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IFOA: Falling in Love with Two French Men

I am not a graphic novel expert by any stretch. Yes, I have heard of Seth (of course, he is Canadian after all), as well as the famous Herge of Tin-Tin...but Charles Berberian and Philippe Dupuy? Non. I lack a certain, je ne sais quoi, knowledge, of this new media.

Both are here for the first of two sessions on graphic novels. A growing popularity for the festival...hurrah for that!

Conversing with Seth, Berbarian and Dupuy bashfully spoke in their ever-so-charming accents of their work, French comics, the industry as a whole, as well as being seen as a contemporary cartoonists.

It was at the young age of 12 that both knew they wanted to get involved in cartooning. Dupuy realized at this period that he could actually make a living doing this. Berberian, on the other hand, just wanted the free books.

They walked the audience through their influences - Paris in the 20's which Berberian explained as a place where "everything can happen," the south of France, New York, Lisbon and Tangiers - all places their main character, Monsieur Jean would visit.

They spoke about the struggles of explaining their obscure work and the annoyance of people around them telling them to get into political characters or the confusion of their profession with pornographic comic strips. Ah, mon dieu!

The hour was not enough. The audience wanted more, I certainly wanted more. Off to the bookstore I shall go!


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