Thursday, January 24, 2013

Paris: Day One

I arrived in Paris a few days ago – a week or so ahead of Angouleme – to do some signings  for the French Big Questions. The city was under a blanket of snow, a rare thing in Paris, apparently. It was mostly slush the next day.
These pictures are of the area near the Voltaire Metro, where my hotel was. The hotel was 'Hotel Candide'. Apparently it is the best of all possible hotels.

That first night I did a little conversation with Mikael Demets at Le Monte en L'Air (click for audio, French to English translation), a wonderful bookshop with an amazing collection of comics, kids books, literature, and prints of all sorts.
Part of visiting France for me is always to visit French bookshops and geek out on some of the best book design in the world. Below are some things I saw at Le Monte en L'air.

Below: two layers of elaborate die-cuts protected by a thick transparent plastic book jacket.
Deeply embossed letterpress:
More die-cuts, revealing a detailed drawing beneath...
But then you open the cover and the image seems to suddenly disappear and turn white...
until you fold the cover flap out again.
And then everyone's favorite: a book with a hole drilled through the middle. Awesome.

After the event we went to a small bar where Thomas Gabison, my former editor at Actes Sud holds court Sunday nights. They have the world's smallest Ping-Pong table.
After a bit of drinking they brought out "Raclette" which means basically a little warmer in which you melt your own cheese to then drape over a potato and some mushrooms with sliced ham and salad. So good.
Below are Eglantine from Le Monte en L'air, Louis and Marie from L'Association... 
...and the wonderful and slightly hard-to-pin-down Thomas Gabison.

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