The 5th Graphic Novel Festival (Shanghai)
Dong Yan, Tao Langge
Eloi Morterol, Chang Jin, François Le Bescond, Punkge, Ricard Fernandez, Li Kunwu, Li Yishan, Laurent Duvault, Lü Junjun, Mathieu Burniat, Shi Tuzi, Wang Shuo, Yang Zhongwei
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Consulate General of the Republic of France in Shanghai, Dargaud Groupe (Shanghai) Co., Ltd
Guests: Eloi Morterol (France), Chang Jin, François Le Bescond (France), Li Kunwu, Li Yishan, Laurent Duvault (France), Lü Junjun, Mathieu Burniat (Belgium), Punkge, Ricard Efa (Spain), Shi Tuzi, Wang Shuo, Yang Zhongwei (In Alphabetical Order)
Moderators: Dong Yan, Tao Langge
Interpreters: Zhang Hua, Qu Ran
Co-hosts: The Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, The Consulate General of France in Shanghai, Dargaud Groupe (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Time & Date: 13:00–18:15, Jun 5, 2021 (Please check in in reception at least 10min in advance.)
Venue: Interactive Multimedia Room (1F), Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum
Address: Building 3, 210 Wenshui Rd, Jingan, Shanghai
In France, comics are known as “the ninth art.” Within a short span of years, “the ninth art” has conquered many Chinese readers. French comics and European comics, aka graphic novels, have attained to a great height both in terms of painting and of narrative. They are not only for entertainment but to to higher aesthetical tastes. Graphic novels mainly appeal to an adult audience and contain more words and more complete plots than other comics do. Compared to textual novels, they are rich in graphic art elements, which allows readers the feeling the visual effects of modern art and the room for imagination inspired by the texts between the frames.
The Graphic Novel Festival was launched in China in 2016. It pays tribute to comics and graphic novels and provides a platform for creators, publishers, agents, bookstores, and enthusiasts to interact with each other. The 5th Graphic Novel Festival is initiated by the Embassy of France in China and will take place nationwide from May 29 through Jun 13, 2021. The first event in Shanghai will be co-hosted by Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, the Consulate General of France in Shanghai, and the Dargaud Groupe (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Unlike the past festivals where only artists were invited, this year, we are inviting for the first time people in the comics industry. Although our French guests cannot make it to our venue due to the pandemic, we can collaborate on- and off-line in order to channel the cross-over dialogue between the comic art and the museum. In the afternoon of Jun 5, more than ten prominent artists and workers in the graphic novel industry from both China and France will come together at the museum to engage in three themed discussions. They will lead the audience to explore the unique charm of the comic art, dig into the stories behind graphic novels, and embark on a special journey of reading together!
Discussion: What’s It Like to Study and Publish Graphic Novels in France?
Guest Speakers: Li Kunwu, Wang Shuo, Li Yishan
Moderator: Dong Yan
Chinese comic artists who have studied or published in France are invited to share their experiences and discuss the similarities and differences of graphic novel culture and publishing between China and France from the artist’s perspective.
About Our Guests
Wang Shuo (b. 1984) lives and works in Beijing. After graduating from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts & Design, he went to do a master’s in comics at the European School of Visual Arts in Angouleme, France from 2010 to 2012. He taught at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts after returning to China and is now a lecturer of comics at the Beijing Film Academy. He has been attempting the continuity of the comic language and wrote a Ph.D. thesis, presented in both text and graphics, on the linguistic logic of performativity and storytelling within the development of comics. In 2019, Wang and the folk musician Xiao He collaborated to collect old nursery rhymes from Beijing and express the oral histories of the past in the form of comics. Last year, they published their work, China’s Old Folks and Their Nursery Rhymes. Wang’s works are diverse and well-published both at home and abroad, including Mr. Men, Anusman’s Silent Comic Strip I&II, Kingdom of Rice (Nieves, Switzerland), and Elsewhere (Kinakaal Forlag, Norway). He is also published in collections of indie comics, such as in Special Mix, Papier gaché in France, and Canicola in Italy. Wang adopts the moniker of his first comic character, Anusman, as his pen name. He is a gallery artist at Tabula Rasa, an art gallery in Beijing. His works were displayed at the Gallery Weekend Beijing and the West Bund Art & Design Fair in Shanghai. His solo exhibitions include “Ignoramus” and “Market Street,” and also participated in group exhibitions.
Li Kunwu (b. 1955, Kunming) is a self-taught comic artist who has never attended art school. For over forty years, he has been writing and drawing stories about his native land, mostly graphic novels. In 2011, his three-volume autobiographical work A Chinese Life was first published by Dargaud (Kana) and translated and published in 16 languages (including the Chinese version). This series has received several major comic book awards in France, China and Japan. Following this series, he created and painted other books by himself, such as Bound Feet/Chunxiu, The Railway Above the Clouds, Scars, Footprints, My Generation, and My Mother. Exhibition tours of his ink and scroll paintings about comics have been held in a dozen cities in France, Italy and Spain.
Li Yishan (b. 1981) is a Chinese-British comic artist currently living in Shanghai. She began her studies in sociology at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, and went to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, where she studied communications and international management from 2003 to 2004. Her comic strips for CosmoGirl! brought her to the fore in the comic circles. In 1999, she published her first comic book New Start (Beijing Comic). Soon after, her other works were published in China, the U.S. and the U.K. In 2008, she collaborated with French comic writer Richard Marazano to create Cutie B (Dargaud), which was her first work published in France. She also collaborated with another famous comic writer at Dargaud, Jean-David Morvan. Her recent works include Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1956 (Dark Horse, US), Paradox Girl (Top Cow/Image, US), Buffy: the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse, US), Sugar (Top Cow/Image, US), Cutie B, (Dargaud, France), Lady Di and Me, (Glenat, France), and Convergence: Blue Beetle I&II, (DC Comics, US)
Discussion: What’s It Like to Be a Cross-Over Comic Artist?
Guest Speakers: Punkge, Shi Tuzi, Mathieu Burniat, Ricard Fernandez (Efa) (Overseas guests will participate virtually.)
Moderator: Tao Langge
Language: Chinese, French
Comic artists without professional training are invited to talk about how they got involved with graphic novels and entered the industry and how their previous experiences have informed their current creative work.
About Our Guests
Punkge, born Ge Yang, is a “pre-80s” Beijing native. He works as a freelance illustrator and writer of graphic novels and children’s picture books. He has engaged in commercial illustration for more than ten years, worked as an editor and for corporate culture, drawn comic strips and designed IP, and participated in Internet finance. He likes to shape the lines and portray the parts and tries to illustrate anything that can be illustrated. His Painted Heaven King won the Judges’ Award at the 2019 Japan Copic Award. In 2020, he published Walking in the Eighties: Compilation of Old Beijing (Post Wave) and Time Machine (Duku).
Shi Tuzi, born Qin Qingxia, is a landscape architect and comic artist of the top rank in China. He holds a B.Arch. from Tsinghua University and an MLA from Harvard University. His works include Reborn as a Dog, The Furious Yama, The Scientific Methodology of Being Superhero, Community Cop, The Exploding Girl, Wandering at Ease, The Cat Sama Returns, Study Fighter, and Brainstorm Supermarket. On Nov 1st, 2019, his video game “The Furious Yama” received licence and was launched in China.
Mathieu Burniat (b. 1984, Brussel) was drawn to graphic arts from a young age. As a teenager, he took part in an animated film workshop called Zorobabel, and in 2007, he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design at the renowned visual arts school La Cambre. Burniat worked for two years as an industrial designer at Chacon, which led him to travel to China to meet with local industrial companies for several times. These trips gave him inspirations and images that would later help him to create Shrimp (Dargaud), his first comic book. Since then, Burniat has published La Passion de Dodin-Bouffant (The Passion of Dodin-Bouffant) in 2014 and the graphic novel Le Mystère du monde quantique (The Mystery of the Quantum World) in collaboration with theoretical physicist Thibault Damour in 2016, both published by Dargaud and the latter to be introduced and published in China by Post Wave Publishing. In 2016, Burniat worked together with Benoist Simmat on the graphic novel Les Illustres de la table (The Illustrious of the Table) and this year, Burniat returned to his readers with his latest popular science comic book, Sous Terre (Underground).
Ricard Fernandez (Efa) decided to drop out of school at the age of 16 to throw himself fully into what he loved. He then launched his first fanzine Realitat Virtual (Virutal Reality) and worked as a freelance illustrator in a cartoon studio. Devoted to comics, he then created his first series, Les Icariades (The Icariades), with Toni Termens, and later published Rodríguez as both writer and painter. At this time, he adopted the name of Efa and carried on with his creative work. His comics L’Âme du vin (The Soul of Wine) was then published, and he began collaboration with Virginie Ollagnier and Olivier Jouvray on the comics series Kia Ora. He then published Alter Ego, with Denis Lapière and Pierre-Paul Renders, and Yerzhan, written by Régis Hautière. Le Soldat (The Soldier) allowed Efa to collaborate again with Olivier Jouvray and was published by Le Lombard.
Discussion: What’s Going On with the Graphic Novel Editors?
Guest Speakers: Chang Jin, Lü Junjun, François Le Bescond, Eloi Morterol, Laurent Duvault (Overseas guests will participate virtually.)
Moderator: Dong Yan
Language: Chinese, French
How does a graphic novel get edited and published? What are the procedures? What is a day in the life of a comics editor like? In this discussion, comic editors from China and France are invited to come on to the stage and share with readers the stories behind the creation of a graphic novel.
About Our Guests
Chang Jin is a founding partner, content executive, production supervisor, and book publisher at SENYUMAN. Chang has supervised several comic productions including Beyond 23 Seconds, Cosmos Store, A Fortnight in the Desert, Counting Fingers, and The Village Teacher. Books Chang has supervised and published include The Three-Body Universe Illustrated, Flame Head, The Legend of Hei: Official Fanart Collection, Your Letter, Malgré tout (Always Never), and SAM.
Lü Junjun (b. Shandong) is the chief editor at Post Wave Comics. Lü attended Xiamen University and Aix-Marseille University and has worked as an editor at Post Wave Comics since graduating in 2014.
Yang Zhongwei has worked in the comics industry for 18 years. Yang has seen the transformation from print books to the internet, worked at both sides across the Taiwan Straits, edited comics of the US, Europe, Japan, Korean, and original IP works, and knew all generations of comic lovers well. Yang now lives in Shanghai but often wanders around the world and hopes the comics will be the best way to communicate with the world.
François Le Bescond has worked as the Editorial Director France at Dargaud since 2018. He began to take a deep, passionate interest in comics and created a comic strip fanzine while he was studying economics and journalism and communication. This adventure at school led him to work in several other magazines and websites in France and abroad. Passionate about painting and graphic arts and also about screenwriting and creation, he entered Dargoud’s marketing department in 1980s and joined the editorial team in 1998. In May 2013, Bescond published Un magneto dans l’assiette de Fred (A Magneto on Fred’s Plate), a book of interviews of the late renowned French cartoonist Fred.
Eloi Morterol is an editor at Webtoon Factory, a platform dedicated to mobile comics from France. Before joining the team, he founded an independent publishing house in 2009 and published works of graphic designs, literature, and comics. In 2018, when the Belgian publisher Dupuis announced its plans for the creation of webtoons, Eloi readily opted in. He now throws himself into the production of webtoons, considering it is still a relatively new form of comics in France and in Belgium. He is also trying to find and nurture up-and-coming young comic writers in Europe and around the world. In addition, Morterol has also published his own print books via several comic book publishers.
Laurent Duvault works as head of service at Mediatoon Audiovisual Rights of the Média-Participations group. He manages the licensing of film adaptation, performing arts, audio books, etc. As of today, there are more than two-hundred film, TV series and platform projects in progress of making that are licensed under Dargaud/Média-Participations worldwide. Before joining the team, Duvault had worked as Director of International Development since 2006 in close liaison with publishing groups from the US, Canada, Japan, and China, including DC Comics, Square Enix, Toei Animation, Shueisha, and so on. Duvault has also worked in film and comics journalism, comics translation, and animated screenplay. Comics he has translated include The Batman, Calvin and Hobbes, The Simpsons, and Peanuts.
About Our Moderators
Dong Yan joined Média-Participations, the largest comics group in Europe, in 2013 and was in charge of the expansion of cultural projects in the Asian market, and engaged in the branding management and operation of animation IP since the developing stage of the content. At the end of 2015, Dong returned to Shanghai as the General Manager of Média-Participations Group’s Shanghai branch, Dargaud Groupe (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. The company is dedicated to promoting cross-cultural communication between France and China, to build a platform for Chinese and French animation talents, and to develop excellent animation content.
Tao Langge, born Xu Hailiang, hails from Yantai and now lives in Tianjin. Tao is a veteran comic fan and is especially passionate about graphic novels. For years he has devoted to the promotion and popularization of the adult readership of comics in China and also participated in the introduction of several European and American graphic novels into China. He has hosted two comics-themed podcasts on Vistopia: “Manga Lab: Open Your Mind” and “Manga Globe: Around the World in 30 Comics,” where he recommended more than a hundred high-quality graphic novels around the globe to Chinese audience to increase their visibilities.