Thévenet suggests that an expanded role will allow the Festival to address constant and inevitable criticism: "For some years now, we have been aware that the four days of the International Comics Festival was a sort of 'high-risk' zone. It is almost impossible to meet everyone's expectations, those of the public and the industry, in just four days of the year... This is why we have decided not to restrict the Angoulême Festival to these four days any more, but to develop a broader range of activities spread throughout the year, with debates, exhibitions, meetings, etc." However, the Festival committee also serves other masters, upon whose support expansion depends: "One of our first challenges in relation to our private sponsors is to enhance their public image — and I am thinking particularly about the 15 - 25 age group which is especially important to them — not only during the four days of the Festival but also throughout the year."
The first example of the Festival's new direction is, according to Thévenet, "Blake & Mortimer in Paris!", a museum exhibit currently on view at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris — 275 miles from Angoulême. "In this case, the Festival acted as designer of the 'product' and identified funding sources to mount the exhibition," said Thévenet. The exhibit, on show through April, is based upon the adventures depicted in the "Blake & Mortimer" series of graphic albums originated by Edgar Jacobs. "The exhibition revolves around unforgettable pictures from the Blake and Mortimer stories and is presented with the same spirit as the series, emphasizing both the serious documentary aspects [and] the vitality of the imagination," according to the Festival's website. The show incorporates items from the museum's collection (dinosaur bones, Egyptian artifacts, etc.), and includes a reconstruction of the artist's studio. "Science and history, as well as pure escapism, are at the heart of this educational, fun exhibition, with a design evocative of the atmosphere and backgrounds of the series, building a bridge between fiction and reality." In short, the exhibit offers a largely environmental experience based upon the popular comics' imagery and contents.