Hello from Brooklyn, NY.
I had a wonderful time in Angoulême. When I arrived I was severely jet
lagged and really couldn't hold a conversation, much less try to
converse in French. I tried to at least introduce myself and tell them
I spoke English, and like I heard... many will meet you on the English
speaking plateau. Although, if I go back I must learn a little bit
more. It was a fun and interesting challenge while I was there, and I
could see why immersion is the best method.
I met and hung out with Charles Burns, Jeff Smith, Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, Joann Sfar,
and certainly not last, and certainly not least Lewis Trondheim. He was
a very amazing character. When I first met Lewis I was walking through
a crowded bar and stumbled into a clearing around a table. Jeff Smith
saw me and said "Aaron! This is Lewis!" And up he stood next to me. I
introduced myself and he asked me how I was enjoying France. He then
asked me where my dog was... and I told him I left him back at the
hotel for the maids to take care of. He asked me if I was serious... in
a way that was obviously joking and I again told him it was true. He
then pointed into the crowd and when I looked, he began quickly rubbing
my leg with his foot and barking loudly "ROW! ROW! ROW!, ROW! ROW!
ROW!" I was startled and the crowd of people started laughing. I looked
back and he continued on with his spectacle. Through the next couple
days I spoke and sat next to him, and he proved to be very
inspirational. Something I learned on my trip was to have what I call
"blind confidence" ... that I spend a little too much time doubting
myself. You really need to just produce what you produce... to find
what inspiration you can, to speak with your voice... and if you're
going to spend your time being an artist, you might as well trust that
what you put out there, is something you'd put out there... and go with
I saw these amazing Comic Concerts at the convention where artist like, Charles Berberian, Philip Dupuy, and Blutch
drew to a live musical performance, and their drawing were projected
huge on a stage. I was treated very well by my french publisher Guy Delcourt.
My dinners were amazing, breakfasts were filling, and every one's
company was just so nice. I met a small band of Italian artist that
work for Delcourt... and we hit it off really well. I hope to see them in years to come.
My American friends Alex Holden, Craig Thompson, Liz Prince, and Dan Zettwoch, were soon followed up with new french ones... Alban, Jean Pierre, Thierry, Fred, Sebastian, Maeka, Luca... just so many incredible people.
I then went to Paris. And it was more beautiful that I thought. The
white stone buildings, the crooked streets, the rooftops staggered up
hillsides, the cobblestone streets, boats parked along the Seine river
with vegetable gardens growing on them. Notre Dame, the Eiffel tower, the 6 million skeletons in the catacombs, the Hergé exhibit at the Pompidou. The red light district, seeing the Moulin Rouge, seeing where Amelie was filmed, locating Picasso's studio, Toulouse Lautrec's... drinking wine, the bread the cheese, the chocolate. It was just so great.
I'm sure I'm leaving things out... like the fact I went there with only a moustache... and then came back clean shaven,
or the many bookstores and drawing sessions on the streets. I could go
into such detail about all of these things, but I will leave it like
this. Back in the U.S. I want to take what I felt there and apply it to
my drawings. Blind confidence. I'm sure a lot of us could use it.