EVENT PREVIEW: Bande Dessinee & Comics Passion Festival 2013


These days it seems like there’s a comics convention coming round the corner every month.  We all have our favourites to attend but sometimes I hear folk complaining that it’s all a little stale – the same familiar faces selling the same familiar comics.  My recent forays into the European comics scene have reinvigorated the medium for me in terms of the variety of stories and artistic styles out there.  While my window into that creative kitchen has been quite narrow up until now, I can see myself slipping over the window-sill and gorging myself silly on the delights of Regis Loisel’s Peter Pan and the myriad other books that have started vying for my attention.  If you’ve had a taster yourself (or have been intrigued by the choice morsels I’ve brought to you) then the BD & Comics Passion festival will be the perfect convention to indulge your curiosity and experience these different flavours.

The festival is to be held at the Institut Francais in London from the 30th May to the 2nd June 2013, celebrating the very best of the French comic scene, with a few notable British additions tossed into the mixture.

Since its creation in 2011 the festival has hosted some of the greatest artists of the genre: Dave Gibbons, Guy Delisle, Tom Gauld, Jean-Claude Mézières, Kevin O’Neill, Rosinski, Benoît Sokal, David B., Bryan Talbot… This year’s edition will not disappoint. Get ready to see the best comic book creators: the legends and the rising stars, the best-selling artists and undiscovered geniuses… they’ll all be there – will you?

Click here to see a full line of the guests, but headliners include such luminaries as Jamie Hernandez (Love & Rockets) Penelope Bagneau (Josephine), INJ Culbard (Shadow Out Of Time), Pascal Garray (The Smurfs), Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe) and Regis Loisel (Peter Pan) in an exclusive appearance.

You don’t need to be a French speaker to enjoy the festival as most events will be in English and translators will be present to assist those guests who do not speak our language.

Events include stage interviews, talks, comics workshops, signings and films.  Books from all the guests will be on sale from Cinebook, Gosh! and The French Bookshop, in both French and English editions wherever possible.  In addition, attendees will have access to over 3000 free digital comics on site via their laptops, tablets and i-phones.  A preview of some of those comics can be found at Culturetheque, including delights like the adventure series Adele Blanc-Sec.

Here’s what the Press have had to say about BD & Comics Passion in previous years:

With the comics industry now a recognised creative and commercial powerhouse, it’s good to see a festival providing more than the usual meet and greets. The Guardian

London is getting its very own BD festival, celebrating European comics work along with some top UK work. Forbidden Planet

It’s a programme that’s as imaginative as the work itself. Metro

I seriously wish I could get down there to join in the fun, but I have other commitments this year.  If any of you readers out there do manage to get along, I would love to hear about your experiences in the Comments section down below.  After all, the festival will be back again in 2014 and I may just be able to book the time off…

Reporter: Dion Winton-Polak

Source: bdandcomicspassion.co.uk and culturetheque.org.uk

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