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Best of 2013 – Benjamin Roure

Published On December 20, 2013 | By Wim | Best of the Year 2013, Comics, Continental Correspondent

December means it’s Best Of The Year time at the FPI Blog. But it’s best of the year with a difference. We’ll tell you ours later in the month, but before then we present a month long celebration of all the things enjoyed by a host of guests; writers, artists, comic makers.. we’ve got them all! (follow this link to see all the posts from this year’s BoY so far).

In this installment of our never-ending series looking back to 2013, we present the view of Benjamin Roure, editor-in-chief of the magnificent French comics information magazine BoDoï and very generous guy all-round…

 

FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

 

Benjamin: I loved L’Entrevue by Manuele Fior (Futuropolis) – it’s a history about aliens and love, presented like an Antonioni movie, only less boring! Manuele Fior is an Itialian creator, who masterfully dissects relations between men and women, reflects on the reasons for being attached to one planet, one town, one couple, one family, and on what in the end makes man into the social and  loving animal.  In terms of art, he’s developed a sensious line that is prone for experimentation. A delight.
L'Entrevue by Manuele Fior futuropolis

Aâma, by Frederik Peeters (Gallimard, English language edition by SelfMadeHero) is imply the best science fiction of tha past 15 years. Rich, intelligent, inventive, graphically mindblowing. Frederik Peeters takes the great themes of SF (human nature, evolution, genetic manipulation, robotics) and reinterprets them in a humanist and senroy vein, which touches us on a most profound level. A great comic, possibly a classic.

Planche2AÂMA

Annie Sullivan & Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (çà et là/cambourakis): tells the true story of  Helen Keller, a blind AND deaf girl living in the South of the United States in the 19th Century, and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, a visually impared orphan herself. It’s an extremely moving tale, but never a tearjerker. How  Joseph Lambert manages to visualise how Helen, whose environment is limited to what she can touch, experiences the world around her is simply stunning.  A masterpiece.

Annie Sullivan & Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert

FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Benjamin: Since I run BoDoï and especially since I have a little daughter (she’s currently 2), I don’t have the time anymore to read books besides comics. Shame upon me!

bring-the-noise

I did however read through Bring the noise, by Simon Reynolds, which collects his music essays from the eighties and nineties, between pop and hip hop. Truely an interesting timewarp!

And let’s not forget books for kids : Dans l’ensemble, by Elisa Géhin (Les Fourmis rouges). Intelligent, full of stunning colour and surprises, at once a lesson in language and concepts and full of possibilities for reading aloud.

FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?

Benjamin: Same thing : no time, no time for the movies, and even less for TV. However :

- Game of Thrones: naturally, the TV event of the year. Befor the series I’d started on the books (which I love), and the translation to TV struck me as very well accomplished.  Beautiful, complex, powerful and very well played. Game Of Thrones was made to become a grand TV show.

- Mad Men: without a doubt the finest and best documented American story on the evolution of women’s place in Western society after World War II. It’s perfectly written, played and filmed. Great class.

TOP OF THE LAKE

- Top of the Lake: I’ve only managed to see the first episode of this series by Jane Campion, but I was hooked by its atmosphere, its sadness… and its actors.

FPI: How did 2013 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?

Benjamin: BoDoï made an appeal to our general public through crowdfunding (on Ulule) to find the necessary means to redesign our site.  That campaign was succesful, and we were able to present our readers with a totally new site, more practical and fast. That was a very pleasing endeavour, and it encourages us to keep up the hard work.

FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2014?

Benjamin: We are trying to find new ways to talk about comics on the internet, and also to create new tools for its readers.

Mambo by Claire Braud

Mambo by Claire Braud

FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?

Benjamin: Donjon, the series by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim, will come to completion next spring with two new issues by Mazan and Alfred. It promises to be a real event, fifteen years after the start of the series, and an ending that we didn’t dare to hope for anymore.

Claire Braud surprised us with her first graphic novel, “Mambo (L’Association, 2011); she’s currently working on a new book, that hopefully will be published in 2014!

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Wim

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