Tue, Oct 18, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Artists praised at No. 2 French comic festival

Staff Writer, with CNA, CHAMBERY, FRANCE

Taiwanese comic book artists deserve more recognition from French readers, Chambery Comics Festival chairman Serge Ripoll said on Sunday.

Despite the strong influence of Japan, the distinctive character of Taiwanese comics always shines through, Ripoll said at the three-day event, which ended on Sunday.

Held in the French city of Chambery, the festival — in its 35th year — was the first European event devoted to Taiwanese comics and marked the first time Taiwan was chosen as the theme country at France’s second-largest comic convention.

The event featured 11 Taiwanese graphic artists and one figurine artist, and will seek Taiwanese participation on a long-term basis, Ripoll said.

Wings of Kopule by AKRU, a Taiwanese comic book artist who is well-received at home as well as Hong Kong and Germany, attracted hordes of fans who lined up at the venue to get an autograph, press reports said.

The story about an English botanist who ventures into mountainous central Taiwan to investigate a legend about immortality, is a tale about Taiwanese history, anthropology major AKRU said.

Drawn with delicate and clean strokes, the fantasy intertwines the lives of the Han Chinese and Taiwanese Aborigines living in central Taiwan and details the customs and lifestyles of the late 19th century.

Another artist, Juan Kuang-min (阮光民), exhibited his latest work about a mom-and-pop store under threat from the construction of a modern mall, press reports said.

Another work that won high acclaim was a series by Taiwanese artist Liu Kung-lin (柳宮燐).

In his stories, a security guard at the National Palace Museum with a passion for antiques and historical objects travels through time.

This year’s festival saw the number of participating Taiwanese artists jump from two last year to 11 this year.

According to Ripoll, the festival plans to establish an award -just for Taiwanese comics next year, enabling local artists to exhibit their work on a regular basis.

The Chambery Comic Festival, which brought together 70 -comic book illustrators from about 20 countries, showcased a total of 124 Taiwanese comic books and 110 memorabilia items.

The festival will be followed by the Angouleme International Comics Festival next year, Europe’s biggest comic convention, with 300,000 visitors each year.

It too will feature Taiwan as the theme country.

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