Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 2, 2014

A Few Random Notes Concerning The Angouleme Festival: Festival Responds To SodaStream Letter

Here are few quick notes about things going on at the Angouleme Festival.

In addition to these quick-hit, bulleted updates, we're running intertwined on-the-ground perspectrive columns from Jen Vaughn (1, 2) and Paul Karasik (1, 2, 3), so please be sure to stay tuned. Both have updates today and then about 11 AM ET all the prizes and stuff should be named.

image* Chuck Forsman profile in Liberation. That's a really nice get. I haven't heard anything about the seemingly larger-than-ever presence of North Americans at the Festival, but I'm not really in a great position to hear about that. I can't imagine the Festival would be unhappy if it became something that North American audiences started doing, or at least a chunk of them.

* Heidi MacDonald reports that book sales in the French-language market has grown to 6000 titles published. I actually don't know that I believe those figures, nor do I think the best description of that market right now is seen in the claim in that piece that best-sellers have declined to 80,000 in sales. The growth of the French market in terms of books sold has been a story for years and years and years now, but the best report I know of -- the same one that gets published every year in early January -- says that 2013 actually saw a shrinkage in that market to just under 5200 titles published. That is not only not 6000 books but was news because it was a decline from 2012. Also, there was a significant surge this year in those books selling over 50K, and a number continue to sell in the six figures -- it's not a generation ago sales-wise, but it doesn't seem a market unfriendly to big-sellers. If there are better figures to come that nail down the 6000 figure and analysis that shows over-publishing has hit blockbusters more than starved-for-exposure smaller selling titles as most I've people I've spoken to believe, that will be a really interesting story.

* here's an English-languge article on the response from the Festival regarding a letter from multiple cartoonists asking for the Festival to not affiliate itself with the controversial company SodaStream. It takes the form of a strongly-worded refutation of the facts at issue and the appropriateness of this response were this the issue claimed -- not the usual soft response you get in a case like this.

* finally, I'm told that Jacques Tardi, a major French-language comics figure and the festival's Grand Prix winner in 1985, has signed the petition. They should release an updated list at some point today.
posted 1:30 am PST | Permalink

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