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Bart Beaty Reports In From Angouleme 01/24/08
posted January 24, 2008

If there is a vibe so far at this year's Angouleme Festival it has to be "relief." Everything is more or less back to the way that it once was, only better. The largest publishers are grouped together in the centre of town, with the next largest in their own large hall, and the fanzines in another. Everything in its place and a place for everyone. Publishers seem overwhelmingly positive on the new locations, which is a notable change from recent years.

imageI have taken in only two exhibitions so far, and none of the main ones, but nothing has leapt out as a must see. There isn't any buzz yet for a new Must Have book, but the award contenders are viewed as a good group and there are new books just released today by some big names (Christophe Blain's second Gus book, a new book by Dupuy-Berberian and Jean-Claude Denis) that people are interested in picking up.

It was slow today -- the biggest hall was empty at opening, but most of the artists were arriving today and the signings, and crowds, will grow in earnest on Friday. The weather has been a boon to smokers now confined to the outdoors, as it is positively springlike, a big change from the past couple of years. All in all, an auspicious start that bodes well for a crisis- and scandal-free Festival.


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