June 7-8 I was a guest at Rendez-Vous de la BD d'Amiens, a large festival in Amiens, France, an hour north of Paris. My friend Nico lives in Amiens, and he told me great things about the festival for years. I was really looking forward to seeing it, and looking forward to returning to Amiens in June to see the difference from my visit in January.
The convention treated artists SO well. I got a taste of the French convention model at St-Malo, Angouleme, and Bulles de Neige, but this was really special. I felt pampered and informed from arrival to departure, ate fantastic food, and had plenty of time to meet the other guests and enjoy the city...it was amazing. The festival volunteers and employees were phenomenal.
The city was gorgeous! It was sunny and hot, tourist season was starting, and people were milling around the streets of downtown. I got to visit the Cathedral with a group from the festival, and a couple of our dinners were on the river in areas I hadn't made it out to yet. Each evening after the festival we had snacks and drinks on a big terrace of the university looking out over the old town and canals.
At the festival I adopted the French dédicace model of signing books for free with nice, 20-ish minute drawings, and letting the festival handle sales for me at their big bookstore at the entrance. It was nice not having to sell my own work like I do in the US, where I have to be constantly engaging multiple people and dropping other conversations when someone wants to make a purchase. I had a decent line of people patiently waiting for that time with me, and we sold out of books on Saturday!
Result: mini me!