"French Comics Framed" Festival

September 8, 2016 | By FRENCH CULTURE BOOKS

The French Comics Association is pleased to present the inaugural French Comics Framed, a monthlong festival devoted to highlighting the best work of Francophone comics artists and graphic novelists. The festival comprises an exhibition at The Cooper Union and a series of discussions around New York City. Most events are free and open to the public.

French Comics Framed will offer a rare opportunity to hear from bestselling authors, along with French and American publishers. An exhibition at The Cooper Union of over 50 graphic novel illustrations—presented for the first time in the United States—will take viewers through the history of Franco-Belgian comics art. A series of panel discussions exploring the graphic novel creation process will feature 18 Francophone graphic novelists, American artists such as Matt Madden and experts including Heidi McDonald and Alex Dueben. The festival will also include multiple illustration workshops throughout the city and a strong French presence at the New York Comic Con, where the French Comics Association will have a permanent booth October 6th-9th.

The Cooper Union exhibit will feature a selection of the best of French comics, presented through images highlighting the role of architecture in both the design and narrative style of Franco-Belgian comics. The exhibit takes the viewer on a journey through time and space, from Hergé’s well-known “ligne claire” (used most famously in the Tintin comics) to groundbreaking structural innovations by artists such as Fred, and to the new scene of French comics today, with images from cutting-edge artists such as Julie Maroh, David B. and Pénélope Bagieu

In addition to the exhibit, 18 of the exhibited illustrators will travel across the Atlantic to participate in the festival. New York Comic Con hosts Pénélope Bagieu, Olivier Balez, François Boucq, Barbara Canepa, Stéphane Créty, Etienne Davodeau, Asaf Hanuka, Matz, Jean-Claude Mézières, Nicolas Otero, Arthur de Pins, Jean-Marc Rochette and Anne Simon, who will each participate in book signings and talks. The Kerascoët duo (Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset), who have been nominated for an Eisner Award for Beautiful Darkness, will also come to New York as part of a U.S. tour, which starts with an appearance at MICEXPO in Boston (October 29-30).

French Comics Framed Events Schedule:

Tuesday, October 4 - Conversation with Asaf & Tomer Hanuka
The Society of Illustrators: 128 E. 63rd Street, New York, NY
Asaf Hanuka just won an Eisner Award for The Realist at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. He will present his recent works as well as The Divine, a New York Times-bestselling graphic novel.

Wednesday, October 5 - Exhibition party at The Cooper Union
The Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, NY, 10003
RSVP at VIP@frenchculture.org

Thursday-Sunday, October 6-9 - Booth and Book Signing: New York Comic Con
Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
A wide selection of Francophone comics in English translation, presented by numerous American publishers, will be on offer at booth #1558. French Comics Framed artists will present their innovative works and bestselling books at New York Comic Con and in the convention’s Artist Alley, where a book signing will be held.

Thursday, October 6, 7pm - French Comics on Screen: Film Adaptations of Franco-Belgian Graphic Narratives. Featuring Etienne Davodeau, Matz, Jean-Claude Mézières, Arthur de Pins and Jean-Marc Rochette. Moderated by Alex Dueben
The School of Visual Arts, 209 E 23rd St, NY 10010, 3rd floor
Jean-Claude Mézières, co-creator of the classic Francophone graphic novel series Valerian and Laureline, will discuss his role in Luc Besson’s 2017 film adaptation of the series, and Jean-Marc Rochette will detail his involvement in the movie version of his Snowpiercer (with Chris Evans). Matz will explain how legendary Warriors director Walter Hill’s unproduced screenplays became comics, and Arthur de Pins and Etienne Davodeau will speak about indie adaptations.

Friday, October 7, 6:30pm - Drawing Life: The Rise of Graphic Biography in France. Featuring Olivier Balez, Pénélope Bagieu, Etienne Davodeau, Asaf Hanuka and Anne Simon. Moderated by Heidi Macdonald (The Comics Beat).
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029
Accompanying the current exhibition Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, this discussion will focus on the ever-lively and inventive world of French cartooning. Who is the Parisian Roz Chast (if there is one)? What are the major themes of the latest projects coming out of France?

Saturday, October 8, 1:30-2:30pm - Drawing From the World: Franco-Belgian Comics in Global Context. Featuring Olivier Balez, François Boucq, Barbara Canepa, Asaf Hanuka and Nicolas Otero. Moderated by Matt Madden (author of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics).
New York Comic Con (room 1B03), Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10001.
In both style and subject matter, Franco-Belgian comics have become unprecedentedly diverse thanks to creators’ thriving exchanges with the wider world. Hear how U.S. pop culture shapes setting (for Nicolas Otero and Olivier Balez), or how collaborators like Jerome Charyn (for François Boucq) add fresh spirit to the work of French artists. Learn also about Francophone publishers' embrace of the unique perspectives of international artists like Barbara Canepa (Italy) and Asaf Hanuka (Israel), whose work they have led to worldwide success.

Saturday, October 8, 7pm - Reconstructing Comix: The “Architecture” of Franco-Belgian Graphic Narratives, from Tintin to Today. Featuring Matz, Philippe Ostermann, Nicolas Otero.
The Great Hall of The Cooper Union, The Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003.
Over 70 years of creation and innovation, French and Belgian comics artists have pushed the boundaries of the frame, the panel and the page, drawing influence from film and international comic styles to produce unique visuals in the graphic narrative form. In this panel, leading comics artists from France discuss with Dargaud’s publisher the ways in which disrupting formal and thematic conventions has influenced their work and pushed the genre forward into its groundbreaking present form.

Tuesday, November 1, 6pm - Drawing the Unspeakable. Featuring Kerascoët, Pénélope Bagieu and Catherine Meurisse.
Columbia University, Butler Library (Room 523), 535 West 114th St, New York, NY 10027.
This discussion will focus on the challenges of expressing emotions through drawing.

More information is available on the French Comics Association's website.

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