Saturday, January 31, 2009

With a French Twist

Only had a few minutes for lunch today so I stepped out to grab a very quick lunch by myself. I was thrilled to find that this amazing little kebab place that Mutsumi and I discovered by chance a few years back was still in business. They make a killer kebab, but rather than on pita, they fill a baguette with the meat, veggies and sauce. Now I know it may not be the proper way to eat one, but it rocks this way!

Coming Soon to Domino's?

And what would my blog be without a few pictures of foreign food?

Here's a look at the flam I had the other night. It's like pizza but with a different, chewier crust and no tomato sauce. I guess some people also call it "German pizza". My toppings this evening were totally French though... cheese, chopped onions, grilled potatoes, duck magret and duck livers!

Damn tasty!!

The Gaston Building

A Busload of Marvel Characters


Living comics legend Moebius has a booth here where he's selling books and signing and sketching. A bunch of people, myself included, were standing there just watching him doing his thing when this kid walked up and asked if he was reviewing portfolios. A surprised gasp then hush fell over the crowd as we waited to see how he'd respond, but Moebius stoop up, said yes, and started checking out the kid's work. All class!


Friday, January 30, 2009

The Lucky Luke Building

A landmark in Angouleme, this is one of my favorite buildings here for two reasons... I have fond memories of reading my cousins' Lucky Luke comics during the summers I spent in Sweden and Finland when I was young; and it was also the first building I saw when I arrived in Angouleme for the first time years ago that made me realize just how special this festival really is!

More of Angouleme

Some of the other booths and signing areas here at show...

One of the Greats

Ciro Tota signs some of the classic Marvel covers he did for Spidey magazine here in France in the '80s...

Morning Savior

When you're out drinking till 4AM and then up again five short hours later to get to your 10AM signing, the booth's espresso machines seem like the most beautiful thing in the world!

And couple of these shots are guaranteed to get you up and running and ready to meet your adoring public...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Panini Booth

As the publisher of all Marvel's and DC's titles in France, Panini goes all out in pushing American comics here...

They made a poster of all Simone Bianchi's Astonishing X-Men variant covers...

The Hulk watches over Simone, Gabrielle Dell'Otto and Lee Bermejo as they sign...

Skrulls Invade Angouleme

Buy fifty Euros worth of product from Panini and they throw in this damn cool Secret Invasion t-shirt for free! And judging by the amount of green I've been seeing around the show today, Panini's selling a lot of Marvel product!

C'est Moi!

Live from Angouleme!

Soleil has a free wireless internet connection in their booth, so I figured I'd take advantage of it and share some pics with you...

You know it's gonna be a good con when this is the first thing you see when you walk into the booth!

Soleil has the biggest booth at the show and it's always set up like a disco and promoted like a party, but this year that feeling is even more enhanced as instead of long tables, all the creators are now given their very own bar table with stools to sign at.

Like these guys, the artists of the various Lanfeust of Troy series...

...who draw long lines, where fans wait for hours to see them as they do free sketches for everyone who buys their books and comes to see them.

Many fans even know to bring their own chairs to make the wait a little easier!

And if the creators get tired, they have this classy sofa to kick back and chill in.

And check out who has his own signing table...

...complete with my own chandelier!

Never had my name in lights before!

More soon...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Angouleme Arrival

I love Angouleme. I really do. It's one of my favorite comics' festivals, and unlike any other I know of. The simple fact that it takes over an entire French town makes it unique in and of itself. A whole town! You step off the train and you can't help but feel the love that's bestowed upon our beloved graphic story-telling medium over the course of these next five days.

Walking into Gare Montparnasse in Paris to catch the TGV to Angouleme is just like walking into JFK to board aplane to San Diego Comic Con... it's a who's who of European comic creators. I was there with Olivier Jalabert from Soleil and we ran into all kinds of folks heading to the con; Olivier Vatine, Nic Kermidas, Theirry from Delcourt, and even Eric Powell, who I'd surprisingly never met before. The party started there as beers were bought and the train was boarded.

Oliver got us upgraded to first class (score!) and we ended up sitting with Diane and Jean-Jean Launier, who run the amazing contemporary art gallery Arludik in Paris. After apologizing for not attending last night's Ronnie Del Carmen/Enrico Casarosa/Tadahiro Uesugi show opening, we settled in for a wonderful chat about international comics and art and the two hour train ride flew by. Jean-Jacques also does some work for Fox France and they're starting their Watchmen promotion in Angouleme this weekend, so we scored Watchmen bandanas from him. Watchmen's called Les Gardiens here. (Random aside: Disney's Bolt has been changed to Volt.)

One of the other things that separates Angouleme from other cons is that it's sponsored by French car company Citroen, and they provide the show with a fleet of cars and drivers to move the con guests around town, every after late nights of drinking! It was a quick drive to my hotel, the Mercure Nord, which has recently been remodeled, much to my liking. Very art deco now, but not small and dainty and uncomfortable like some places. This cool room has a big bed, new modern bathroom, flat screen TV, free wireless, two sofas... all very classy.

I also received my Angouleme BD 2009 Welcome Folder which made me giddy.

As DRAIN was released in French and seems to be selling rather well, this is my first time here as an actual "auteur" and I feel all special. They made sure to bring in plenty copies for me to sign over the next four days.

I still can't believe I'm signing here. As an actual creator! Alongside the big guns of European comics!! It still makes my head spin thinking about it...

That's it for now as I have to run to a welcome dinner, but I'll definitely be posting more news and photos all weekend long! Stay tuned...

She's Looking At You!

More pics from Le Louvre coming soon...

Goodbye Paris, Hello Cognac

Yeah, I know, no blogging from the Paris part of this trip. I suck. But I was really here! See...

Despite being in town for business, it's the first time in years I was able to break away for a few hours a day to sightsee and revisit places I haven't been to since I was a kid. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Pantheon, the Pompidou, Les Jardins de Luxembourg... and today I'm off to the The Louvre for a few hours to check out their comic book exhibit.

And yes, I ate and drank very well thanks to many of my fine friends here.

This afternoon I board a train and head up to Angouelme for the comic festival there, which is one of the biggest in the world. It's the first time I'm attending as a published "writer" in France, so I have a pretty busy schedule. Between that and my Marvel appointments, I'm freaking me out a bit and hope I have time to see and enjoy some of the rest of the con. We'll see. I'll be sure to post more regularly once I there...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Millennium Falcon Origami

My favorite spaceship made from paper... Too cool not to share!

Courtesy of Philip Schulz and

Thursday, January 15, 2009

WOK: Darkhawk Interview and Preview Art

CBR just posted an interview with yours truly about War of Kings: Darkhawk, as well as previewing some of Harvey Tolibao and Jay David Ramos' incredible interior pages. You can find it here. And that killer cover is by Brandon Peterson!