Each December we have a tradition on the FP blog where as well as the blog crew picking out their favourites we run a daily series all month long from friends in the comics and SF&F worlds, writers, artists, editors, reviewers picking out their Best of the Year selections so we get a much more diverse range of good recommendations for you (see here for the guest BoY 2013 posts so far).
Pieter De Poortere, illustrator, cartoonist, children’s book writer, animation producer (etc.) is a very busy man. He nevertheless took the time to dig into his memories of this year, and sift out some gems to share with you all…
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?
Without a doubt, Boulet. I think his Bouletcorp website is amazing, and I visit it almost every day. It’ craftily drawn and very funny.
Earler this year I saw a theatre performance based on Chris Ware’s Lint; I bought the book and liked it.
And Stalag IIB, the latest book by Jacques Tardi, was dark as ever, but it reads like a rollercoaster.
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
I’ve not read that many novels this year, I’m afraid. I only seem to buy children’s books these days, especially by Leo Timmers and Tom Schamp, but also Romance by Blexbolex and ATAK’s Topsy Turvy World.
I did read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel though, and that was great : you really get submerged in that piece of history, and you get to feel how people thought. Also read and approved : Flemish novelist Dimitri Verhulst’s new novel, De laatkomer (The Latecomer). That book has a great premise, a man faking his own dementia, but it does disappoint towards the end.
Jan Van Der Veken’s Fabrica Grafica [which we blogged about earlier - WL] should have been on everybody’s bookshelf by now.
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?
Top of the Lake by Jane Campion was very good, I thought, and especially very beautiful in its visualisation. I thoroughly enjoyed the daily dose of nonsense in De ideale wereld [Flemish topical satire show - WL] - I love seeing them taking the mick out of people.
I’m currently watching the third season of (Danish crime series) The Killing – I’m watching it the old-fashioned way, on television, and I always eagerly waiting for the next episode
FPI: How did 2013 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
The year started pretty slowly – I think there’s a bit of a crisis in the world of cartooning gigs, but that gave me the opportunity (and the time) to think up some new projects. I’ve started doing more animation, and that’s really rolling along now. I learned a lot over the year, and I’ve been able to work with a whole lot of wonderful people in animation, costume, scripting, music, production, acting, etc.
I also published a children’s book this year, De Regenboogstraat [The Rainbow Street - WL], a Where’s Wally like book for toddlers that I’m very happy with.
The biggest change, I think, is that I started working with an agent, which saves me a lot of grief and worries.
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2014?
You can expect a new Boerke for may – Prince Boerke will be published simultaneously in Holland and Belgium (by Blloan) and in France (as Prince Dickie, Glénat). Later, in the fall, the collected Boerke gets its Dutch release, after last year’s French publication.
We are currently hard at work with Joe The Eskimo, een animation series for preschoolers for Ketnet [Flemish children's TV channel - WL]. It’s going to be a combination of 2D animation and live action, and the pilot is scheduled for the start of 2014. My production company, De Hofleveranciers [something like, By Royal Appointment - WL] regularly works together with Beast Animation [famous Belgian animation studio, that also did production work for A Town Called Panic], which will probably result in more projects later.
I’m also working on a children’s comic about zombies, called Youri, that I’d also like to develop into an animation series. I received a scriptwriting grant from the Flemish government, and I will have plenty of time to spend at my writing desk, with coaching by an experienced script writer.
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
You may want to look out for the book by Dieter Van der Ougstraete [Snow & Co, Bries], which is a bit of a cross between Gary Baseman and Atak. And I also think that Lekstock.com, the stock image site for quality illustration work that I work with, will slowly but surely become the reference it’s supposed to be.