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Les Phares du Nord: Flemish and Dutch graphic novels in the limelight in Angoulême

It’s that time of the year again: 25 – 28 January, 2018 sees the return of the Angoulême International Comics Festival, back for the 45th time. There’s a reason people call Angoulême the comic book Mecca. The most distinguished names in comics will come from all across the world to attend this annual event. In 2018, Flanders and the Netherlands will jointly showcase the cream of the Dutch-language literature crop (translated into French) at various venues and festivals across France under the banner ‘Les Phares du Nord’. In Angoulême, they’ll be doing so with a bookshop/café, where Dutch-language authors and the translations of their books will stoke up enthusiasm for graphic storytelling from the Low Countries.

Les Phares du Nord Angoulême - © Erik Kriek

Over the past few years, many Flemish and Dutch comic books have been translated into French, often after negotiations by and financial support from Flanders Literature or the Dutch Foundation for Literature. These two organisations promote Dutch-language literature abroad and celebrate comic strips as a fully-fledged genre. French and English translations of works by Dutch and Flemish authors will be for sale in the bookshop/café Les Phares du Nord. From 'Spike and Suzy', past Joost Swarte, to Olivier Schrauwen: guests will be spoiled for choice. What do they all have in common? Well, their native tongue is Dutch. Also, they all embody a spirit for adventure: either in the thrilling stories they tell, or in their quest to find an individual artistic style.

In addition, seven Flemish and Dutch authors will make the trip to Angoulême: Aimée de Jongh, Brecht Evens, Enzo Smits, Erik Kriek, Herr Seele, Simon Spruyt and Ward Zwart. There, they will promote their recent French translations, and take part in international panel debates and discussions.

Dec 6th, 2017