Thursday, June 27, 2013


Woke early to the tiger after a night in Nao's bed. Got dressed. Got ready.  Met the rest of the lovely Dillon clan. Said hello. Said goodbye. Cab on time. St "Pancreas" bound.

Paul Gravett greeted us in the International departure lounge. He really is The Man at the Crossroads!! He was Angouleme bound via a different route and we parted ways.

We rendezvoused with our publisher, Emma Hayley. Quick coffee. Quick chat. And off again. After being dragged out of England and through a tunnel backwards and tangoing with the Paris metro (considerably cheaper than the London Underground and just as efficient! Grrrr!!!) we we're on the Angouleme train rattling through the French countryside.

We arrived in Angouleme to rain we didn't bring with us. Something Brits from an island of inclemency are often blamed for, but seriously, it was like that when we got there! And then it was goodbye Emma as she headed off to her hotel and hello to Mara, an Akileos auteur from Switzerland (speaks excellent English and puts us both to shame for our lack of even basic 'Allo 'Allo French).

Our French publisher, Emmanuel Bouteille (aka Manu or Mr Good-Bottle), picked us all up in his car and we headed for our booth in town.

The town was abuzz with the set up. Vans parked up on curbs with people carrying boxes into the convention centre, and inside, people sorting tables, setting up stands. It's not unreasonable to say that the whole of Angouleme is commandeered by this festival. When I say convention centre here I'm actually just talking about our marquee which houses all the main publishers… there are marquees dotted all over Angouleme with various things going on in them. It's huge and when you're signing at Angouleme you don't really get a chance to see it all because you're signing. All the time.

We waded through bubble wrap and empty cardboard boxes. We had arrived. We met with Richard Saint Martin (the other half of Akileos). We saw the tables we would call home for the next few days (an excellent spot, right opposite Dargaud) and then off to accommodation. Glyn stayed in town in a beautiful apartment I'd stayed in before and I was staying with my extended family, Akileos, in the countryside. We drove out to a beautiful farm/manor house. The room I got was gorgeous. I dumped my bags and we headed back into Angouleme for food and drink!

Later that night, Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin) joined us for dinner. We ate. We drank. We talked. We had the entire plot of The Life of Pi spoiled for us, Glyn discovered that he quite likes Camembert, we discovered that Manu does not, and then we parted ways with Glyn and headed back to the manor house and to bed.

I closed my eyes and bid the long day goodnight.

No Tigers.

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