What Angoulême Looked Like In 1982, In The Eyes Of Osamu Tezuka

In 1982 the creator of Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka went to the ninth Angoulême comic book festival.

Sponsored by the Japanese government and accompanied by politicians, he turned the experience into a comic book, as recalled by Paul La Marca for Fumettologica.

Which gives a chance to see what once was, through the eyes of an outsider… as he took one of his characters with him around the town.



He reports an attendance of 170,000, still dwarfing all US/UK comic book events, even now, how the buildings of the twon were converted into comic book pages, and large tents were erected through the town to house publishers and cartoonists.


And throwing in the parades and the fireworks.


Pretty much just like Angoulême is right now. Except ten times smaller…

The differences are that in 1982, most of the comics on display were aimed at children and were mostly French/Belgian. What foreign comics were there were American, and very little manga presence. Thirty-four years later and while French/Belgian comics still dominate, American comics have increased and manga has boomed and blossomed.



Although he did recall how a Buddhist cross from his work was mistaken for another symbol closer to home…

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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