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"French Comics Framed" - NYC, Sept. 27-Nov. 5, 2016

"French Comics Framed" - NYC, Sept. 27-Nov. 5, 2016

Published on September 29, 2016
The French Comics Association is pleased to present the inaugural "French Comics Framed," a month-long festival devoted to presenting the best work of francophone graphic novelists.

French Comics Framed will offer a rare opportunity to hear from best-selling authors, along with French and American publishers. An exhibition in the Fourth Avenue Colonnade of The Cooper Union Foundation Building, 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. Some 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 6-9.

At the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, comiXology CEO David Steinberger called for “the ‘French Invasion’ of comics in the English language market.” Over a year later, French Comics Framed exposes English-speaking audiences to French language comics translated into English and showcases the excellence and remarkable variety of French language graphic novels today.

“Since the early 1900s, graphic novels have remained a firmly-rooted staple of Franco-Belgian culture and an essential element of French creativity,” said Philippe Ostermann, Head of the French Comics Association. “Our graphic novel industry is the third largest worldwide and French-language graphic novels have introduced major characters such as Asterix, Tintin, the Smurfs and Lucky Luke onto the global landscape. The Franco-Belgian graphic novel industry has developed a particularly strong presence in the American market, with between 60 and 100 translations published every year in the U.S. We are excited for French Comics Framed to give voice to major contemporary figures of Franco-Belgian comics and deepen their presence on the American landscape.”

The centerpiece of the festival, the French Comics Framed exhibition, will be on view September 27 - November 5 at The Cooper Union, an institution known for its high-quality arts, architecture and engineering programs. The show will feature a selection of the best of French comics, presented through images and illustrations highlighting architecture in the design Franco-Belgian comics as well as Franco-Belgian comics narrative style. The exhibit takes the viewer on a journey through time and space, from Hergé’s well-known “ligne claire” to groundbreaking structural innovations by artists such as Fred (Philémon), and to the new scene of French comics today, with images from cutting-edge artists such as Julie Maroh, David B., and Pénélope Bagieu.

“Beyond its reputation as an entertaining literary and artistic medium, the graphic novel is a true art form in France—it has even garnered the title ‘the ninth art,’” said Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of France. “It feels extremely important to us to contribute to sharing this integral part of our culture with the American public. We have long been committed to this goal, and in recent years have organized events featuring the new generation of younger and edgy graphic novelists such as Joann Sfar and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), in addition to offering graphic novels at our reading room and bookshop, Albertine. French Comics Framed furthers our work to support French graphic novels and goes one step further. By making these works our focus, through an exhibition and a series of talks, we expose the unique artistry of Franco-Belgian graphic novelists in the U.S.”

Eighteen of the exhibited illustrators will travel across the Atlantic to participate in the festival. New York Comic Con hosts Pénélope Bagieu, Olivier Balez, Alessandro Barbucci, François Boucq, 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, starting with a participation in MICEXPO in Boston (October 29-30).

On social networks throughout the festival and at the New York Comic Con event, special exhibition tours and book signings can be booked with the artists. Join us on Instagram #ComicsFramed, Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA and Facebook @ComicsFramed.

French Comics Framed is led by the French Comics Association, in partnership with the Centre National du Livre, the Bureau International de l’Édition, the Syndicat National de l’Édition and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 – free
6pm Panel discussion: The Influence of French Comics in Children’s Literature
Location: Albertine Bookstore - 972 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10075

Featuring authors Jacques Ferrandez and Clément Oubrerie, and publishers Françoise Mouly and Mark Siegel. An event in partnership with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Comics and graphic novels have found a readership across generations. In recent years, comics adaptations of literary classics have even allowed younger audiences to discover complex masterpieces. As children become more discerning readers, artists need to develop captivating stories to hold their interest. What makes a children’s comic a bestseller? How best to address younger audience?
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4 – $15, $10 (students)
7pm Panel discussion: Conversation with Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka
Location: The Society of Illustrators - 128 E. 63rd Street, NY 10065

Twin brothers Asaf and Tomer Hanuka discuss their opposing approaches to storytelling and their collaborative work on The Divine. Asaf Hanuka just won an Eisner Award for The Realist at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
6:30pm Exhibition party at The Cooper Union
Location: The Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, NY, 10003

THU-SUN, OCTOBER 6-9 – with pass
  Booth and Book Signing: New York Comic Con
Location: Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, NY 10001 (booth #1558)

A wide selection of Francophone comics in English translation, presented by numerous American publishers, at booth #1558. French Comics Framed artists will present their innovative works and best-selling books at New York Comic Con and in the convention’s Artist Alley, where a book signing will be held.
7pm Panel discussion: 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
Location: The School of Visual Arts, 209 E 23rd St, NY 10010 (3rd floor)

Jean-Claude Mézières, 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.
6:30pm Panel discussion: Drawing Life: Who is the Parisian Roz Chast?
Featuring Olivier Balez, Pénélope Bagieu, Etienne Davodeau, Asaf Hanuka, and Anne Simon
Moderated by Heidi Macdonald (The Comics Beat)
Location: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, 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 explored through the rise of graphic biography in France?
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 – with pass
1:30pm-2:30pm Panel discussion: Drawing From the World: Franco-Belgian Comics in Global Context
Featuring Olivier Balez, Alessandro Barbucci, François Boucq, Asaf Hanuka, Nicolas Otero
Moderated by Matt Madden (author of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics)
Location: New York Comic Con (room 1B03), Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., NY 10001

In both style and subject matter, Franco-Belgian comics are unprecedentedly diverse thanks to creators’ thriving exchange with the 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. Publishers also embrace the unique perspectives of international artists like Alessandro Barbucci and Asaf Hanuka leading them to worldwide success.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 – with pass
5:30pm-6:30pm Panel discussion: ComicsBeat Presents: The European Comics Invasion
Featuring Heidi MacDonald, Jean-Marc Rochette, Arthur DePins, Simon Fraser, Leeann Hamilton
Location: New York Comic Con (room 1A05), Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., NY 10001

An annual look at the European comics scene, with the cartoonists from around the world talking about their work and the comics tradition of their countries. This time we’ll talk to Jean-Marc Rochette (Snowpiercer, France), Arthur DePins (March of the Crabs, France), Simon Fraser (Judge Dredd, Scotland), Leeann Hamilton (Cash Cow, Ireland) and more about their careers, their influences and how comics are becoming an international language without borders.
7pm Panel discussion: Reconstructing Comix: The “Architecture” of Franco-Belgian Graphic Narratives, from Tintin to Today
Featuring Anne Simon, Matz, Philippe Ostermann and Nicolas Otero
Location: The Great Hall of The Cooper Union, The Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, 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 comic artists from France discuss with Dargaud’s publisher the ways in which disruptive formal and thematic conventions have influenced their work and pushed the genre forward into its groundbreaking present form.
7pm Panel discussion: Drawing the Unspeakable
Featuring Kerascoët, Pénélope Bagieu and Catherine Meurisse
Location: Columbia University, Butler Library (Room 523), 535 West 114th St, New York, NY 10027

Four renowned illustrators discuss the challenges of expressing emotion through drawing.
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