|Crumb's festival poster
More obvious was the conflict between the Festival and 2000 President Robert Crumb, as reported by Michael Dean in the Comics Journal #225 (July 2000). Crumb's submitted poster design was a densly rendered, full-color composition: Crumb depicted himself, at his drawing table, surrounded by a chaotic tangle of anxious figures, all beneath a banner reading "Qui a Peur de Robert Crumb?" ("Who's Afraid of Robert Crumb?"). Crumb eschewed the standard process of submitting rough sketches to the Festival committee. His poster was accepted without comment, but production was delayed. Finally, the Festival printed Crumb's poster in only limited quantities and promoted the Festival at large with "a generic poster with the year 2000 as a theme and no art at all," wrote Dean. Jean-Pierre Mercier of the CNBDI told the Journal: "It was the first time in years that the award-winner poster wasn't used for the general communication of the Festival... So it was easy for some to jump to the conclusion that the Crumb poster was censored and Crumb himself ostracized by the organization of the Festival." Offered Crumb: "The festival was trying to appeal more to families and trying to get the participation of the two big publishers. They were not happy about my involvement at all."
Whatever the current state of relations between Loisel and the Festival committee, a major exhibit of Loisel's work will proceed as planned at the CNBDI. The retrospective, curated by Loisel's son, will survey Loisel's 30-year career, including childhood work, Disney storyboards and statues based upon Loisel's characters. Loisel is best known for illustrating "La Quête de l'Oiseau du Temps," a fantasy written by Serge le Tendre, and for his current "Peter Pan" series of graphic albums, based upon the children's book by J. M. Barrie. Another major exhibit will be "Narcolepsy," showcasing the work of English cartoonist and graphic artist Dave McKean. McKean is one of this year's Festival guests and the exhibit at the Hôtel Saint Simon will cover his work in comics and in other media.