I’ll be having an exhibition of my work in Ville de Virton, Belgium. If you’ll be around – come and meet me! The exhibition opening is May 18th at 6:30pm at the Caves de l’Hotel de Ville de Virton.
I’m a guest of the excellent Festival International de la Caricature de la BD du Dessin de Press et d’Humour in Rouvroy-Virton Belgium, near Luxembourg, May 19, 20 and 21. I’ll be sitting around doing drawings for folks and I’ll probably give a couple of lectures. This festival is organized by France-Cartoons, the association of French cartoonists that I got to know from the editorial cartoonists Salon in St Just le Martel, so it is my old buddies I travel to hang with. It is cool, and it looks like they have a Trump theme this year! heir poster is funny.
I’ve been attending the editorial cartoonists convention in St. Just le Martel, France in recent years, and it is always great fun – but this year it had a somber tone, along with the biggest attendance ever, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders.
George Wolinski was a regular at St Just every previous year I attended. He was a convention friend who enjoyed encouraging my wife to drink much more and he stood out as a star of the convention, highly respected by his French colleagues.
The museum built a lovely memorial to Wolinski by recreating his Paris studio, pictured below. The furnishings were moved to St Just and every detail was replicated, including the positions of the books and the art materials on his drawing tables.
Wolinski was a prolific cartoonist and his work stretched well beyond Charlie Hebdo. He was known for his sexy cartoons. The book cover at the left is typical of Wolinski’s work. On the right is a poster that Wolinski did for the St Just festival. The poster for the festival is drawn each year my the winner of the “Humor Vache” award, a cow.
This year’s cow winner is “Coco,” another Charlie Hebdo and St Just regular; this was the second cow for Coco, who was a popular choice after her terrible ordeal during the attack, and her excellent work coming back after the horror. I’ll do another post on Coco.
The appreciation for the editorial cartooning profession that is on display at St Just is wonderful to see. Each convention is like a cartooning family reunion, and the loss of five members of the family was an awful blow to the community.
St Just le Martel is the patron saint of a little French town near Limoges; his bones are housed at an ancient little church in town. The story goes that little St Just was walking along one day when God asked him to throw his hammer (martel); when the hammer landed, water squirted out of the ground. God told little St Just to build a church on the spot, founding the little town. That’s an adult St. Just (right) breaking his dinnerplate halo with his martel, in an image that the town seems to have adopted as a logo (I don’t know who the artist was on this one). That’s the church that houses his bones at the left.
The tiny town opens itself up to editorial cartoonist from around the world every year at the end of September. The townsfolks put the cartoonists up in their homes and get together to prepare giant meals for the cartoonists and what looks like the whole town through the “Salon.” And the little town has built a big, nice cartoon museum (below). It is hard to imagine any little town in America doing something like this (although it looks like Kenosha, Wisconsin and Marceline, Missouri may be headed in that direction).
There is a contingent of Australian cartoonists attending this year, along with six American cartoonists that are coming with me: Steve Sack, Rick McKee, Adam Zyglis, Monte Wolverton and Nate Beeler. We’re doing exhibitions of American Views of Putin and Ferguson Missouri; I expect the Australian cartoonists will have an exhibition of Aussie cartoons.
I did the poster for this year’s Salon (right, click here to see the sketch and a large version of the poster). The Salon/festival runs over two weekends from September 27th through October 5th. The first weekend they give their “Humor Tendre” (tender humor) award to someone like a children’s book illustrator who draws nice, sweet cartoons; the award consists of a live sheep. The week between the weekends can be a bit slow, but some cartoonists hang out for the week between the two weekends.
The second weekend, when most of the editorial cartoonists attend, they give the “Humor Vache” (cow humor, or harsh humor) award to a more satirical, caustic cartoonist. I won the cow last year, which is why I did the poster this year; there seems to be a tradition of the cow winner doing the poster for the following year. See me with my charming prize, Josette the cow, at last year’s event here.
St Just le Martel is way out in the French boondocks, cow country, and they are proud of their cows. The cow has become a symbol for the Salon/festival – the Limoges cow is always brown, like Josette. Here are some more posters from recent Salons …