During a break between adventures, our two heroes offera round of "very British" sport in the sort of setting only Albion can offer. Created especially for Champaka, this drawing has been adapted with a "stencil", a traditional printing technique greatly appreciated by the artist for the delicate colours it permits.
Caractéritiques techniques :
• Impression au pochoir réalisée, à la main, par l’Atelier de coloris
• 13 pochoirs sur papier bfk Rives 250 g
• 40 x 60 cm
• Tirage : 40 exemplaires numérotés et signés
• Date de mise en vente : 16-09-2013
• PVP: 300 €
For the poster art of Blacksad in the Dark, Juanjo Guarnido reproduces his original in a larger format. This portrait combines the typical properties of the famous detective cat: trench coat, cigarette and glass of alcohol. For the first time, the artist chooses pastels. “I attacked this image with a very painterly approach as opposed to my usual style on the artworks for "Blacksad".” The aim was also to create a chiaroscuro effect which sculpts the character in a very three-dimensional way. The hyper-realistic side is conveyed by the treatment of light. But also by the bias for a very classical portrait composition, incorporating the narrative side related to the noir atmosphere that always accompanies Blacksad.
The spirit of Expo ’58 can be found in the creations of Antonio Lapone. His elegant ‘ladies’ owe a little to the Marilyn-style ‘pin-up’. Their elegance owes more to Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn: beautiful, graceful and (almost) inaccessible. The mystery of their gaze outweighing the depth of their neckline. The whole combining in his graphic compositions design, colour and seduction. On the occasion of the exhibition Night Paths (www.galeriechampka.com), Champaka is publishing a catalogue which contains almost all the original works created by Antonio Lapone. A "chic and shock" object with an accessible retail price…
• W : 42.0 cm - H : 29.0 cm
• Paper : 48 pages quadri - paper Silk 170 g
• Soft Cover - paper Silk 250 g
• Number of copies : 1.000
• Date of issue : 09/04/2012
• © Lapone, 2012
• Sale price : 10.00 €
To read an interview with Macula Brocoli’s artist and co-writer, Alexandre Franc, head straight for Klarelijninternational’s, an excellent website, dedicated to Ligne Claire illustration in all its facets:
To watch Francois Avril's in depth commentary on "La Fresque", where he
explains the different characters and authors he references within the
image, go to http://www.champaka.be/les-livres-320
In October, the “Icônes” collection will welcome a stunning new silkscreen print, “Place des Héros”, created by André Juillard. In this illustration, luminaries from the world of 40s and 50s franco-belgian comics are reunited on the market square which hosts Brussels famous flea market.
At the beginning of October, Champaka will publish a silkscreen print by Yves Chaland entitled Jeune Albert - Tramway et Série Noire. In this stunning illustration, the young rascal is reading a book from the famous Série Noire detective fiction series published by Gallimard. Aficionados will no doubt recognise this image, since Chaland originally created it for a mural painting in Brussels. (The mural is located on Rue des Alexiens in the city centre). This version has been coloured by Isabelle Beaumenay-Joannet, Chaland?s wife and colourist.
Run: 150 copies, numbered . Format: 60 x 80 cm. PVP. 90euros
Fans of Larcenet & Ferri's Retour à la Terre series will fondly remember the beautiful cover for the original edition of its second volume (now impossible to find). In October, Champaka will bring this breathless masterpiece to life once again as a 50 x 70 cm print, printed in 8 colour digigraphy on 250g Steinbach paper. Run: 99 copies, numbered and signed.
To commemorate the Atomium’s “In Search of the Atom Style” exhibition, Champaka has published 14 postcards by François Avril. They feature a selection of the drawings on display at the ‘Avril in Brussels’ show held at the bookshop-gallery Brüsel and depict a city which could be Brussels but also incorporates elements of contemporary Barcelona or Berlin. This is Atom City - a vision of what the European capital might have become over the last 50 years had it had pursued the modernist path initiated by the famous Expo 58. The iconic Atomium can itself be found in these 14 images, though sometimes in a deconstructed fashion. And a 15th card has slipped in unnoticed : it reproduces the the image found on the At the Atomium Foundation silk screen print.
For almost 20 years, Champaka have enjoyed a highly successful creative relationship with Floc’h, publishing several of his books and many of his silkscreen prints. Now thanks to a special exhibition at BDArtist(e), admirers of Floc’h will have a unique opportunity to discover the beauty and craftsmanship of his original artwork in person. The show will encompass the many different facets of Floc’h’s talent, from cinema posters for the likes of Alain Resnais and Woody Allen to original comic pages (« Dossier Harding », « Rendez-vous de Sevenoaks» and others) as well as a selection of his editorial and publicity work.
The exhibition runs from the 24th of June to 12th of September 2009.
BdArtiste - 55 Condorcet street, Paris, 9th arrondissement - Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 2pm to 7pm. - Tel: 33 (0) 6.80.06.29.95
Fresco Belge ( Belgian Fresco ) could be described as Ever Meulen’s ‘grand design’ in every sense of the term, a history of Belgian comic books from the late 1920s to the end of the Second World War, notable for both its sheer physical size and its artistic scope. This intricately detailed illustration chronicles the history of Belgian comics, starting with the late 1920s (birth of Tintin) and concluding with the end of the Second World War. All the masters of Belgian comics’ golden era are represented: Hergé, Jijé, Sirius, Will, Vandersteen, Sleen, Franquin, Jacobs as well as many others. This high quality pictographic print (similar to Digigraphic printing) offers a scaled-down reproduction of the original artwork (measuring 12.5m in length by 1.88 metres in height) which Ever Meulen created for the Belgian Comics: Frames of Reference exhibition at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. His fresco accompanied others by Francois Avril and Joost Swarte, thereby giving the viewer the chance to take a visual journey of comic history from Paris (Avril) to Amsterdam (Swarte) by way of Brussels (Meulen). This print is limited to 50 copies signed and numbered by Ever Meulen.
François Avril, Ted Benoit, Philippe Berthet, Dupuy&Berberian, Ever Meulen, Floc'h, Vittorio Giardino, Jean-Claude Götting, André Juillard, Jacques de Loustal, Frank Pé, François Schuiten, Joost Swarte and Bernard Yslaire have each created an illustration about the Atomium for Champaka, in 2008. Depending on what this emblematic monument evokes in them, each artist has situated his composition in the Fifties, or in a more contemporary, even futuristic setting. The subject is both the Atomium itself, as the "star" or in the background, and the "spirit" of the monument. The 14 drawings are printed in a giant format, accompanied by a text explaining each artist's intentions and what the Atomium and Expo '58 evoke for him. A kaleidoscopic way of looking at a myth!
“Regards croisés de la bande dessinée belge”, a major exhibition hosted by the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles from 27 March to 28 June 2009, has been honoured with a fitting commemoration. François Avril has created a themed mural that depicts the history of world-wide bande dessinée from the 1960s.
Graced with the title Avez-vous déjà croisé ces personnes à Bruxelles? Avril’s fresco measures 14.5 m long and 1.88 m wide. It illustrates, in partnership with murals by Ever Meulen and Joost Swarte, the introduction to the largest exhibition (1,500 m2 featuring over 400 originals) ever dedicated to bande dessinée in Europe. “Regards croisés de la bande dessinée belge” has been organized as part of “Brussels 2009 BD Comic Strip”, the year designated by the government of the Bruxelles-Capitale region as the year of bande dessinée.
Concerned to find a fitting means of commemorating François Avril’s elegant composition and to give it a life beyond the confines of the exhibition, Champaka has chosen to publish the mural image in the form of a “leporello” or “accordion-pleat” print. Avril’s fresco will be reproduced in the dimensions 1,890 mm long by 190 mm high, being 13 leaves measuring 135 mm.
The La Fresque leporello will be issued as a 450-print edition, each numbered and signed by the artist. This unique print will be for sale from 8 May 2009, available for a recommended sale price of €50.
L’Avventura, the new screenprint by François Avril
It had to happen… Champaka has long been a great fan of François Avril’s work, and has its home in Brussels, so we were fated to ask the Paris-based artist to create an artwork “made in Brussels.” Our wish will be granted in May when L’Avventura, his new screenprint, is published. The artist is happy to describe it for us. “The building at its centre is known to anyone who leaves the Gare du Midi and heads towards the city centre. The real name of the featured salon de thé – L’Avenida is dropped in favour of L’Avventura, a film by Antonioni. I’ve always adored the two “v”s of that word! Also shown is an “Eddy Merckx” bicycle shop. I love cycling and I used to have one of those bikes. The car is an echo of the Turbotraction. For the BD mural – a Brussels’ speciality – I chose a portrait of Anthracite. Raymond Macherot’s death, towards the end of last year, really marked me. I hope he’ll have his own mural, some day…”
May brings us back to the time of the Crusades…
Thanks to Morriganes, Murena and Djinn, Jean Dufaux’s presence at the heart of Champaka’s catalogue is already well established; a talent for creative collaborations with powerful artists is one of this author’s notable gifts. Now, with Croisades, Xavier takes his rightful place alongside Delaby and Mirallès in the select club of creators of memorable cover artwork. For Dufaux, Xavier represents “an unusual marriage wherein a European model meets an American style.” The artist’s joy in his own gift is evident to the reader: “I enjoy drawing; it comes to me more and more easily; characters evolve. Drawing Croisades became a journey, an adventure. You can take on different identities.” Champaka is pleased to welcome into its Icônes collection, in May, the cover image of Le Maître des machines, the third title in the Croisades series.
Atom City: Avril à Bruxelles exhibition at Galerie Brüsel
As part of the Brussels 2009 BD Comic Strip theme whereby the region of Bruxelles-Capitale celebrates bande dessinée, Galerie Brüsel is holding an exhibition of works by François Avril, undisputably one of Editions Champaka’s favourite artists. Better yet, the gallery suggested, in tandem with us, an exhibition dedicated solely to Brussels, the host city. The works showcase Avril’s artistry in several media – pencil sketches, pen-and-ink drawings, gouaches on paper, acrylics on canvas… - and show the city’s familiar face in a new and seductive light. Composed almost entirely of previously unseen work, «Avril à Bruxelles» outlines a futuristic Brussels that could answer to the name of Atom City. “It could be a futuristic vision of the Brussels of 2000 that the public of Expo ´58 might have envisaged; but, given that the city hasn’t changed all that much, one might say that it’s my vision of the city in 2058.”
The exhibition runs from 8 May to 7 June 2009 at Galerie Brüsel – Boulevard Anspach 100 – 1000 Bruxelles – www.brusel.com - Tel: +32 2 511 08 09
“Spirou à Bruxelles” numbered and signed screenprint by Emile Bravo
As part of BRUSSELS 2009 BD COMICS STRIP, which celebrates twenty years of existence of the Bruxelles-Capitale region, twenty contemporary BD authors have contributed their artistic vision of the city as part of the book Bruxelles : 20 ans/20 auteurs edited by Alain Goffin. A considerable number of the selected artists have been associated with Champaka for many years : Avril, Berthet, Götting, Juillard, Loustal, Ever Meulen, Schuiten and Yslaire. At the “Rencontres Yves Chaland” in Nérac in September 2008, Champaka and Emile Bravo promised to collaborate on an artistic print as soon as a suitable opportunity presented itself. Thus, when Emile Bravo created this image for the aforementioned book, it was a foregone conclusion that Champaka would happily publish it as a screenprint. The creator of Jules adapted the colour treatment specially for the screenprinting process, for which the artist has a particular appreciation. The image is replete with icons of the city’s artistic life: Hergé puts away his pen after signing an autograph for a delighted Spirou, who brandishes his prize triumphantly for the benefit of his companion, who is none other than René Magritte. Welcome to the Brussels of the 1930s…
Isaac le pirate numbered and signed screenprint by Christophe Blain
Captivated by Christophe Blain’s deft artwork, Champaka was only too happy to publish, in 2002, a portfolio of unpublished drawings featuring some sinister pirates. As the artist is not given to producing collectors’ items, Champaka had to wait some time before pursuing further collaborative projects with him. The masterly treatment of light and shade seen in the cover artwork for Les glaces, the second tome in the Isaac le pirate series, renewed Champaka’s fascination from the moment it appeared; the time had surely come to pay homage to this mesmerizing image, one of the finest illustrations from the hand of the creator of Gus.
Yslaire continues to work on “Le Ciel au-dessus du Louvre”, which is due to be published by Futuropolis in May. Not only that – from 22 January, the first elements of the new volume (which features a joint scenario with Jean-Claude Carrière) will be on show at the Louvre! Further information is available at http://blog.yslaire.be
News, 14 January 2009
The official website of Jacques de Loustal, creator of a recent homage to the Atomium published by Champaka, is now online at www.loustal.com - a world of imagery at your fingertips.
We take this opportunity to extend to you our very best wishes for 2009! The year just beginning is brimming with promise, with new and exceptional works to come from François Avril, Philippe Berthet, Christophe Blain, Emile Bravo, Yves Chaland, André Juillard, Manu Larcenet, François Schuiten, Joann Sfar and Bernard Yslaire.
Year’s end 2008 pays homage to the famous “Largo Winch” series, which boasts a scenario by Jean Van Hamme and artwork by Philippe Francq. The homage begins with publication of the album “La voie et la vertu” (scheduled for release by Editions Dupuis on 5 November) which concludes the two-album project begun with “Les trois yeux des gardiens du Tao.” Our hero graces the silver screen in the feature film “Largo Winch”, directed by Jérôme Salle and featuring Tomer Sisley and Kristin Scott Thomas, which is due for release in early December. Champaka is pleased to crown the Largo Winch season with a jewel of a screenprint, “Red Largo.” This collector’s item will be released in a very limited print-run of 125 copies, signed and numbered by Philippe Francq.
“Les Amis de Freddy” is a club that was set up in February 2008 with the aim of drawing together the many fans of Yves Chaland’s work and deepening their knowledge and appreciation of a truly unique body of work. To become a member, you simply have to contact email@example.com to receive a membership application; this should be completed and returned along with a subscription fee of €20. Annual membership provides you with all of the Club’s publications (notably the “Journal des Amis de Freddy” accompanied by exclusive off-prints) and also gives you access to the private blog “Le Coin de Freddy”, a membership card and an ADF badge.
BdArtist(e), an art gallery that champions the status and presence of the graphic arts in general and bande dessinée in particular, is run by Jean-Baptiste Barbier and Antoine Mathon. The gallery will pay tribute to Chaland in an exhibition based on the publication “Chaland, Portrait de l’Artiste” from 7th to 25th October inclusive. Among the exhibits are original drawings by François Schuiten, Serge Clerc, Ted Benoit, François Avril, Loustal, Götting, Mattotti, Stanislas, Cornillon and many other artists, as well as six of Yves Chaland’s original plates and many of his illustrations. (BdArtiste – 55 rue Condorcet, Paris 75009; open Wednesday to Saturday from 2pm to 7pm; tel. 33 (0)6.80.06.29.95).
Almost thirty original illustrations from Chaland’s “Coeurs d’acier” will be on show at the Brüsel gallery-bookshop (100, Boulevard Anspach – 1000 Brussels) from 18th September to 5th October 2008. A private viewing will be held on 17th September 2008, which will be attended by Isabelle Beaumenay-Joannet, the widow and colourist of Yves Chaland.
Olivier Neuray, the artist behind “Makabi” (scenario: Brunschwig) used to spend time with Chaland during his trips to Brussels. He created a “Jeune Albert” calendar for Champaka and worked on many of the scenarios created by Yann, one of the closest associates of the creative force behind “Bob Fish.” He and Yann have united their talents in creating a special plate, one that captures a remarkable moment and that reminds us, once again, of how brightly shone Chaland in the firmament of bande dessinée.
From 4th to 18th September, in a symmetry echoing the Thalys’ linking of the twin capitals of Franco-Belgian bande dessinée, an intriguing Brussels-Paris/Paris-Brussels cultural link will come into being. Galerie Christian Desbois (14, avenue de La Bourdonnais -75007 Paris) and the specialist bookshop Galerie Brüsel (100, Boulevard Anspach – 1000 Brussels) will, for the duration, present all fourteen screen-prints in the “hommage à l’Atomium” series published, in 2008, by Editions Champaka, Brussels. The work of the featured artists – François Avril, Ted Benoit, Philippe Berthet, Dupuy&Berberian, Ever Meulen, Floc’h, Vittorio Giardino, Jean-Claude Götting, André Juillard, Jacques de Loustal, Frank Pé, François Schuiten, Joost Swarte and Bernard Yslaire – will adorn the walls of these fine galleries.
The individual works that together form Champaka’s “Atomium 1958-2008” series create a layered and harmonious tribute to the iconic monument of Expo ´58.
In preparation for the definitive version of Coeurs d’acier, all of the strips created by Chaland in 1982 for “Spirou”, along with illustrations and tailpieces created in 1990 for the collector’s edition published by Champaka (http://www.champaka.be/les-livres-270) have been re-scanned with a view to presenting the work to readers in its optimal format. A page from the first part can be seen here…
Peter Van Dongen, Dutchman and creator of the remarkable diptych Rampokan, is an accomplished proponent of sophisticated ligne claire style (it comes as no surprise that he is a protégé of Joost Swarte). Portrait de l’artiste prompted his recollection that Yves Chaland had been one of the leading lights of “Eppo” magazine in the ´eighties. So why not have “le jeune Albert” roam the streets of Amsterdam…!
The strands that connect Cleet Boris and Yves Chaland are many and varied. The creator of “Bob Fish” also provided the cover artwork for the Chic Planète album recorded by the group “Affaire Louis’Trio”, whose lead singer was none other than Hubert Mounier, alias Cleet Boris. The singer was in turn the artist behind Le temple de la paix, published as part of the “Atomium ´58” collection inaugurated by Chaland’s superb Testament de Godefroid de Bouillon. All of which detail sheds some light on Cleet Boris’s contribution to Portrait de l’artiste.
Philippe Wurm, the artist behind the “Rochester” albums (scenario: Dufaux) is an apostle of “ligne claire” style. For Portrait de l’artiste he treats Bob Fish and Jeune Albert to their first trip to the North Sea (Ostend, actually, to be precise). A resoundingly successful gag is well served by a masterly graphic composition.
Stanislas, the illustrator of Aventures d’Hergé (scenario: Fromental and Bocquet) will make his own contribution to the homage to Chaland by illustrating two plates based on the writings of Vincent Ravalec. Here is the first; the second will follow in Portrait de l’artiste.
Frank Pé has just signed the composition he has created in celebration of the Atomium’s 50th anniversary. He confides that the theme of his screenprint, Le futur du passé imposed itself from the start. “I enjoy placing our modern-day epics in a broader context. What meaning would the Atomium hold for Neanderthal man? Certainly, it would fascinate; it would be a shock, a mystery. There is indeed an ambiguity about time. The image blurs the boundary between our prehistoric beginnings and an apocalyptic future. It might also be read as the “traditional Belgians”, the Belgians of the “Belgique de papa” rediscovering, with awe, traces of one of the most iconic symbols of their disappeared world.” The composition in question is conceived around a souvenir of Expo ´58: a little helicopter circling a miniature Atomium! The print will be released for sale on 6th September 2008.
J-C Menu is one of the founders of “L’Association” and is a fervent admirer of Yves Chaland’s work. Here you can enjoy a preview of the plate he has created for Portrait de l’artiste.
François Schuiten and Yves Chaland together shared in the adventure that was “Métal Hurlant.” They weave their own creative pathways through the common ground of an imagined Belgium. Schuiten provides some supporting context for his graphic contribution to “Portrait de l’artiste”: “Some people wonder if Chaland’s Belgium ever really existed. That type of questioning was never a problem for me, even with “Les Cités Obscures.” It’s not really important to faithfully reproduce actual streets in order that an image be “Belgian” or “of Brussels.” By drawing from the imagination one can create streetscapes that capture the essence of Brussels.”
For his homage to the Atomium (on sale: 6th September 2008) Yslaire has chosen to bring together in one composition symbols that represent Brussels: the Atomium, Saint Michel and the Mannekin Pis. “I saw straight away the material continuity linking the steel of the monument and the metal of the cladding.” There’s little surprise in learning that the creator of “XXeciel.com” is as fascinated by the conquest of space as by the sky. “I’m quite taken with the idea of linking an angel and a naked little boy. Brussels is a knowing blend of vaulting ambition and reassuring vulgarity. Behind every quiescent Belgian one will find an angel fighting his demons and a chubby-cheeked little boy who smiles away as he takes a piss. The spiritual and the prosaic…"
Walter Minus has always acknowledged Chaland as one of his most influential graphic masters. Minus’s contribution to the forthcoming book Chaland – Portrait de l’artiste is both an illustration and a work of homage forging a link between two “petits princes”, one who reigned over the cobbled streets of Brussels and another who took form in the mind of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
…and now, a double-page spread from the second part…
Our specialists in the art of the screenprint are working on the colour treatments for the print that Ever Meulen has created for the “Saison 2” collection (for release on 6th September 2008). With his Automium screenprint, the artist renowned for his “New Yorker” illustrations pays homage to the passions that have accompanied him since his youth: automobiles, Expo ´58, “ligne claire” style and a colour palette redolent of the ´fifties. “After a period of time during which I drew no cars at all, because I was always being approached to do them, I eventually came back to what I knew had always been a passionate interest for me. In combining forms that may seem like unlikely bedfellows, I “customise” my automobiles as I go along. I wanted to work in bande dessinée because I really enjoyed drawing cars, architectural forms, people in the street… Bande dessinée gave me the means to do all that. I don’t create BDs in the classical sense, but I tell my stories through my drawings.”
The 19th September will see the publication, by Editions Futuropolis, of the second tome of La Guerre des Sambre. It also marks Champaka’s publication of the first image, based on a composition by Bernard Yslaire (see “News” dated 22nd June) achieved with brio by Bastide and Mézil, in a numbered and signed edition. This print, Hugo et Iris will take its place alongside other fine prints in the “Icônes” series (199 numbered copies, signed by the three contributing artists – PVP: 60 euros). For further information on this very prestigious collaboration, see http://blog.yslaire.be/en/pages/divers/gds-interview-bastidemezil.cfm
Loustal’s contribution to Portrait de l’artiste will include some photographs which not only testify to the infinite range of his talents but which, more particularly, allow revealing glimpses of Chaland’s life. The intrepid artist-traveller also recalls a wonderful interlude that was passed in the delightful setting of a hotel situated not very far from Hyères…
Here is the definitive version, in recto/verso form, of the cover of Cœurs d’acier, Chaland’s “Spirou et Fantasio” that is due for commercial release on 19th September. This material was first published in “Spirou” in 1982, and Alain De Kuyssche, who was then the editor, recalls those times. “It didn’t take long for the DS 19 to pull up outside the Spirou offices on the rue Paul-Emile Janson. Yves Chaland brought me the plates showing a Spirou that Jijé had clearly abandoned in an increasingly robotic world. It was brilliant, funny, at once nostalgic and modern, drawing on references yet still original, just as Spirou and Fantasio should always have remained. The chaos that prevailed at that time eventually led to the publication of issues of the Journal de Spirou that featured, at the bottom of pages 2 and 3, Chaland’s comic strips, and then, some pages further along, pages attributed sometimes to Nic Broca and Cauvin, and sometimes to Tome et Janry.”
Ever Meulen, an acknowledged master of the graphic image, plays with perspective and makes use of geometrical compositions of incomparable elegance. His style has inspired an entire generation of BD artists (Serge Clerc, Avril, Dupuy&Berberian, etc). To leave him out of the “Atomium 1958-2008” collection would have been simply unpardonable. See his line drawing of the screenprint that will form part of the collection’s “Season 2” (September 2008).
Mea culpa: we made the unpardonable error of forgetting to show you the colour treatment of the “Atomium” print created by Dupuy&Berberian. The iconic symbols of the Expo ’58 era are executed with consummate mastery.
In 1986, Yann and Chaland made their way to Cassis to identify the places that would provide the setting for La comète de Carthage. On their return, Yann dashed off a plate that captured, with relish, the story of their escapade. This is a documentary treasure and it will form part, along with those scene-scouting photos, of the forthcoming publication Portrait de l’Artiste which is due in mid-September 2008.
“Season 2” of the collection commemorating the Atomium’s 50th anniversary holds, in the form of “21st Century Atomic Girls”, a new jewel. It is often said that a good image cannot content itself with being merely seductive; it must recount a story or suggest its own unmistakeable melody. What, then, would be the melody brought forth by this image? “That’s not for me to say” explains Ted Benoit. “Here’s one approach: the title is a paraphrase of an old King Crimson song – “21st century schizoid man.” I don’t like it that much, but I was very taken by the use of another track from that album in the film “Le fils de l’homme.” What is conveyed in that film (a sublime work, in my view) strikes me as being very apt in understanding the years that were to come. The Atomium is the XX century; we are now in the XXI century. It helped us to understand the new era, that’s all. Why feature little girls? No idea. That’s its unmistakeable melody.”
Emile Bravo’s “Spirou et Fantasio”, while undoubtedly presenting a different graphic style, has nevertheless a touch of Chaland. The Moustic Hotel has pride of place, as in the 56 plates for “Spirou et Fantasio” that Chaland did not get to complete (see “Les inachevés” published by Champaka). Bravo has just completed his contribution to “Portrait de l’artiste”, due for publication in September.
Joost Swarte, originator of the term “Klare lijn” (“clear line”) so dear to Champaka’s heart, was one of the first artists to deliver his contribution to “Portrait de l’artiste.” His drawing conveys the many talents of Yves Chaland.
Dupuy&Berberian, fresh from their recent victory in the Grand Prix du Festival d’Angoulême, were delighted to be invited to participate in the collection that pays homage to the Atomium. It’s only normal that they should be asked – are they not the creators of the delightful “Petit Peintre” that featured in Magic Strip’s “Atomium ’58” collection? Here’s a chance to see the inking of the print that will be issued in September 2008.
Jacques Ferrandez, creator of “Carnets d’orient” recently sent us a a plate in homage to Yves Chaland that will appear in “Portrait de l’artiste.” It was accompanied by the following text: “Yves Chaland cultivated, in BD and in life, a kind of detached humour. He was fascinated by the ’fifties and had great admiration for the giants of Franco-Belgian BD of the time. His great talent was to revisit the spirit of innocence of the ’fifties in the light of the cynicism of the ’eighties. The result was a detached perspective that could come across as pretentiousness or snobbishness to those who were unwilling to see beyond the surface… In reality, Yves was a funny, sensitive man. Behind the caustic wit and sophisticated nuance, Yves hid from all but those closest to him a nature that was incredibly gentle, and gentleness was not very fashionable in the ’eighties.”
Ted Benoit, the creator of “Ray Banana” and the artist behind the two “Blake et Mortimer” albums scripted by Jean Van Hamme, is an illustrious exponent of “French new clear line.” This is the sketch of his forthcoming print as part of the “Atomium 1958-2008” collection. The title is intriguing: “21st Century Atomic Girls.”
José-Louis Bocquet has written, as his contribution to “Portrait de l’artiste”, a text consecrated to the car that Chaland wanted to give to Freddy Lombard. At an early stage, he considered the Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia; we all know that the Aronde eventually prevailed. The book will feature the drawing that Chaland presented to Bocquet, who remains to this day the proud owner of that beautiful VW!
Luc Cornillon and Yves Chaland created “Captivant” together. This formidable sequence of poses reunites them and will be included in the work entitled “Portrait de l’artiste.”
Charles Berberian, the creator, with Philippe Dupuy, of “Monsieur Jean”, felt compelled to take part in the book-tribute to Chaland. He has created two plates for “Portrait de l’artiste.”
Vittorio Giardino, the author of the remarkable “Max Fridman” and “Jonas Fink”, has sent us a sketch of his homage to the Atomium. When we question this undisputed master of “ligne claire”, he seems surprised to have been invited by Champaka to participate in the collection. “All I can say is that when considered from Italy, “the country where lemons ripen”, the Atomium seems very far away… In addition, I qualified as an electronic engineer, and as a result I was somewhat immune to the charms of the notion of progress that Expo ´58 represented. In short, when Champaka asked me to create a screenprint inspired by the Atomium, I immediately thought (why, I have no idea…) of Jacques Tati and his film “Mon oncle.” The image was created just like that, quite spontaneously.”
Lorenzo Mattotti sends us his exquisite contribution to the forthcoming publication of “Chaland – Portrait de l’Artiste”, which will be issued as a limited print-run of 2,500 copies.
We have received the outline study of what is likely to form the contribution of Frank Pé, creator of “Zoo” and “Brousaille”, to the “Season 2” series of the “Atomium 1958-2008.” We await with expectation…
This is a recto/verso cover proposal for the definitive version of “Coeurs d’acier”, which we will submit for approval to Isabelle Beaumenay-Joannet, Yves Chaland’s widow, and to Editions Dupuis, which holds the rights to the world of “Spirou et Fantasio.” The album is scheduled for publication on 19 September 2008.
Here you can see Yslaire’s inked drawing created for the “Atomium” collection. It has been quite some time since he produced work in a “ligne claire” style, and the man has evidently lost none of his mastery. For him, the Atomium represents the dream of the ’fifties: “Science would save the world through progress. In fact, the nine spheres hail the conquest of outer space. In their form, they suggest the planets of the solar system just as much as they do Sputnik’s exploration of the stratosphere a year earlier. From the atom to the universe, the infinitesimally small meets the infinitely vast. It’s magical. There’s no doubt about it: one day, the Atomium will set off for outer space like a rocket. No-one has admitted it, but it’s spaceship from “Blake et Mortimer”, disguised as a monument.”
Here is the initial cover design for “Chaland – Portrait de l’Artiste” that will be published by Champaka on 19 September 2008, at the same time as the definitive edition of “Coeurs d’Acier.” This book will present a series of personal accounts and reminiscences, in the form of bande dessinée, illustrations, interviews, photos, etc, from fellow-artist friends, publishers, editors, and family members.
Yslaire’s mastery of the art of mise en scène is legendary. He continues to work on the the albums “La Guerre des Sambre” (the second tome is due to be published in mid-September by Futuropolis-Glénat). He has just completed the composition of the first art-quality poster dedicated to “La Guerre des Sambre.” Bastide and Mezil can now proceed, with their customary panache, to create the resulting image. The poster will be published in September as part of the “Icônes” collection, and will appear as a limited edition (199 copies, numbered and signed by Bastide, Mezil and Yslaire).
This is the line drawing that will form the basis of François Schuiten’s finished drawing for the “Atomium 1958-2008” collection. In his view, “Expo 58 has succeeded in creating, with the Atomium, an enduring sign. Not every Expo has had the same good fortune. Creating a recognisable sign is not that simple. Every so often, there is convergence between the spirit of the age and a structural form. The Atomium represents its times perfectly. It’s a happy coincidence. You really need a miracle to bring forth this kind of thing.”
The town of Nérac is the birthplace of Yves Chaland; he would return there regularly and many members of his family still live there. Understandable then that this charming town will play host to “Les rencontres Chaland” from 26 to 29 September. The organiser of the event is none other than Chaland’s wife. Further information can be found at :
The combination of modernity with classicism has fascinated Champaka for a quarter of a century. Yves Chaland, the late lamented creator of “Bob Fish”, “Freddy Lombard” and “Le Jeune Albert” remains a key editorial reference point for Champaka, a status amply demonstrated by publications such as “Les Inachevés”, “Chaland”, “Les Années Métal” and “Chaland et les publicitaires”, among others. September 2008 is set to mark another special occasion, when Champaka again takes the opportunity to showcase Chaland’s exceptional talents with the publication of “Chaland – Portrait de l’Artiste” and “Spirou et Fantasio: Coeurs d’acier.”
“Chaland – Portrait de l’Artiste” is conceived in a “graphic novel” black-and-white format over 120 pages. Incorporating bande dessinée, illustrations, interviews and photographs, it will present a series of testimonials from fellow-artist friends, publishers and editors, as well as from family members, school-friends and authors who, while they may not have known Chaland personally, consider themselves to be in his debt. The featured authors will include Ted Benoit, Floc’h, Mattotti, Serge Clerc, Götting, Bravo, Yslaire, Schuiten, Juillard, Loustal, Jannin, Dionnet, Swarte and Cosey, among others. From the individual brushstrokes of these personal accounts will emerge the broader portrait of the artist who was known to delight in blurring distinctions.
To mark 70 years of Spirou, Champaka publishes the definitive edition of “Coeurs d’acier.” In terms of graphical lineage, Chaland’s “Spirou et Fantasio” occupies the middle ground between those of Jijé and Franquin. “Coeurs d’acier” was the last work to be published during the lifetime of the author of “Freddy Lombard” (Chaland died in 1990). 1,350 signed and numbered copies were published, and they sold out rapidly; copies are currently valued at over 300 Euro. The 1991 edition was composed of two volumes, the first incorporating dichromic strips and the second including text by Yann and illustrations by Chaland. The new edition will bring together in one volume all the riches of the preceding two, with the significant added attractions of a larger format and, especially, a full quadrichromic reproduction graced by Isabelle Beaumenay-Joannet’s new colour treatment.
The official Atomium website features Champaka’s commemorative series dedicated to the cult monument of the twentieth century.
Yslaire, renowned creator of “Sambre”, has completed a quick outline sketch of his contribution to the “Atomium 1958-2008” collection. Sputnik’s astral form revolves far above the skies, unaware that it is destined to become the star attraction of the Soviet pavilion at Expo ’58. “What particularly moved me, on that occasion, was the little-known image of the Atomium under construction (yes indeed, there was a time when it didn’t exist!). In linking it with Sputnik and the moon, it is, in a way, an idea of the future that is coming into being. The figure of Saint Michael, patron saint of Brussels, evokes my native city in the middle ages. I like to think that the combining of these elements creates a sense of a moment in time, an instance of eternity… It’s a synthesis of my preceding research. ” Could it also be a marker for another image incorporating the same elements?
A press conference to launch the “Atomium 1958-2008” series took place at the “Brüsel” bookshop, attended by François Avril, Philippe Berthet, Jacques de Loustal and Eric Verhoest (of Éditions Champaka). Photographs and an account of the event can be found on Actua-BD (http://www.actuabd.com/spip.php?article6480)
List of our new prints:
- Avril - "A la Fondation Atomium"
- Berthet - "Un soir à l’Atomium"
- Floc'h - "Hommage à André Waterkeyn"
- Götting - "Jeu de regards sous l'Atomium"
- Juillard - "Paris-Bruxelles, Bruxelles-Paris"
- Loustal - "Le pavillon du Congo à l’Expo ‘58"
- Swarte - "Belga ‘58"
Joost Swarte, author of “L’Art Moderne”, which achieved cult status for Champaka, has completed the line drawing of “Belga ’58.” We have some questions for the master of “Ligne claire” style:
What does the Atomium mean to you?
“It’s the symbol of the spirit of the future, but especially the symbol of the 1958 World Expo.”
Does the Atomium exist “merely” as a representative of an era and/or is it an element of “modernity”?
“It’s chiefly a symbol of the era.”
When did you become aware of the Atomium?
“In 1958, when my mother returned from her visit to Expo ’58 and gave me souvenirs and the official guide to the Expo.”
Does seeing it in reality alter one’s perception of it, especially when one is an artist?
“The Atomium is more powerful as a symbol than in reality.”
In the history of bande dessinée, who, in your opinion, best represents the essence of the Atomium?
“Without question, André Franquin, with “Modeste & Pompon.”
Would you consider the Atomium to be more “Ecole de Bruxelles” (Hergé and his followers) or “Ecole de Marcinelle” (Franquin and his followers), or perhaps a mixture of both?
“Ecole de Marcinelle.”
Is it easy to pay homage to the Atomium, or to the spirit that it embodies?
“Yes, it’s a homage to the future of the era and to naivety.”
What graphic possibilities and difficulties does the Atomium pose?
“One loves it and one draws it.”
Did your concept for this Champaka screen-print come together immediately?
“No. I wanted to show aspects of live in 1958 and, in developing the drawing, I discovered that in those days, absolutely everyone was a smoker. That’s why I’ve shown a society rotten with cigarettes.”
What title do you intend giving to your drawing?
« Belga '58 »
André Juillard sends us the colour maquette for his homage to the Atomium and to Expo ´58. An accomplished study of calm and serenity, with just a touch of his inimitable mystery…
Jacques de Loustal, an acknowledged master of colour, has completed “Le pavillon du Congo à L’Expo ’58” – a triumph! What are his thoughts on the Atomium? “It’s a symbol of Brussels, a sense of the modernity of Brussels in relation to Paris. It’s part of an ambience you might call futuristic retro. I was very taken by its extraterrestrial quality, its strangeness with regard to its environment. As it happens, it’s not actually easy to draw in perspective and, for that reason, it’s better to draw it from photos…”
Joost Swarte is anxious to reassure us here at Champaka – the drawing is coming along nicely! Proof is provided by the digital photo he sends to us from Haarlem, birthplace of Frans Hals, the painter whose compositional style is echoed in Floc’h’s homage to the Atomium (a look at his grouping of dark masses will confirm this).
Loustal has just completed his drawing dedicated to the 1958 World Expo in Brussels. The author of “Kid Congo” tells us that “the Atomium has such an identity that it’s easy to suggest it. I wanted to convey the contrast between the Congolese village that borders on science-fiction and the staged arrangement of the African statues.” A few days’ patient waiting and we will finally know the colour treatment…
Joost Swarte, a leading figure in the world of contemporary illustration, gives us an outline of the illustration he has promised to the “Atomium 1958-2008” series. He appends the following commentary to the outline sketch: “For the screen-print, I’m thinking in terms of a construction made of spheres. There will be five of them, each intersected by the white margin of the paper. Inside each sphere I will draw different aspects of society as it was in 1958: inside the home (TV, kitchen …), the house (the exterior, Atomic style…), industry (robots…), everyone’s got their own car, their own scooter, and the cold war. All the drawings will be in a linear perspective of parallel lines that follow the 60°of the image of the Atomium.”
François Avril’s colour treatment for “À la Fondation Atomium” gives pride of place to white, which serves to heighten the airy, ethereal qualities of the composition. His approach to the graphic treatment of the Atomium? “It’s a disciplined structure… one must respect it… or one must interpret it in a respectful manner …”!
Götting’s finished drawing was initially envisaged in several colour versions, each with a delicate use of full-tone areas to complement the areas of texture and tone. In the end, it was the sophisticated “neutral” version that won the day. “I already had the idea of only showing a small part of the Atomium,” he says, “but in such a way that the rest is clearly suggested. I had also had the idea of avoiding the problem by depicting engineers working in the wind-tunnel during the earliest tests on the maquette of the Atomium. Unfortunately, that general aspect was quite similar to what Floc’h had already sketched out as his approach. That brought me back to my first idea, which was to have two figures in the foreground, allowing me to play upon the notion of sidelong glances that echo the structural communication between the spheres. It suggests to us a third character, outside the frame, much as is one of the spheres.”
Central Africa holds a special place in Champaka’s affections, hence our suggestion to Jacques de Loustal, seasoned traveller and great enthusiast of primitive art, that he consider the remarkable pavilion dedicated to the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi that was a feature of the 1958 Expo. The artist remembers a superb screen-print he created some time ago for Champaka: “Une party chez l’Arumbaya.” In a Parisian salon, the cream of African fetish statuary mingles at the behest of the host, the famous “oreille cassée.”
Götting, author of the recent “Happy Living” submits, in the rough outline sketch that is his style, his new idea for the “Atomium 1958-2008” project. In his view, “the Atomium has a graphic strength that simplifies things. It’s not necessarily easy to draw, but it’s very photogenic.”
François Avril, master of elegant graphic art, has found a way to pay homage to the spirit of the Atomium. “I set the Atomium in the gardens of a Foundation in the style of the “Maeght” in St Paul de Vence, positioned like one of Calder’s stabiles. It’s my way of associating it with modern art, the way one would look at a Japanese garden.”
Jean-Claude Götting tells us about his project. Strangely enough, his inspiration comes from a technical aspect of the Atomium’s creation: resistance tests performed in a wind tunnel. Luckily for him, his artwork has not progressed beyond a rudimentary outline sketch. As soon as he learns that Floc’h has already embarked on a project featuring Waterkeyn’s first Atomium maquette, Götting quickly decides to explore other possibilities…
André Juillard, the artist who brought World Expo 1958 in Brussels into the pages of “Blake et Mortimer” e-mails us his sketch for the “Atomium 1958-2008” project that has been forming in his head. Here we have an intriguing dream-sequence that is quintessential Juillard – where two steel-limbed giants, the Eiffel tower and the Atomium, and the artist’s three favourite cities – Paris, Brussels, and New York – mysteriously inhabit a shared skyline.
Floc’h – creator, with François Rivière, of stories featuring Olivia Sturgess and Francis Albany – reveals the nature and charisma of Albert Waterkeyn, creator of the Atomium. Floc’h’s sober, dignified treatment of the scene, where the noted engineer presents the first model of the Atomium to his design team, reflects the artist and his subject matter. Floc’h’s work calls to mind the master of French poster art, Gruau, and the Flemish painter, Hals. Enigmatic, as always… Floc’h’s intelligent artistry never fails to enthral.
Philippe Berthet’s homage to the Atomium is the first such artwork to be completed for the “Atomium 1958-2008” series. His partner, Dominique David, has created the colour maquette which will provide the basis for the colour serigraphy. At the heart of this wonderful nocturnal scene is the Vespa scooter that was launched in 1958. The creator of “Pin Up” makes deft use of a simple reflection to convey the magnificence of the iconic monument, and the partial glimpse only increases the monument’s mystery. “The Atomium”, explains Berthet, “is first of all a circle and thus a curve. I felt that showing a young woman on a Vespa (a cult object in its day, and itself all curves) was apt. I just needed to place it in the right setting. Those plump cobblestones and the curving lines of those puddles, so typically Belgian, were the obvious choice.”
The use of the Atomium’s image is protected by copyright, which is quite understandable for a monument that is one of Belgium’s most recognisable “brands.” Éditions Champaka has recently formed a partnership with ASBL Atomium, the non-profit company responsible for the highly successful restoration of World Expo 1958’s emblematic monument. The object of the agreement is to mark the occasion of the Atomium’s 50th anniversary with images of exceptionally high quality. To this end, Champaka asked fourteen of European bande dessinée’s greatest artists to create a work in homage to the Atomium. Free to pursue his individual response to the iconic structure, each artist has set his composition in the era of his choosing, whether it be a “fifties” context or a more contemporary, even futuristic, vision. The Atomium remains the subject of each work, whether captured in spirit or in its unique, familiar presence. Issued as a fine-art screenprint on high-quality paper, each print is numbered and signed by the artist.
Individual customers can order on-line…
Create a new account …or choose an area to obtain a list of the nearest outlets
If you represent a stockist, go to
Business Customers section
To receive updates about our recent publications…
Champaka 31, avenue Gounod B-1070 Bruxelles will never share your e-mail address without your permission.