London’s Institut Français’ readies its “Beyond Words Festival”

As part of France’s official ‘Year of Comics‘, the Institut Français a Londres in South Kensington has organised an exciting online programme building up to their Beyond Words Festival from 11th – 23rd May 2020.

 Institut Français a Londres Beyond Words Festival 2020 Logo

Planned are live drawings, e-books, virtual workshops, book clubs and more, and included in the line-up is author, editor, publisher and events director Paul Gravett, offering a series of video reviews of new French graphic novels available in English.

As part of the Festival, Institut Français is also inviting everyone to take part in the French initiative #EverybodyDraws. It’s simple: every week, a cartoonist draws the two first boxes of a story, and you continue drawing the next ones and publish the result on social media. You can find out more here (in French) on the official website.

Stay tuned and publish your creations tagging: #ToutelaFranceDessine | #EverybodyDraws | @BD2020 and @ifru_london so the Institut français doesn’t miss your works. More details here

BD 2020

Institut Français a Londres Beyond Words Festival 2020 - French Comics Apéro

French Comics Apéro – 5th May 2020

The ultimate online rendezvous for comics lovers! Let’s take an aperitif together and chat about bande dessinée online fortnightly! From history to biopics, explore non-fiction comics. How to participate? It’s simple: stay home, prepare your good reading tips, pour yourself a drink, and connect on Zoom! | Register

Institut Français a Londres Beyond Words Festival 2020 - Drink & Draw with Sébastien Vassant

Drink & Draw with Sébastien Vassant19th May 2020

Let’s drink (again!) & draw online with award-winning graphic novel illustrator Sébastien Vassant. Gather your pens, paper and inspiration and follows Sébastien’s tips and challenges! The best drawings will be published on the Institut Français social media! | Register

Institut Français a Londres Beyond Words Festival 2020 - Kids Comics & Babies Corner

Kids Comics & Babies Corner

If your kids are creative minds and love comic books, the Institut Français new digital workshop is for them! They will learn the basics of writing and design a collaborative comic! The most passionate can also enter our comic strip competition and win prizes! And good news for the little ones: the Baby Comptines switch online with songs, stories and fun to share!

Register for workshops 8th & 22nd May | Register for Baby Comptines 13 May | More info about the competition

Institut Français a Londres Beyond Words Festival 2020 - French Comics for Every Taste on Culturethèque

French Comics for Every Taste on Culturethèque

From digital bande dessinée for kids such as Kroak or 4 Soeurs to the 2020 Angoulême Audience Prize winner, Saison des Roses for grown-ups or the beautiful transmedia creation Phallaïna, you are sure to find what you are looking for on Culturethèque. And you also have free access to the fantastic podcasts of the Tintin series played by the actors of the Comédie-Française!

Register and Read, Listen, Watch

Thoreau and Me By Cédric Taling

Thoreau and Me: a Breath of Fresh Air

Released in March in English from SelfMadeHero, the graphic novel Thoreau and Me By Cédric Taling explores the causes and consequences of today’s climate breakdown, beautifully blending humour, philosophy and fiction.

Cédric, a forty-something painter living in Paris, has begun to question his life choices. Surrounded by uncertainty – and worse, despair – in the face of mass consumerism and climate change, he discusses his plight with the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, proto-environmentalist and author of Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Although almost two centuries separate the men, their viewpoints show the striking parallels between the commercialism of the 19th century and the capitalist alienation of today. Inspired by Thoreau’s return to nature, Cédric begins dreaming of his own retreat from urban life.

Timely and original, Thoreau and Me explores the causes and consequences of today’s climate breakdown. Blending humour, philosophy and fiction at a time of unprecedented ecological and financial stress, Taling explores how we can learn to live with and respond to our own anxieties.

Watch a review by critic of Paul Gravett

Cédric Taling is on Instagram

Altitude by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette

Reach the Top with Altitude

Just released in the UK by SelfMadeHero, written by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, Altitude is an impassioned tale of how physical endurance can help scale dreams and mountain peaks.

From the co-creator of Snowpiercer, Altitude offers an exhilarating, autobiographical account of writer and artist Jean-Marc Rochette’s early life as a mountain climber.

Together with co-writer Olivier Bocquet, they recount Jean-Marc’s passion for mountain climbing as a teenager, from when he discovered how the Alps held an escape for him at a formative time in his life, to the realisation that this frozen playground can also be a place of danger and fatal beauty.

Set against the backdrop of the terrifying but magnificent natural beauty of the French Alps, Altitude is an impassioned tale of how physical endurance can help scale dreams and mountain peaks.

Interview with Jean-Marc Rochette | Watch special teaser

• Discover more about Beyond Words, an online Festival of French literature (11-24 May) and throughout the year! Plus, follow Institut Français on Twitter

Asterix and Obelix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

• Who better than Astérix and Obélix to kick off these celebrations? Grab the family and head to Gaul for their latest adventures in The Secret of the Magic Potion!

• Are you a member of the Institut français? If not become one and get free access to thousands of French and international newspapers and magazines online on Europresse from the comfort of your home. Titles include Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, l’Equipe, Courrier International and The Financial Times.

• Want to become a member? Click here | Already a member? Click here to access Europresse

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. 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.



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1 reply

  1. What would we do without Paul Gravett?

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