From our special correspondent in Bastia
The initiative was warmly welcomed on Friday evening in Bastia. Pierre Savelli, the mayor of the city accompanied by his assistants for culture, honored with his presence the inauguration of BD in Bastia, maintained at the cost of the infallible tenacity of its director Juana Macari. “It’s a somewhat special inauguration, for a special edition. Usually we are all gathered in the Una Volta Cultural Center (where most of the events are concentrated, Editor’s note), but this year we will do it in the street ”, declared the city councilor.
Right on the sidewalk, elected officials from Bastia were able to make the opening of the festivities touching. The event withstood the health crisis to offer an unprecedented 27th edition, which from four days goes to four months, thanks to the tenacity of its director Juana Macari, subject of all thanks and widely applauded by the audience. An inauguration that set the tone for an edition that saw its benchmarks upset by the health crisis. An adaptation at all times which did not detract from the quality of the event and its good humor.
When the meetings provided by videoconference by authors who could not make the trip, take a turn a little tormented by technical problems, it doesn’t matter. Our authors of the ninth art have humor and manage to forget the incident with a burst of laughter.
From Brussels, Philippe Dupuy, whose work on his revisited art history is the subject of a tasty exhibition, is suddenly stopped in his tracks by sound cuts. He will express himself through a drawing before qualifying, not without self-mockery, the situation of “incredible“. When his wife calls him on her cell phone in the middle of a meeting, he will also take things there with a smile: “ This cell phone hardly ever rings …», Laughs the author. But what do these hazards matter, Philippe Dupuy was able to speak at length about his artistic approach and captivate the public by evoking his eclectic way of exploring new avenues of comics.
When the great screenwriter of Snowfall, Benjamin Legrand, present in Bastia, exchanges with Frederik Peeters stuck in Switzerland, the preamble is tasty: “For a sci-fi author, to see you all masked there and me from my native Switzerland conversing with you on videoconference, it’s quite strange»Declared the creator of the masterful Aâma series. Both are part of the thematic exhibition The Factory of Futures, articulated around futuristic stories that explore dark and chaotic worlds questioning humanity on its relationship to nature. Despite some minor technical issues, the dialogues between the two authors on their conception of science fiction proved to be uplifting and fascinating.
Also fascinating, the meeting between the astrophysicist Roland LeHoucq and the young authors Aseyn, Thomas Cadène, Benjamin Adam and always Benjamin Legrand. In the brand new Maison des sciences, inaugurated last February, the pragmatism of the scientist is in harmony with the most unbridled imaginaries of our authors, Roland Lehoucq notably saluting those who know “to stage science with talent.»
The large thematic and collective exhibition, The factory of futures is a brilliant illustration of this. The exceptional conditions of this edition did not in any way mar the magnificent program. Interweaving old and new generation, the exhibition reveals the incredible work of eight authors, designers and screenwriters alike.
The Tribute, a series from the 1980s, brought to light by Cornélius editions, shows that Benjamin Legrand and his sidekick Jean-Marc Rochette are not the talents of a single work. The cultural center presents 24 boards of this ecological fable against a backdrop of a war film magnified by the expressionist trait of Rochette. The work rubs shoulders with the brightly colored plates entirely produced on a computer by Ugo Bienvenu, the prodigy of the much noticed Préférence system, or the graphic thoroughness of Aseyn, the designer of Bolshoi Arena, who takes great pleasure in representing breathtaking machines in a world plagued by virtual reality.
Also meticulous the trait of Benjamin Adam skillfully highlighting Soon, the explosive tale of Thomas Cadène, where exploration becomes the last resort for the survival of humanity. Hypnotic, the originals of Frederik Peeters take the visitor into hallucinatory dimensions imbued with a fascinating mixture of dreamlike and poetry.
The more personalized exhibitions are not left out. The devastating and committed humor of Wilfrid Lupano, the scriptwriter of the earthy Old furnaces, also brightens up the Una Volta center. Darker, the underlying humor Portrait of a drinker, a work that revisits the myth of the pirate, designed with six hands by Ruppert and Mulot as well as by Olivier Schrauwen, plunges us with delight into the drunken and irreverent pangs of Guy, his antihero.
Finally, on the heights of the city, the Bastia museum exhibits 90 originals of the brilliant and virtuoso work of Blutch, which in itself is worth a visit. Entitled The Great Crossing, the retrospective puts the spotlight on boards, illustrations, film and festival posters. An artistic profusion where the drawings with biting humor appeared in the Literary Figaro, the boards of Variations, a book revisiting the great myths of comics, from Asterix to Fred via Claire Brétécher, without forgetting the delicious rereading of the adventures of the heroes Tif and Tondu concocted with his brother Robber, convince us of the extraordinary creativity of the ninth art. In these times shaken by the health crisis, it is more than welcome and beneficial to remind us.
Comics in Bastia , from September 18 to December 23.