Lakes Festival Focus 2018: Edmond Baudoin

Lakes Festival Focus 2018: Edmond Baudoin

Lakes Festival Focus 2018: Edmond Baudoin

Every year, in the countdown to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, we bring you a series of interviews with guests at the event. This “Festival Focus” for 2018 is comics artist and writer Edmond Baudoin, one of many contributors to Traces of the Great War, which gets its launch at the Festival.

Born 23rd April 1942 in Nice, Edmond Baudoin abandoned the monotonous career of a chief accountant to dedicate himself to more creative and artistic endeavours. He slipped his first short comic-strip stories into Le Canard Sauvage in 1974 and subsequently into Circus, Pilote and L’Echo des Savanes. His first album, a collection of some of these early experimental works entitled Civilisation, was published by Glénat in 1981.

Refining his impressionistic and suggestive graphism, he then published a series of ground-breaking works with Futuropolis: Les sentiers cimentés (1981), Passe le temps (1982), La peau du lézard (1983), Un flip coca (1984), Un rubis sur les lèvres (1986), Le premier voyage (1987), Le Portrait (1990) and Couma Aco (1991).

When this publisher was taken over by Gallimard and limited itself to highlighting literary texts, he illustrated works by Le Clézio, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Jean Genet.

A selection of Edmond Baudoin's work, featured in the documentary Edmond, A Portrait of Baudoin produced by Laetitia Carton
A selection of Edmond Baudoin’s work, featured in the documentary Edmond, A Portrait of Baudoin produced by Laetitia Carton

Scriptwriter Frank Reichert collaborated with Baudoin from 1984 to 1988 on a series of stories that were pre-published in Chic, Zoulou and Metal Aventures, before being collected into albums: La danse devant le buffet (Futuropolis, 1985), Avis de recherche (Futuropolis, 1985), Théâtre d’ombres (Humanoïdes Associés, 1987) and La Croisée (Humanoïdes Associés, 1988).

At the same time, Baudoin was also working with Jacques Lob. Together, they produced two strips for the monthly A Suivre: “Intérieur Noir” (1986) and “Carla” (1988, published as an album by Futuropolis in 1993).

Art by Edmond BaudoinThe artist then turned to the small alternative companies that were beginning to blossom alongside the traditional publishing industry: Z’Editions (La mort du peintre in 1995, along with a few illustrated books), Autrement (contributions to L’Argent roi in 1994), Apogée (La diagonale des jours, based on a script by Dohollan in 1995), L’Association (Eloge de la poussière in 1995, then Nam, Made in U.S., Le voyage, etc ).

Le Voyage won the Alph’Art for best script at Angoulême in January 1997.

Constantly exploring the relationship between an artist and his work, Edmond Baudoin is an intimate and strongly autobiographical storyteller.

Dalí by Edmond BaudoinLes Yeux dans le mur, the first of his works that he coloured for the Collection Aire Libre and one that he composed in collaboration with a young admirer and model, Céline Wagner, is a perfect illustration of this characteristic.

Edmond Baudoin’s Dalí, a graphic biography of the great surrealist painter, was published in English by SelfMadeHero (October 2016).

Edmond’s answers to this interview appear in both French and English (my translation and apologies for any school boy mistakes!)

Sur quoi travaillez-vous en ce moment, et quand sera-t-il publié?

Edmond Baudoin: J’ai terminé un livre que j’ai fait en collaboration avec une compagnie de danse contemporaine. Il sera publié début 2019 chez Gallimard.

J’écris un texte sur «Qu’est-ce que de devenir vieux». Pour l’instant il est sous la forme d’un livre écrit, je ne sais pas ce qu’il adviendra du résultat final.

Il y a toujours le projet d’un livre avec Craig Thompson, mais il est en attente de reprise actuellement.

What are you working on now, and when will it be published?

Edmond Baudoin: I finished a book I did in collaboration with a contemporary dance company. It will be published early 2019 at Gallimard.

I write a text on “What is becoming old?” For now it is in the form of a written book, I do not know what will happen to the final result.

There is still a project for a book with Craig Thompson, but he is waiting for to recover from illness.

De quel projet de bande dessinée avez-vous été le plus fier et où les gens peuvent-ils le voir ou l’acheter?

Edmond: Dans l’été 2017 j’ai fait un livre avec un autre auteur de bande dessinée Troubs. Ce livre à pour titre « Humains » Il est fait essentiellement de portraits de migrants et de gens qui aident les migrants. (Editeur L’Association).

Un autre livre qui est sorti en mai 2018, une histoire d’anticipation avec pour scénariste Cédric Villani (Médaille Field de Mathématique). (Editeur Gallimard).

Humains by Edmond Baudoin and Troubs

Humains by Edmond Baudoin and Troubs

Humains by Edmond Baudoin and Troubs

Which comic book project have you been most proud of and where can people see it or buy it?

Edmond: In the summer of 2017 I made a book with another cartoonist, Troubs. It’s entitled “Humains” and is mainly portraits of migrants and people who help migrants. (Editeur L’Association). Another book that was released in May 2018, a story of anticipation with screenwriter Cédric Villani (Médaille Field de Mathématique). (Editeur Gallimard).

Comment planifiez-vous votre journée en tant que créateur? (Planifiez-vous votre journée?)

Edmond: Levé vers sept heures, une demie heure de gym douce, petit déjeuner et travail… Je travaille debout… Je vais marcher une heure ou deux en ville en début d’après-midi et puis travail. Le soir souvent je vais au ciné. Je n’ai pas de télé, je ne regarde aucune série, je ne joue jamais sur l’ordinateur. Si une amie vient me voir je m’occupe d’elle, c’est alors des vacances. Et puis, j’aime lire.

Edmond Baudoin - GymHow do you plan your day as a creator? (Do you plan your day?)

Edmond: I get up around seven o’clock, have half an hour at the gym, breakfast and work … I work standing up … I go for a walk for an hour or two in the city at the beginning of the afternoon and then work. In the evening, often I go to the movies. I do not have a TV, I do not watch any series, I never play on the computer. If a friend comes to see me I take care of her, it’s a vacation. And then, I like to read.

Quelle est la meilleure chose à faire en tant que créateur de bandes dessinées?

Edmond: Faire autre chose que la bande dessinée, l’amour, la peinture, les balades, voyager, lire, danser, écrire. C’est dans les domaines étrangers à la bande dessinée que j’enrichie mon travail d’auteur.

Traces of the Great War - Art by Edmond Baudoin
Traces of the Great War – Art by Edmond Baudoin

What is the best thing to do as a comic creator?

Edmond: Doing other things than comics – love, painting, walks, traveling, reading, dancing, writing. It’s in non-comic areas that I enrich my work as an author.

Et le pire?

Edmond: Écouter certains auteurs de bandes dessinées parler de la quantité de livres vendus.

And the worst?

Edmond: Listening to some comic books talk about the amount of books sold.

Art from Edmond Baudoin's "Dali" project
Art from Edmond Baudoin’s “Dali” project

Qu’est-ce qui vous empêche de faire votre travail?

Edmond: Rien, je travaille tout le temps, même quand je me promène, que je danse, que je lis que… (Sauf quand je dors 🙂

What’s most distracts you from your work? 

Edmond: Nothing, I work all the time, even when I walk, dance, read that … (Except when I sleep  (Smiles).

Pensez-vous qu’il soit plus facile ou plus difficile pour les jeunes créateurs de bandes dessinées d’être publiés aujourd’hui?

Edmond: Non je pense qu’au contraire c’est facile. Mais cette facilité est un leurre parce qu’ensuite souvent il est difficile de durer. Les éditeurs dévorent beaucoup d’auteurs.

Do you think it’s easier or harder for young comic artists to be published today?

Edmond: No, I think it’s easy. But this facility is a decoy because then often it is difficult to last. Publishers devour many authors.

Avez-vous déjà été dans le Lake District avant et si oui, qu’en avez-vous pensé? Si vous ne l’avez pas, qu’attendez-vous?

Edmond: J’aime beaucoup. L’espace, la ville, la fête, je regrette de ne pas savoir parler anglais, il faudra que j’apprenne. Vous voulez bien m’apprendre ? 🙂

Have you ever been to the Lake District before and if so, what did you think? If you do not have it, what are you waiting for?

Edmond: I like it a lot. The space, the city, the partying… I regret not being able to speak English, I will have to learn. You want to teach me? (Smiles)

Quel créateur de BD aimeriez-vous le plus rencontrer et pourquoi?

Edmond: Je ne sais pas quel nom, j’aime le hasard des rencontres.

Which comic creator would you like to meet and why?

Edmond: I do not know, I like chance encounters.

2016 Lakes International Comic Art Festival auction art: Edmond Baudoin – Self Portrait with Craig Thompson
2016 Lakes International Comic Art Festival auction art: Edmond Baudoin – Self Portrait with Craig Thompson

Comment les festivals et autres événements de BD aident-ils le plus les créateurs?

Edmond: Echanger des savoirs, découvrir qu’on cherche la même chose, avec des moyens différents.

How do festivals and other comic events help creators the most?

Edmond: The exchange of knowledge, discovering like minds seeking the same thing, with different means.

Quel conseil proposez-vous aux personnes qui cherchent à travailler dans l’industrie de la bande dessinée?

Edmond: La bande dessinée n’est pas une industrie. (Je suis sûr que c’est une erreur de traduction) La bande dessinée c’est un art, et si on la fait c’est qu’on ne peut pas faire autrement.

Si on peut faire autre chose autant faire autre chose… Travailler dans l’industrie par exemple 🙂

Art by Edmond Baudoin

What advice do you offer to people looking to work in the comic book industry?

Edmond: Comics is not an industry. Comics is an art, and if you do it, you cannot do anything else.

If you can do anything else do something else … Work in the industry for example 🙂

Quelle est votre BD préférée en ce moment et où les gens peuvent-ils l’obtenir?

Edmond: Je ne sais pas… Je n’aime pas donner des notes.

What is your favourite comic right now and where can people get it?

Edmond: I do not know … I do not like giving notes.

Edmond, thank you for answering my questions and I look forward to seeing you in Kendal.

EDMOND BAUDOIN ONLINE

• Web: www.edmondbaudoin.com

• Read a much more extensive interview with Edmond Edmond – Baudoin, l’émotion du geste by Bruno Canard (L’Indispensable) on DU9 (in French)

EDMOND, a portrait of Baudoin – trailer from Kaleo films on Vimeo.

Published by

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

Let us know what you think about this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.