Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sketches from the frontline

I made it home with my sketchbook this time. Unfortunately I managed to leave my copy of Jennifer Hayden's excellent Underwire on the train. You win some, you lose some...
Angouleme was a treat comme d'habitude. Great exhibitions, such as Dreams in Comics, which features plenty of Windsor McKay of course, but 70 other artists are on show. Quite a few strips involve sexual fantasies and neuroses of all sorts (Guido Crepax anyone?) with the odd one covered to shield it from the innocents' gaze. It is always a joy to peruse gorgeous artwork from Hugo Pratt, Fred, Moebius, etc etc – the list is endless. I particularly enjoyed the anxiety dream from JC Menu where president Mitterand comes to visit and he can't find anything to show him. He ends up having to give the first lady one of his rare vintage American comics.
The Willem exhibit was particularly fascinating, I emerged after an hour and a half having only read and examined half of it.
The Dutch contingent who designed and screenprinted posters over the four days were a brilliant idea led by Joost Swarte. I did not regret getting up extra early to catch his joint talk with Willem.
While I was in revelling in the Willemness of it all, Sally Anne was having a Dash Shaw fest with a talk, book signing, and generally spotting him around the place. The social aspect is also important, as we met old friends and acquaintances and made new ones. My fellow Dessinators Sean, Sally Anne and Oliver were once again perfect travelling companions, and my brother Hugo joined our gang for a while.
And to compensate for last year's sad loss, I managed to capture Willem afresh while he drew me an fabulous personalised dedicace.

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