... But short of that, I'm following Bart Beaty on the Comics Reporter, with his moment by moment recounting...
... which started out with the 25 things he plans to do while in Angoulême—item number 3:
3. Attend a lecture. American cons have panels, Angouleme has "meetings." This year's schedule is one of the richest in many years, with numerous opportunities to listen to the world's best cartooning talents. Here's what you're missing by not being here. Friday has talks by Milo Manara, Hiroshi Hirata, and Vittorio Giardino. Saturday features Posy Simmonds (expect to see me there for sure), Adrian Tomine, Dan Clowes, James Kochalka, Melinda Gebbie and Jose Villarubia, and South Africans Conrad Botes, Joe Daly, Joe Dog and Karlien de Villiers. Sunday "only" has Marjane Satrapi and Chris Ware and David Heatley. I defy you to find a better line-up of cartoonists talking anywhere.
It really is a phenomenal festival, as more and more Americans have come to realize.
Derek Kirk Kim posts about this on his blog, beginning thus:
"This past Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration, I discovered that the casting of the four leading characters for the upcoming live-action movie, "The Last Airbender" (based on the TV show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”) had gone entirely to white actors. I want—no, need—to say something about this."
I'm happy to note that Emmanuel Guibert's unconventional WWII biography Alan's War has been generating a gratifying volume of smart, lively discussion, and this latest contribution is no exception:
Alan Cope is a typical American soldier in that very little about what happened to him is as emblematic of a group experience as the media-driven, popular, collective post-War narrative would have you believe. ...At about two thirds of the way through the book, you'll realize that Alan's War isn't a proper biography, let alone a war story, although it can be seen to function that way if you squint your eyes and hold the book at the correct angle away from your face. There are tanks and German and Russians, after all, and even a story or two about moral drift. Don't believe your eyes, though; trust your inner ear. Guibert admits what you'll suspect on your own: that the comic is there to capture Alan Cope's voice.
In addition to being an exceptionally thoughtful and perceptive review, it's also a lovely piece of writing. Read it here.
Nisha Gopalan writes at MTV.com about First Second's 2009 title STUFFED by Glenn Eichler and Nick Bertozzi:
The other day, comic illustrator Nick Bertozzi (”The Salon”) slyly leaked a few pages of “Stuffed,” his comics collaboration with “Colbert Report” writer, Glenn Eichler, on his LiveJournal. Here’s what we saw: a chubby, middle-aged, long-haired, bearded dude falling out of bed; and later, said slacker explaining how he drilled a hole in his own head to free his mind, man. Is this the Lebowski sequel we’ve all been waiting for!?
Not exactly. But as we learned from recent Emmy recipient Eichler (who previously worked on MTV’s “Beavis & Butthead” and “Daria”), his graphic novel — like that seminal movie — is indeed imbued with dark comedy, cerebral subtext, and a lingering sense of existential unease.
Links, links aplenty:
"Campbell's newest release, "The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard," is a return to that greatness we should expect from him and First Second."—Brick
"Eddie Campbell's metafictional romp, The Amazing, Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second, $17), written in collaboration with Dan Best, isn't a graphic novel so much as an overstuffed trunk spilling over with whimsical adventures, factual morsels, and gags." —Bookforum
"The last part of the book, dealing with Etienne and his friends in their post-circus old age, is surprisingly moving, with a happy-sad ending that even includes a cameo appearance by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the creators of Superman. It's a perfect end to a story that could only be told in the comics format."—CityPages
"One of the best things about Eddie Campbell is that, as a creator, I never feel like he's fallen into a rut. Each new project always seems very different from the previous one, trying out new ideas and storytelling tactics. Sure enough, his and Dan Best's new book, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard, is completely different from the last book of Campbell's I read. And in some ways, I think it's my favorite book from Campbell in a long while. . . . Campbell and Best have gone all-out and created a comic masterpiece."—Read About Comics
"It's just a gorgeous book, a great bit of comics storytelling that uses the form like nothing else out there. Campbell makes comics like nobody else, and the world is richer for having his work in it. Hopefully, he'll be able to keep delivering beautiful works like this for years to come."—IndiePulp
"Long live the amazing remarkable monsieur Campbell!"—Omnivoracious/amazon.com book blog
"There will not be a more inventive or funnier comic book released in calendar year 2008 than The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell and Dan Best, published by First Second. And by "calendar year 2008," of course, I mean, "The 21st Century.""—Comic Book Galaxy
"Eddie Campbell remains one of the comic industry's most creative and challenging voices, getting more mileage out of an idea than nearly any other creator. His sense of design and appreciation for playful characters and scenarios serves him well in this engaging, entertaining book about unlikely families and the eventfulness of life." —Newsarama
"This fantastical story following fictional and real life characters Forrest Gump-ing through historical events and made up adventures is a feast for the brain and eyes. . . . First Second has made a name for itself by producing quality material, but this book outdoes all of its previous endeavors."—Ain't It Cool
"It's a first class tour-de-Campbell whimsy" —Comic Book Resources
"A fine Eddie Campbell book, in the style that no one else could replicate, and a joy to read."—Comic Mix
"In the delightful "The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard" graphic novel treasure Eddie Campbell and his collaborator Dan Best take a look at old side shows and draw a direct line between those performers and the modern day superhero. This unexpected feat is accomplished by examining the structure of exciting narratives and sweeping adventures as experienced by outsiders."—Shuffleboil
Ok so this blog isn't typically a political forum, but this gem from the Daily Show is just too good not to share... Could this qualify Jon Stewart for a Pulitzer?
And after this, back to work on our comics (the other kind)...