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Angoulême 2019: celebrating French comic books

Returning from the Angoulême International Comics Festival, The BDL carefully selected a few French comic books soon-to-be released – or recently published in the United-Kingdom.

Guantánamo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani, by Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc (Self Made Hero, 26 March 2019)

Endorsed by Amnesty International UK and supported by the legal charity REPRIEVE, Guantánamo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani is about one of Guantánamo's youngest detainees and one of the camp's only prisoners of African descent. Written in collaboration with Mohammed El-Gharani himself, this graphic novel reflects as closely as possible his memories and experiences of life in the camp.

Maggy Garrisson, by Stéphane Oiry and Lewis Trondheim (Self Made Hero, 25 April 2019, translated by Emma Wilson)

Landing a secretarial job alongside Anthony Wight, private detective and alcoholic, Maggy Garrison enters a sinister underworld of bent cops, crooked businessmen and career criminals. Her energy, her ingenuity and her enterprising spirit will be crucial for there is a lot to investigate in Maggy’s new life.

Memoirs of a Book Thief, by Alessandro Tota and Pierre van Hove (Self Made Hero, 30 April 2019, translated by Edward Gauvin)

This graphic novel takes the reader at the intellectual’s heart of Paris in the 1950s: Daniel Brodin enters the heated atmosphere of the Café Serbier, home of the Parisian literati. As a poetry night is taking place and, Daniel impulsively recites an obscure piece of Italian verse: it’s plagiarism, but it’s a triumph. Daniel’s recital marks his entrance into the Parisian avant-garde: a band of cultured rogues and pseudo-revolutionaries.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Pénélope Bagieu (Ebury Press, 2018)

“This celebration of 30 amazing women largely forgotten by history is a modern classic.” (Rachel Cooke for The Guardian, 6 March 2018)

Tom’s Midnight Garden, by Edith and Philippa Pearce (Harper Collins, 2018)

“Expertly varied, atmospheric panels shift in mood and perspective, drawing the reader ever deeper into the magic and mystery of Tom’s nightly escapades… This engrossing adaptation will allow a new generation of readers to discover Pearce’s timeless tale.” (Publisher’s Weekly, 3 May 2018)

Persephone, by Loïc Locatelli Kournwsky (Boom! Studios, 2018)

“The comic creates a sense of adventure and vibrancy through the story arc as well as the way in which the setting is depicted. Each page is filled to the brim with texture, enhancing the storybook feel of the comic, with Locatelli-Kournwsky’s choice of colour and the use of generally complex backgrounds engulfing the reader in the world of Persephone.” (Holly Raidl for Broken Frontier, 7 June 2018)

A Sea of Love, by Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Lion Forge, 2018)

“With its vigorous narrative and gentle intentions, A Sea of Love is a beautiful book that wows you with the cinematic artwork even as it latches onto the simple, honest emotions being explored in the relationship between the couple.” (John Seven for The Beat, 25 July 2018)

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