According to the French news blog Actua BD, this year’s edition of the BD-Fil festival in Lausanne, Switzerland, promises to be even more of a success than last year’s edition, when more than 30,000 people gathered to celebrate Swiss and international comics alike.
Even though the festival is still a few months off, the BD-Fil website already gives a full listing of the exhibitions that they will host this year. French cartoonist André Juillard and Swiss graphic genius Thomas Ott both have one-man shows, with Juilllard’s giving an overview of his whole career, while Ott’s focuses on his masterful, almost Kafka-esque album, The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8. BD-Fil will also host a couple of travelling exhibitions, most notably the Smurfs’ Anniversary show (which will probably clog the streets of Lausanne with white Smurf statuettes) and the Toy Comix exhibition, which earlier was hosted by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs à Paris, and was created in close collaboration with French publisher L’Association. Toy Comix features work by an international gathering of cartoonists, such as Renée French, Jim Woodring, Tom Gauld, Matt Konture, Max Andersson and Aleksandar Zograf.
(Fantagraphics English-language edition of Thomas Ott’s Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8)
In 2007 SOS-Aircraft showcased the work of Swiss cartoonists at the festival. This year, a second creative project, Poya Express, does the same for twenty Francophone and German-speaking Swiss cartoonists, such as Cosey, Derib and Zep. Similarly, the exhibition “Dessinateurs/Dessinatrices de Demain 2008″ showcases the best projects from this year’s New Talent competition.
(a lovely example of André Juillard’s art)
Two documentary exhibitions make this very rich plethora complete: “Femmes de bulles” gives an overview of the role of women in comics, and “Alter Egaux” shows 160 extracts from stories by people like Enki Bilal, François Bourgeon, Will Eisner, Gotlib, Hergé, Jijé, Chantal Montellier, José Munoz, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman, and Tezuka, all about racism and anti-racism in comics.
As yet, no official guests have been announced. Two important publishers will be present however: Fluide Glacial (bringing their 2008 tour to the festival) and Dupuis (hosting a special conference at which young talent can present themselves).
Wim Lockefeer lives in Belgium and when not thinking about the significance of finding a waffle shaped like Tintin’s head on his breakfast plate writes extensively on comics culture and art; you can read more of his work on his own Ephemerist blog.