BD & Comics Passion Festival programme announced

The Institut français, London has announced the line up for its 2013 BD & Comics Passion Festival (30 May – 2 June 2013), which includes appearances by Patrick Sobral, Laurent Verron, Paul Gravett, Posy Simmonds, Etienne Davodeau, Glen Baxter, Ian Culbard, David Zane Mairowitz and Mark Stafford.

The rise of the comic book in the past few years has been staggering, and even to the casual observer, unavoidable. With the likes of Nemo and Habibi topping the charts, and comic book artists such as Chris Ware, Bryan Talbot and Neil Gaiman becoming household names, the genre, after being looked down on for so many years, is finally being recognised as a creative powerhouse, and given the consideration it truly deserves.

Appearing under different guises – hardback, softback, tall, short, thick, paper, digital – and under different names – comic books, graphic novels, comix, bandes dessinées – comic books are taking over our bookshops, our films, our clothes, our museums… To celebrate this momentum and to explore the many influences of comic books, the Institut français launched a new festival in 2011, the BD & Comics Passion, bringing together legendary creators for innovative events and thrilling discoveries.

Previous editions boasted illustrious comic book artists such as Dave Gibbons, Guy Delisle, Bryan Talbot, Bastien Vivès, Kevin O’Neill, Rosinski and Pat Mills. This year’s edition will feature extraordinary creators including Posy Simmonds, Edika, Glen Baxter, Etienne Davodeau, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Régis Loisel, Hunt Emerson, Pénélope Bagieu and more.

Once again, the programme will prove “as imaginative as the work itself” (Metro) with groundbreaking events such as Drink & Draw, a one of a kind event mingling live drawing and wine tasting led by renowned British Master of Wine Tim Atkin. Due to popular demand, this edition will feature not one but two Drawing Jams, with French stars La Grande Sophie and GiédRé providing an entrancing soundtrack to the guest illustrators’ drawn improvisations.

In addition to talks and workshops, the festival will host its trademark event, the Drawing Duo, which encourages a French artist and a British artist to collaborate on a series of drawings before the eyes of the audience – an emblem of the festival in a sense. This year, the Drawing Duo is back with two Franco-British collaborations: Posy Simmonds with Etienne Davodeau, and Hunt Emerson with François Boucq.

This festival is also an opportunity to explore the links with literature, and show that the genre of comic books is not cut off or quarantined. In previous editions, well-known literary figures such as China Miéville and Audrey Niffenegger talked about their favourite comic books, and this year, Glen Baxter will unveil his literary influences – from Apollinaire to Jarry – while I. N. J. Culbard, David Zane Mairowitz, Mark Stafford discuss the challenges, and ultimately the magic, of turning a literary classic into a graphic novel. Another highlight of this year’s edition is a talk with French underground literature legend Virginie Despentes, who will reveal her “graphic greats”.

Children will be able to attend workshops to create their own comic book on paper or iPad, masterclasses with celebrated authors to draw their favourite characters, and films for the whole family.

All the French guests have had English translations of their works, with four of them coming out during the festival: 3” (Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Jonathan Cape), Apocalypse Baby (Virginie Despentes, Serpent’s Tail), Peter (Régis Loisel, Soaring Penguin Press) and The Initiates (Etienne Davodeau, NBM).


Thursday 30 May

Film: Zarafa
2012 | dir.s. R. Bezançon & J.-C. Lie | animation | in French with English subtitles | ages 6+ | Preview screening | free


Film: Boule & Bill (Billy & Buddy)
2013 | dir. A. Charlot & F. Magnier | with Franck Dubosc, Marina Foïs, Charles Crombez | in French with English subtitles | ages 6+ | Preview screening | free


Film: The Smurfs
2011 | col | dir. R. Gosnell | in English | ages 4+ | free


Talk: Virginie Despentes – My Graphic Greats
in English | £8, conc. & members £6

Friday 31 May

Talk & Live Drawing – All about the Smurfs
ages 6-9 | in French | £5


Talk: Patrick Sobral – How to Make a Comic Book
ages 8-12 | in French | £5


Talk & Live Drawing: Laurent Verron – Drawing Boule & Bill
ages 7-10 | in French | £5


Prize Ceremony with Paul Gravett, Patrick Sobral, Alex Spiro, and Raymond Blanc
in English | free


Drawing Jam with La Grande Sophie
£12 | See both concerts for only £15!


Drawing Jam with GiédRé
ages 18+ | £7 | See both concerts for only £15!

Saturday 1 June

Workshop with Pascal Garray
in English & in French | ages 8-11 | £7 | max. 25 children | no grown-ups!


Workshop: Create Digital Comics on your iPad
in English & in French | ages 12-16 | £15 | max. 10 children | no grown-ups!


Film: Zarafa
£8, conc. £6


Talk: Marc-Antoine Mathieu – 3’’, The Making-Of
in English | £7, conc. £5


Talk: Antoine Maurel – The Smurfs Unveiled
in English | ages 9+ | free


Talk: Edika – Am Aïe Djoking?
in English | £7, conc. £5


Drawing Duo: Posy Simmonds & Etienne Davodeau
in English | £7, conc. £5


Workshop with Laurent Verron
in English & in French | ages 8-11 | £7 | max. 25 children | no grown-ups!


Workshop with Patrick Sobral
in English & in French | ages 8-11 | £7 | max. 25 children | no grown-ups!


Drawing Duo: François Boucq & Hunt Emerson
in English | £7, conc. £5


Special event – Drink & Draw
ages 18 + | £15

Sunday 2 June

Talk: Pénélope Bagieu – I Love London
in English & in French | £7, conc. £5


Masterclass with François Boucq
in English & in French | ages 16+ | £15 | 15 people max


Talk: Régis Loisel – My Peter Pan
in English | £7, conc. £5


Talk: Glen Baxter – My Literary Influences
in English | £7, conc. £5


Film: Boule & Bill
£8, conc. £6


Workshop: Get drawing on your Ipad!
in English & in French | ages 8-11 | £15 | max. 10 children | no grown-ups!


Talk: I. N. J. Culbard, David Zane Mairowitz & Mark Stafford – From classic to graphic
in English | £7, conc. £5


Film: The Smurfs

The INSTITUT FRANÇAIS is at Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT. Web:

Full programme online at: 

Booking:  Tel: 020 7871 3515

Categories: Events

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