Le Voyage en Italie – anniversary edition

In Angoulême, I discovered a special edition of ‘Le Voyage en Italie’.

‘Les Éditions Black and White’ had published a luxurious anniversary edition of the album, celebrating its 30th birthday. This publisher, based in Strassbourg, is a specialist in special, luxurious editions, and they have done a great job.

It is an album on a large format (30 x 40 cm), with the story printed in bichromie (two colours), blue and orange. It is not just a transposition of the original album in these two colours, but an entirely reworked and revised edition. It took a full nine months of hard work, supervised by Cosey. The result is a fascinating new look. I especially like the night scenes.

The album is signed, numbered (there are only 225 copies) and it includes a silk screen print.

You can find the publisher on Facebook.

Thanks to Bernard Matthey-Doret – Pictures are borrowed from the publisher’s Facebook-page

Jonathan Intégrale 6

Just before the Festival in Angoulême, Le Lombard published the last volume of the Jonathan Intégrale, containing the last two Jonathan stories (‘Atsuko’ and ‘Celle qui fut’).

This time , the dossier is a long and interesting interview with Cosey, by Isabelle Dillmann, with the title: ‘Cosey, ou l’idéogramme intérieur’. Illustrated with a lot of photos and drawings, of course.

Angoulême 2018 (9) – Two special meetings

Last Saturday my wife and I visited the FIBD in Angoulême. I had the opportunity to meet Bernard Cosey himself, for the first time. He had a day packed with presidential obligations, but he took some time before his duties began. We walked from his hotel to his exposition, talking about the Festival, his books, my site, etcetera etcetera. A very nice meeting!

During my visit to the exposition, I met another Bernard I had also never met before, Bernard Matthey-Doret. He is probably the greatest collectionneur of Cosey works, and certainly the greatest expert when it comes to special editions and all kinds of publications. Since I started my site in 2002, there has been regular mail traffic between us: he sends me scans of new publications and I send him questions regarding images I find on the internet (in all cases he had the answer). In the afternoon, we met again, talking about Cosey’s work until a restaurant employee asked us to leave the place.

Two special meetings, beautiful expositions and a few bags with nice acquisitions to my collection: it was a very good day in Angoulême.

Angoulême 2018 (8) – Cosey Chevalier

Another palm was added to Cosey’s list of prizes and awards. In Angoulême, the 25th january, France’s Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen, pronounced Cosey ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ (‘Knight of the Arts and Letters’).

The title had been granted to Cosey on 21 april 2017 already, but the actual medal was given to him in Angoulême this year.

Thanks to Bernard Matthey-Doret

Angoulême 2018 (6) – a life in a picture

On the poster for the FIBD 2018 in Angoulême, Cosey summarises his life in comics. These are the references I found, in chronological order:

  • 1975 – Jonathan 1: Souviens-toi, Jonathan… The earring of Saïcha. The first Jonathan, an obvious choice to include in the poster.
  • 1978 – Jonathan 5: L’espace bleu entre les nuages Clouds and blue sky refer to the painting that gives its name to the album. In many interviews, Cosey has said this is one of his favourite Jonathan albums.
  • 1980 – Jonathan 7: Kate A break-through album, winning the prize for ‘Best album’ in Angoulême (in 1982).
  • 1984 – À la recherche de Peter Pan His first one-shot album with its iconic cover.
  • 1988 – Le Voyage en Italie His second one-shot album, starting the famous Aire Libre collection of Dupuis. The album with an ending that hurts.
  • 1997 – Jonathan 12: Celui qui mène les fleuves à la mer After a break of eleven years, Cosey continues his Jonathan series.
  • 2005 – Le Bouddha d’Azur Cosey’s farewell to Tibet.
  • 2016 – Mickey: Une mystérieuse mélodie A childhood dream comes true when Cosey makes a Mickey Mouse album.
  • 2017 – Calypso Cosey’s first black-and-white album.

And finally – Jonathan or Cosey, the eternal question. From the very start of the Jonathan series there has been confusion: is Jonathan Cosey? Cosey’s answer: Jonathan is an imporved version of himself, the most notable difference is that Jonathan ages much more slowly than his creator.

Open for investigation: the pattern bottom left, I couldn’t find it in the albums. The mountain at the right (between Mickey and Voyage en Italie): I am not sure if this is a specific mountain from one of the albums. Determining mountains in albums of Cosey is a task that requires many winter evenings…

What do we miss in the poster? First of all I think of ‘Hanoi-Saigon’, winner of the ‘Best scenario’ prize in Angoulême in 1993. Second, the latest Jonathan (Celle qui fut) could have been included because it closes the Jonathan series. And finally, maybe a tiny reference to Derib, who took young Bernard Cosey in as an apprentice in 1969, would have been nice. But maybe it is in the poster, and I simply didn’t notice…


Angoulême 2018 (5) – colours

Two days to go and the ‘Festival International de la Bande Dessinée’ will start. As you know, Cosey is the honorary president this year. The Festival invites us all to put some colours to Cosey’s drawings of Bouddhist symbols and statues. You can download it on the website of the Festival.

Another thing is the catalogue of the exposition ‘Une quête de l’épure’ (I would translate it as ‘A quest for purity’, although I understood that ‘épure’ doesn’t exist as a french word in this sense). The catalogue can be ordered in the Festival shop.

Something strange seems to be going on wth the book cover: a few weeks ago I showed the cover with a green rectangle behind the text, yesterday this rectangle had the warm yellow colour we know so well from Cosey, today I found that it is orange. It seems the covers are following colours of the rainbow – I am curious to know if the actual book will be available in different colours too.

Angoulême 2018 (1) – the poster

This is the poster for the Festival de la BD in Angoulême 2018: a ‘thanka’-ish composition of highlights from Cosey’s career. Cosey plays with the blurred distinction between himself and his famous character Jonathan, by drawing himself/Jonathan in silhouet, and putting some drawing tools  in his/Jonathan’s bag.

dBD #119

In issue #119 of dBD, you can read an 8 pages interview with Cosey. He talks about the Grand Prix d’Angoulême, about the black-and-white in Calypso, about egoism and solitude, about his choice for Futuropolis for Calypso, about Mickey and its disappointing sales (surprisingly, if you have seen all publicity around it), about travels, about Asia, about interviews and about his profession… all in all, well worth reading.

More information on the website of dBD.

Thanks to Dinu Logoz

Calypso (9) – My article

Still two days to go for the release of Calypso, but I proudly present my article on the album.

I have focused my article on two aspects of the album: Calypso as Cosey’s first album in black-and-white and the cooperation with François Mattille.

I explore the black-and-white theme into some depth, based on old and new interviews. It is shown that Calypso is another step in the evolution of Cosey’s art towards greater simplicity and directness, an evolution that has been continuing for more than 40 years.

The initial idea for Calypso came from François Mattille. Having found some statements about Mattille’s help as a script doctor in a very old interview (1988!), I thought it was nice to remind us of these statements – with the hindsight we have now.

Click here to go to the article – enjoy!