the 1990s. Both as an artist and as a co-founder of independent publishing house L’Association, David B. helped the B.D. to become an important modern medium.

L’Association inspired a wave of artist-run publishing start-ups across Europe and the art of David B and his contemporaries has influenced even modern Japanese manga. In America, Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books publishes the majority of these French and francophone auteurs, and many of their works are translated by the project’s Associate Curator, Kim Thompson – co-owner of Fantagraphics.

There were many advantages and benefits to this project. It brought a singular French artist of international stature to Seattle and provided occasions for anyone to speak with him. Plus, with all events open and free of charge:

• It raised awareness of the art form practiced by hundreds of artists in the host region
• It facilitated broader bicultural communications and provided a good model for further bicultural European-US collaborations
• It helped serve the 6,000 French nationals who inhabit the greater Puget Sound region, as well as bilingual and other francophone residents
• It served the host area’s Francophile residents, as well as students of the French language and patrimony
• It created opportunities for cultural integration and the exchange of knowledge between different groups and different ages

<< backmore >>

 

photographs copyright Steven P. Sampson design MuchaCreative