French Comics Framed: French Comics on Screen

On Thursday, I was at the School of Visual Arts in New York where I interviewed a five amazing French creators as part of the French Comics Festival. The creators (and who publishes them in the US):

Etienne Davodeau  (Lulu Anew and The Intimates from NBM)
Matz  (Triggerman from Hard Case/Titan, The Killer from Archaia, Cyclops from Boom)
Jean-Claude Mezieres  (Valerian and Laureline from Cinebook)
Arthur de Pins (Zombillennium from NBM, March of the Crabs from Boom)
Jean-Marc Rochette  (Snowpiercer from Titan)

We were discussing French Comics on Screen, and ecah of them has a very unique and different relationship with the film industry. Davodeau's book Lulu Anew was adapted into a film, though not by him, and he spoke about the changes that were made and why. Matz had a book adapted to film, which was released as Bullet to the Head starring Stallone, and that started a relationship with the film's director, the legendary Walter Hill. Rochette's Snowpiercer which he drew was of course turned into the film. (And he has a strange entertaining story behind it at various stages). Mezieres is a legend in French comics for his Valerian series which he's been drawing since 1967. He's also a notable designer for film, including most famously on The Fifth Element. And now Luc Besson is working on the film Valerian which comes out next summer.

Mezieres also revelaed that he's 20-something pages into a new Valerian comic!

de Pins started out as an animator and turned his short film into the graphic novel March of the Crabs. Now he's turning his series Zombillennium (3 volumes have been released of a planned six books) into an animated film that he's directing and writing. He showed off some design work and a scene from the film.

I've interviewed Davodeau, Matz and de Pins in the past. And was nervous to be interviewing Mezieres, who is a legend. Overall it was an amazing evening and I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of this.

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