Hundreds of works by Taiwanese comic book artists were featured at the opening of the annual four-day Angouleme International Comics Festival, which began in the city in southwestern France on Thursday.
Taiwan’s booth, which centers around the theme “Stories Ahead: Taiwan Comics Now,” counted among its visitors Pili Munoz, director of the Angouleme-based House of Authors of the International City of Comics and Image.
Taiwanese comics are rich in imaginative and bold images, making them a popular favorite, Munoz said.
“Due to their popularity, it is not without reason that Taiwanese manga can be widely translated today,” he said.
Nicholas Galiano, head of the publishing house Chatto Chatto, said French readers were drawn to Taiwanese comics thanks to their unique charm and distinct imagery.
Taiwanese illustrations are diverse, thus meeting the needs of several French publishing houses, Galiano added.
Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei Times
“This also explains why comic books from Taiwan have been so well received among French readers in the past few years,” Galiano said. “Because their creators have achieved what artists from other countries have failed to achieve.”
Taiwan has participated in the annual festival for more than a decade.
Representative to France Francois Wu (吳志中) said that Taiwanese comic artists in the past learned a lot from their Japanese peers, but they today have a distinctive style.
“The degree to which the French readers hold Taiwanese artworks in high regard is not only due to their rising popularity in recent years, but also due to their uniqueness,” Wu said.
The comics featured at the Taiwan booth included Son of Formosa (來自清水的孩子) by Chou Chien-hsin (周見信) and Yu Pei-yun (游珮芸), and Koxinga Z (1661國姓來襲) by Lee Lung-chieh (李隆杰).
Taiwanese artists including Ting Po-yen (丁柏晏), who goes by the pseudonym Morning Anxiety, and Eli Lin (依萊) performed a live sketch at the event.
Ting said her comic book Road to Nowhere (世界邊緣之旅), which has been translated into French and published by Toulouse-based publishing house Misma, was inspired by his first visit to the festival in 2017.
“This comic book has brought me back to Angouleme once again,” said Ting, who has been named as one of the 10 emerging comic book artists in the world by the event’s organizers.
Ting said Taiwan has many good cartoonists, adding that he is happy and fortunate that many people from around the world have come to know about his comic books.
The 50th edition of the event, first held in 1974, runs until tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival started yesterday, featuring appearances from international production teams and voice actors from popular anime series.
Fans of the Japanese anime Spy x Family were invited to meet the series’ production team at the festival at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1, where voice actors for the hit Japanese anime series Chainsaw Man were also making an appearance.
In attendance was cosplayer and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤), who said she was an anime and comic book fan and felt “at home” at the event.
Fans began lining up at the entrance before 5am, packing the venue within 30 minutes after its opening at 10am.
Anime agent Muse Communication said that merchandise sales increased 20 to 30 percent from last year, adding that booths that featured artists posted the strongest sales.
The Taiwan-based Chinese Animation and Comic Publishers Association, which organized the event, said it features 95 exhibitors and 520 booths.
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