Lingua Comica Reloaded: In which a long-delayed book finally arrives

Last week, I got a notice from the Quezon City post office to pick up a package. I had an idea what it was. Although it was only late by almost 2 years. Our anthology book, Lingua Comica Reloaded had arrived.

Book design by Plastic Soldier Factory.

What I did.

What Amelie did.

Amelie and I collaborated on a game board based on the Game of the Goose.

The book also has a poster/comic insert entitled “Numbers” made by another team.

The book was a collaboration by artists from Europe and Asia and funded by the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF). Several groups pitched their story ideas before ASEF finally chose the line up for the project. I teamed up with French Belgian Amelie Clement when we realized we were on the save wavelength after a couple of emails.

When we got the grant from ASEF, we decided to spend it by going to Angouleme and conducting a mini-residency. Angouleme is a sleepy town in southwestern France and known for festivals such as the Circuits des Remparts and the Festival International de la Bande Dessinee (wiki here) – or the International Comics Festival. Too bad we couldn’t visit Angouleme on a January when the Comics Festival is held. Although we were on hand for the Circuits des Remparts, when fancy cars from all over Europe came roaring into town. I, unfortunately, am not a car geek. So the festival was wasted on me.

So in September of 2009, I flew into Paris and met up with Amelie at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Then we took an hour’s train ride to Tavers, where her father lived. The following day, we set out for a 3-hour drive to Angouleme in her father’s old Citroen Saxo.

Angouleme, I’ve heard people say, is to comics what Cannes is to film. The town is the site of the Musée de la bande dessinée and the La Maison des Auteurs where comic book auteurs work hold residencies to work on their comics. Amelie was able to secure a residency at the La Maison des Auteurs for around 9 days free of charge. Here we met quite a few comics artists working on their projects and were well into their year long residencies.

La Maison des Auteurs

Reception area of La Maison

Stitched up panoramic view of our atelier. Click on the picture for a larger view.

In Angouleme we stayed at a family pension called Chez Paulette which served breakfast and dinner along with the room fee. I thought I’d go hungry in France but I was wrong. Dinners were pretty heavy and I ate lots cheese and baguette and drank quite a bit of wine every night after working on the comics the whole day.

One of the highlights of my trip was the visit to the Musée de la bande dessinéeUnfortunately, photography inside the museum was forbidden so I ended up buying a catalogue of the works inside. It was a thrill getting to see original art from artists such as David B., Jack Kirby, Chris Ware, Moebius and a whole lot of people that have contributed to the development of the medium.

A bust of Hergé downtown, Tintin’s creator.

The Mu.

Marjane Satrapi of Persepolis!

I’ll end this blog post with a postcard I saw stuck to one of the walls in the reception area of La Maison des Auteurs.

It proves that even in a sleepy French town, Filipinos are everywhere!

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