One for your diaries for next weekend. The Institut Francais is hosting London's first international celebration of the 'bande dessinee' or graphic novel, a genre that has long been popular on the continent but has only recently started to gain popularity (as a grown-up passion) over here.
Tintin and Asterix are of course just the tip of the deftly sketched iceberg. There are thousands of comic book artists in France and Belgium telling graphic tales in everything from sci-fi to slapstick. Next weekend's event sees some really top graphic artists from not only Europe but also Britain and America running workshops, talking about their work and signing books. The highlight for us would have to be the comic strip masterclass, wherein you are invited to create a four page mini-comic with the theme 'London Stories'. What an ace idea! Why didn't we think of it first!?
There is also a Barbarella themed fancy dress 'Cosmic Party'. All we can say is, if you go, we need pictures, OK?
We like comics. It is, after all, where art meets literature. It would be kind of cool to think that we might in the future see more British artists picking up their crayons and rising to the challenge. And that those who already practise the art might finally receive as much recognition over here as they do in Europe. We'd also really really like to see a London branch of fnac. Just saying.
The Festival runs from the 7th - 9th October: all the helpful stuff you need to find your way there/book can be found here.