Festival BD Montreal Comic Arts

The Montreal Comic Arts Festival is a celebration of all things comics

The festival closes “mois de la BD” with a packed weekend of virtual programming.

The 10th annual edition of the Montreal Comic Arts Festival (aka Festival BD) is happening over three days at the end of the month, from May 28 to 30, promising a weekend packed with events — all of them virtual, once again, like last year’s edition.

The 2021 programming includes panels, workshops (which are free but require registration), live drawing sessions and interviews with local and international comics creators including Jean-Paul Eid, Yasmine Phan and Djibril Morissette-Phan, Zviane, Louis Rémillard, Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, and Syan Rose.

There will also be conversations and drawing sessions between authors as well as roundtable discussions on themes including Monster Love, Afterlives and Alternate Worlds, The Portrait of the Artist, Inclusive Creation, Québécois Comics and Comics and Science. Add to that the handing out of the 22nd annual Bédélys Awards on the opening night of the festival.

Festival BD general director Johanne Desrochers says that one of her team’s primary goals was to create a festival atmosphere despite the 100% virtual programming.

What was important for us was that people could experience a festival moment,” Desrochers says, “where it felt like, ‘This weekend, this is what we’re doing. We’ll spend our weekend on comics events.'”

To achieve this goal, the vast majority of Montreal Comic Arts Festival events are concentrated during the festival weekend, though there are some other activities earlier in May, which is, Desrochers, reminded me “mois de la BD.”

“I Read Comics will be a series of video capsules with 10 improbable readers who explain to the camera why reading comics is important for them. Among these people are anglophones, francophones, people from all walks of life. We have a young immigrant who learned French with help from comics, and also Valérie Plante, because she published a comic book last year.

The Montreal Comic Arts Festival is a celebration of all things comics

“Also as part of Comics Month, we became partners with three other big comics festivals in Canada to present Comics Nights in Canada, a drawing tournament where cities will go up against each other on Thursday nights, live on Facebook. It’ll be Toronto vs. Quebec, Vancouver vs. Montreal, etc. and finally one city will win the Comics Nights in Canada trophy.”

Among the highlights of the festival weekend, Desrochers mentioned a series of conversations about specific books “that either did well or really said something about the year 2020,” as well as two events showcasing international comics talents.

“On the Saturday morning of the festival, we’re going to discover Chilean comics and graphic novels by women with the Canadian launch of a catalogue of work by Chilean women comics artists. And on Sunday, we’ll have comics artists from Ukraine and the adventures they had with the translation of Tintin.”

For the complete Montreal Comic Arts program and pre-events, and to register for workshops, please visit the Festival BD website.

For more, please visit the Arts & Life section.