opportunities; but KissKissBankBank also had a table there, for instance.

Additionally, most of the exhibitions were already set up, so it was possible to visit them while not too busy with everything else that would be happening the following days. And of course, there were panels on matters of interest to the comics community. Most of the booth space, however, would be in a tent on the neighboring plaza, which was still being set up.

Highlights of the day:

  • A panel on the interactions between museums and comics. In particular, a representative from the Centre Pompidou emphasized that it housed more than a museum of modern art, and in particular a library which has of late presented a number of exhibitions, on Claire Brétécher and on Gaston Lagaffe for instance. They also touched a word on museums acquiring original art, exposing it, and in a few cases publishing comic works (e.g. around a fine art exhibition).
  • Inside the city hall, an exhibition of comic works from German creators. Germans read more comics, in particular French, than they produce, but they do produce some, and as part of an exchange with the Frankfurt 2017 book fair Lyon BD presented this exhibition of German creators, most of which were present in the festival.

    I had already heard of Mawil through Safari Plage (which itself was pointed to me by Tim), but the others were new to me, and I would get to meet them the following day (except Mawil, who was not present). The exhibition will go to the Goethe Insitut in Lyon now the festival is over, so you can still catch it until September 14th. As part of the collaboration, the involved creators are creating comics to present French and German culture which are being posted in a dedicated site, including in English.

  • An exhibition [PDF] centered on Understanding Comics at the Lyon Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication a few blocks away. Organized around excerpted chapters from Scott McCloud7rsquo;s œuvre (it would be impossible to cover it all in a reasonable space), the exhibition illustrates concepts from the book (time and sequence, page construction, etc.) using French-Belgian comics (and a few others), notably Blacksad from Diaz Canales and Guarnido (as Boulet writes, #IMComingBackTonightWithACrowbar).

    The last room deals with digital comics and excerpts from Reinventing Comics instead. A must visit. It remains there until September the 20th, so if you are in Lyon for any reason, check it out².

  • A panel with Lisa Mandel and Matthieu Sapin, on how they work with the raw material they turn into comics. Both creators have used comics as a way to report on current events, for Mandel on the life and evacuation of the Calais migrant camp, and for Sapin on the life in the Elysée for a few months during the presidency of François Hollande.
  • A panel on graphic novels with McCloud, Yannick Lejeune, and Reinhard Kleist, specifically trying to tell what they are. Lejeune, an editor at Delcourt, provided examples more than a definition, starting with Tardi and Pratt in the 70s, followed by a renaissance in the 90s, starting with Satrapi’s Persepolis. Kleist, one of the invited German creators, told he uses “graphic novel” more as a container in particular for his own work, because he finds the word “comic” (used in German as well) as being inappropriate to represent his work, which is anything but funny.

    McCloud emphasized that, in the US, the expression “graphic novel” was a weapon meant not so much to add meaning than to escape the baggage of the word “comics”; he told he considers it all comics, while recognizing that the expression can be useful. On the matter of what they are, he said that while you always see the artifices of comics, a graphic novel for him is one that is deep and long enough that you end up losing yourself in the story and not noticing them any more.

    This is my favorite definition, because while his introduction of graphic novels in Reinventing was strictly in the context of US comics, now this definition is workable for Euro comics, and manga as well. After introducing myself, I told him as much during the opening ceremony for Lyon BD that followed a few minutes later.

  • During the reception that followed the opening, getting to chat with Phiip, local creator, host of many French webcomics and publisher of even more, about crowdfunding and its impact on comics publishing and self-publishing.

As always, Fleen thanks Lebeaupin for his contributions.


Spam of the day:

Ich habe hier mein Sofa im Test online gefunden.

A discussion of a sofa in German? I suspect that either Rich Stevens or Brett Porter is trolling me. In which case: Bravo, gentlemen.

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¹ Who, I should note is now the first person besides yours truly authorized to carry a Fleen business card (complete with a rendering of our masthead mascot by Meredith Gran). You’re officially a pixel-stained wretch, FSFCPL!

² The permanent collections are also worth checking out, including this bit. The caption reads: Crayon drawing This portrait drawn in crayon by the celebrated caricaturist Gavarni is of particular interest. Comparing the proof with the stone it can be seen that a moustache has been added. This kind of alteration was made possible by a process developed by Godefroy Engelmann in the 1820s. The stone is in its final state, the proof from a previous state ‘before the moustache’.

Title Later, Primal Screaming Now

Retroactive editor’s note: Well, I started writing this in the afternoon before work blew up in a chewy cluster of fuck. It’s past 8:00pm and while I’m in a lull I’m still there and my editor brain is about dead. Posting whatever I’ve got below and I’ll fix any glaring errors later (not to mention writing a proper intro) later.

  • Speaking of As The Crow Flies (we were too — yesterday, just down there, where we noted it’s now in the Library of Friggin’ Congress), we should mention that today is the last day of the Kickstart to print the first collection of Melanie Gillman’s story of (queer) friendship, (loss of) faith, finding oneself, and probably a few other things that start with F.

    The funding target has been long since met, and last night the campaign reached its solitary stretch goal, so all backers now get a bonus comic story, never seen before. Running up the total at this point just means that creators that tell unique stories with skill and delicate pencils get rewarded with the ability to support themselves. You’ve got (as of this writing) about an hour.

  • New webcomic alert! I mentioned 10-12 days back that David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) was launching a new webcomic. Eavesdropper (for that is its name) went live with page one today. Morgan-Mar is famously an early-stages artist when it comes to drawing, but that works pretty well here; Eavesdropper is meant to be presented in a film storyboard-like style, and the rough outlines and chunky style serve the chosen aesthetic well.

    The choice of storyboaresque makes sense beyond choosing a style to fit the artist’s abilities; Morgan-Mar partners with Andrew Shellshear¹, who conceived the story as a movie some years back, and finally gets to see it done in a visual medium thanks to Morgan-Mar’s continual willingness to experiment with comics. Expect Eavesdropper to run about two years, with updates on Wednesdays, at the end of which I expect to see Morgan-Mar’s cartooning skills sharp enough to take on whatever the next challenge will be.


Spam of the day:

3 Ways You’re Getting Screwed Buying A Retail Mattress

As my chances of seeing my mattress anytime soon are pretty slim, I’m all up to overpay at retail.

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¹ One of Morgan-Mar’s co-writers on the Star Wars-slash-RPG remix project, Darths & Droids. Having reached the end of Jedi, Morgan-Mar tells me the D&D team is taking a break before tackling Rogue One. He also mentions that the major collaborative webcomic in the Irregularverse, Lightning Made Of Owls, is running low on contributions. How to contribute may be found here

Respectability, Dammit

I was halfway through a post for today when news broke from the nation’s capital; I guess working for a local paper like The Washington Post means that when you’ve got DC-based webcomics news, they get the story instead of, say, hack webcomics pseudojournalists, not that i am envious.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The invaluable Michael Cavna has the news that the Library of Congress has discovered webcomics and is going big:

The library will announce Tuesday that the Webcomics Web Archive is officially launching at loc.gov as part of its growth in “born-digital” collections.

The first phase of the webcomics online collection will include nearly 40 titles, including such long-running works as Josh Lesnick’s Girly and Zach Weiner[smith]’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

More precisely, 40 (so far) webcomics sites are archived with years worth of comics, making for a Wayback Machine-like archive, with the imprimatur of cultural significance. Kate Beaton is there (2009-2016), as is Zach Weinersmith (ditto). Ryan North has comics from 2010, and Randall Munroe from 2007.

It’s a hell of a job of curation, too — I don’t want to say that anybody looked at my sidebar, but a lot of my recommendeded starting places are there: Charles Christopher, Nimona, Nedroid, Sin Titulo, SFAM, Girls With Slinghots, Octopus Pie, Darwin Carmichael, … the list goes on and on.

A lot of the listed comics are award winners or nominees (Eisners, NCS, etc); some are no-brainers, like the Library of Congress including the library-themed Unshelved¹, and the importance of politcal cartooning makes The Nib a shoo-in. But how to explain the presence of As The Crow Flies, Chester 5000, or DAR!, except that somebody over at The LOC really pays attention to work in a wide variety of genres² and story styles, over the past decade, from creators of all backgrounds?

Go check out the list, congratulations to the creators who’ve been found to be culturally important, and let’s see what gets added in future; I have a feeling new tranches will get the same scrutiny in our weird little cultural circles that additions to the National Film Registry get. I suspect that a lot of that scrutiny will come from me, as I got opinions.


Spam of the day:

Free & Clear Diapers

I have no infants at home, nor incontinence issues, nor any kinks along those lines. Hard pass.

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¹ Which, thanks to my writeups of the Coffee Cup Lid Challenge, means I might be in the Library of Congress! Neat! Except I just noticed that Unshelved is only contained from 2010 to 2016 and the CCLC was in 2007. Boo!

² Speaking of which, the countdown to some moralizing tool complaining that the collection exists at all (but particularly about godless science, brown people, lesbians, and robot smut) starts in 3 … 2 …