in its French edition
Ancillary exhibits of note include the "Pacquebot" ("Ocean Liner") group show at the Maison des Autuers, which will include an exhibit poster and 20 Popeye drawings by Richard McGuire as well as work by resident artist Fabrice Neaud. Festival attendees can also visit a currently-running exhibit at the CNBDI dedicated to Martin Vaughn-James' 1975 visual novel, "The Cage." In 1999 the Center's museum "acquired all the original drawings for this work, as well as everything used in its development (sketches, several versions of the manuscript, etc.)," according to the Festival's website. All of these documents are being exhibited for the first time in the show, which began in October and runs through February. Martin Vaughn-James will appear at the CNBDI on Friday, January 23, joined in discussion by comics writer Benoit Peeters and by scholar Thierry Groensteen, who wrote a book-length analysis of "The Cage."
The bulk of Festival programming is presented as the E. Leclerc Forum, a series of author presentations sponsored by the French supermarket chain of the same name. The core Forum will present "authors, scriptwriters and publishers, comic strip professionals and enthusiasts for debates on the 9th art." This year's Forum also offers an "International Encounters" component, initiated by Schuiten for last year's festival. A line-up of creators including Chris Claremont, Loisel, Lorenzo Mattoti, McKean, Carlos Nine, Seth, Joan Sfar, Joost Swarte, Chris Ware, Winschluss & Cizo, and the eventual 2004 Grand Prix Winner will discuss their work over the course of the festival.