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

March 1, 2006

Lewis Trondheim on Thevenet, Leclerc

Can someone out there who reads French better than I do give me the gist of what Trondheim is talking about in this article at After the stuff about JM Thevenet departing the Angouelme Festival, Trondheim seems to re-state an earlier criticism of Michel-Edouard Leclerc, but does so in a way I haven't heard before. Trondheim mentions a pricing plan or change in pricing that would really screw over smaller bookstores, and favor large businesses. It's the first time I've heard about something like that, so if any of you can clarify or could provide context, I'd be appreciative.

Francois Peneaud Responds:

About the ActuaBD article: in France, books have a fixed price, and large bookstores (or Amazon, or supermarkets...) can't sell books at a lower price. That has been credited with enabling small boostores to survive. It was put into law in 1981, after the big Mitterand (left wing) victory at the presidential election (as were the abrogation of the death penalty and the last discriminatory law against gays, but that's another story).

So, Trondheim was saying that Leclerc, who heads a group of large supermarkets (the Centres Leclerc), has been in favor of changing that fixed price law, which would be bad for small bookstores and small comics bookstores. Didier Pasamonik, who wrote the article, adds that things are a bit more complex, since there are lots of places without small bookstores.

Trondheim wants to get rid of Leclerc, who's also one of the biggest Angouleme sponsor. But who would replace him and his money?

Things are going to be interesting in the coming months.
posted 1:19 am PST | Permalink

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