We don’t mean to belittle this sobering story with a funny headline, but…well we did it anyway. However, it seems that Angoulême, France, cradle of the greatest , biggest comics convention of them all, a town-spanning festival where well over 200,000 people gather just to watch Seth tie his shoes, is having the same kind of townie drama some other shows have. Tom Spurgeon has the story with this quote from Angoulêmeologist Bart Beaty:
I am so not privy to the high stakes negotiations that would take place between the town and the Festival, that I am almost tempted to just keep my mouth shut and listen to the signals. The essential problem for the moment seems to be the idea that Angouleme does not want to take on the cost (400,000 Euros) of erecting the tents and the security barriers that allow the Festival to function. Like every other government in the world, they’re faced with declining tax revenues and a financial crisis. This has led them to question whether or not the city really derives that much economic benefit from the Festival, and the suggestion that the costs of erecting tents so that publishers can sell comics should be borne by the publishers. There is also concern moving forward about future funding for the Festival for 2011-2013.
It is sad to see commerce rear its head in one of the few places that celebrated comics as an art form first, but, you know, baby needs new escargot.