Comics A.M. | French publishers call for changes to Angouleme

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | French publishers call for changes to Angouleme

Festivals | More than 40 French publishers, including all the major publishers of graphic novels, have signed on to a press release saying they won’t participate in next year’s Angouleme International Comics Festival without significant, fundamental changes in the way it’s run. The signatories include almost every publisher that was at this year’s festival. Guy Delcourt, head of Delcourt publishing and the president of the BD commission of the national publishers’ association, said there have been problems with the festival for a long time, and attendance has been dropping, but after this year’s omission of any female nominees for the Grand Prix and the unfunny fake awards ceremony, he is fed up with the whole thing. Delcourt stopped short of calling for executive director Franck Bondoux to resign, saying the problem is not with one individual but with the entire structure of the festival, which is overly complex and opaque. The publishers have asked the Minister of Culture to name a mediator to work with them to solve the problema and give the festival, in Delcourt’s words, “the governance it deserves.” [ActuaBD]

Awards | The graphic novel nominees for the LA Times Book Prizes have been announced: New Construction: Two More Stories, by Sam Alden; Tim Ginger, by Julian Hanshaw; Arab of the Future, by Riad Sattouf; Honor Girl, by Maggie Thrash; and A Soldier’s Heart, by Carol Tyler. In addition, James Patterson, whose young-adult novels have been adapted into both comics and graphic novel format, was named the winner of the 2015 Innovator’s Award. [Los Angeles Times Festival of Books]

Editorial cartoons | Editorial cartoonist Rolli (Charles Anderson) talks about an aspect of the intellectual freedom debate that doesn’t get discussed much: The fact that publications often ask cartoonists to change their work. He has been told his cartoons are “too dark” or may offend a certain demographic, but often it’s simply a mismatch between what he is drawing and the image the publication wants to project. Sometimes a rejected cartoon will be picked up by another publication, but in the end, he says, “If you’re pouting, you’re not getting paid and it’s easier for me just to come up to something else. I’m pretty agreeable to change and I’ve even been censored a number of times. It doesn’t enrage me the way it does some people, I guess because I depend on it for a living.” [Moose Jaw Times Herald]

Creators | Neal Adams discusses his six-issue miniseries Superman: The Coming of the Supermen, and he makes a surprising revelation: “You know the film Gunga Din? You know the three sergeants in the film, played by Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Victor McLaglen? Those are my Supermen. Just like that.” [Hero Complex]

Creators | 2 Broke Girls costar Beth Behrs is writing her first comic, together with actor and musician Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon, Gossip Girl), and it will be published online at the LINE Webtoon webcomics site. Titled Dent, the comic is a postapocalyptic tale of a mutant teenager whose superpowers make her an outcast from society. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Creators | Sophie Campbell talks about designing the characters for Jem and the Holograms, with emphasis on the “Dark Jem” arc. [FreakSugar]

Creators | Michael DeForge chats about the odd jobs he has worked over the years, his current duties on the animated series Adventure Time, and how his experience with mental illness has affected his work. [Vulture]

Creators | Naoki Urasawa started drawing manga when he was 5 years old, copying Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, and he drew his first complete manga when he was in third grade. Now 56, he takes the occasion of an exhibit of his works at the Setagaya Literary Museum in Tokyo to look back a bit, saying, “I’m kind of impressed that a child who was eager to climb up the Tezuka mountain range has come this far,” although he adds, “It’s not that I’ve climbed all the way to the top. I’m still on a hiking trail.” The show features more than 1,000 examples of Urasawa’s art, including complete chapters of 20th Century Boys and the entire final volume of Monster. [The Japan Times]

Politics | Jeet Heer compares Donald Trump’s narrative to that of Daddy Warbucks in Little Orphan Annie, as well as some other comics and pop-culture figures. [The New Republic]

Conventions | Regina Lucrezia Nagan writes about the problem of anime convention attendees trashing their hotel rooms, which has led to restrictions at the hotels that host some cons. [Odyssey]