Utopiales 2009

The Malinky Robot French edition won the “Prix de la meilleure BD” (Comic Album of the Year) at the Utopiales SF Festival in Nantes!

First stop though was Paris, where me and dad visited the Eiffel Tower, which is where zombies like to come after they destroy the UK.

Have to admit I’d not heard of  Utopiales  before, but its apparently the largest SF con in Europe. Anyway this year’s special guest was James Gurney, so he did the illustration for their poster and there was lots of original art by him on display.

The event itself is a lot more low key than SDCC, which would mean more opportunities for interacting with the writers and artists there, if only I knew any french :p I did get a chance to talk to writer Stephen Baxter though, who happens to be from Liverpool so we commiserated a little on the sale of Alonso and liverpuddle’s woes this season.

I’d hoped to meet Philippe Druillet, whose Loan Sloane I’d picked up at a flea market in Cambridge years and years ago, but he had unfortunately taken ill and was unable to attend. Enki Bilal was there though, that’s him in the background  having breakfast at the hotel we were staying. Best described as… aloof :p

There were orginal comic book art on display at the event, and I particularly liked Yoann‘s lively, brushy drawings.

Some of the other nominees included Fergus and Ikigami (which picked up the Special Jury Prize).

I had very little idea what anyone was saying during the awards event but it was still kinda fun  :p

Back in Paris a couple of days later I had a chance to see a small exhibit of old video game consoles, including a 1977 Atari Pong Machine and the Odyssey.

There was also a Galaga arcade machine (me and Rich Nehmad used to play the one at RISD after lunch every day) and a handheld Galaxy II unit in which i kept getting destroyed by aliens :p

Finally a vid put up by Manga News of a robot sketch. Plus an interview of some sort here. Or click on the image below….



    1. hiya james (or should that be mr gurney? :p) great to meet you too! was exciting to see your original works, my teachers at risd often showed us your books in classes 🙂 didn’t get a copy of any dino books at utopiales cos they were in french but my dad is getting some back here in singapore 🙂

  1. Hi Sonny,

    First of all congratulations for the award! I was at Utopiales too! It was the first comics/SF con I have ever been and loved it! The exhibitons of James and Stephane Gess were really inspiring. (Leo’s drawings were way too static for me) I even raised a toast with Enki Bilal during the reception on Saturday night without knowing that it was him. I was a bit rude to be honest, I was like who is this dude then just turned my back and kept on talking with my friends :)) next time gotta learn how some artists look like I guess…


    1. hiya emre

      heh yeah utopiales was definitely an interesting experience 🙂 same feelings about leo’s work, though i guess thats a subjective thing – i always like stuff with more variations and unpredictability in line and form 🙂

  2. I bought liquid city le,suck my money…..Some of the stories have no meaning or maybe the meaning is too deep or it is to portray emotion or maybe it is the so called “modern storytelling” some are really good though i dont understand stinky fish blues,i prefer the malinky robot from flight,it was the best!

    1. heh thanks for supporting the book! :p ya for vol 2 definitely trying to address the storytelling issue, though its sometimes a bit tricky, with what’s good/bad being somewhat subjective… check out Kramer’s Ergot, that will really get your head in a spin! :p

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