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….

Utopiales and Singapore Writers Festival

The French Malinky Robot collection is rather surprisingly  up for the Best SF Comics Album award (aka “Le Prix Du Meilleur Album de SF) at the Utopiales Science Fiction Festival in Nantes . Its the city of Jules Vernes, and James Gurney is the guest-of-honour there this year. Other nominees for the award are:

Ikigami, Préavis de mort de Motoro Masse, Asuka, 2009

The Twelve de W.Chris, J-M.Straczynski, Panini Comics, 2009

Fergus d’Agrimbau et Pietro, Atalante 2009

Malinky robot de S. Liew, Paquet 2009

Les épées de verre de S.Corgiat, L.Zuccheri, Les Humanoïdes Associés 2009

Doubt d’Yoshiki Tonogai, KI-OON 2009

Also this month  is the Singapore Writer’s Festival, which has quite a few comics panels, with guests including Lat, Neil Gaiman and Mark Waid. I’ll be muddling my way through a couple of panels:

24 Oct 2009, 3:00 pm

” Comics – A Timeless Narrative   Price: Free    Venue : Chamber
Featuring: Lat, Mark Waid, Sonny Liew
Moderator: Terence Chua

From young to old, everybody loves a good comic! Join American comic writer Mark Waid (whose notable works include The Flash, Captain America and Superman), Malaysian-born Singapore-based comic artist Sonny Liew and beloved Malaysian comic artist Lat in a panel that reflects on the challenges of drafting a good narrative and on writing comics from an American or Asian angle.”

Another panel with Troy Chin is being moved to an earlier date (the 25th I think) .

Some paintings up at the Arts House too for the Writer’s Fest :p