The lineup for the 2018 Taiwan Pavilion at the Angoulême International Comics Festival has been announced – Jimmeh Aitch, Sally, Ruan Guang-min (阮光民), and Tseng Yao-ching (曾耀慶) will be traveling to the French comics capital in January.
Jimmy Aitch, whose real name is Huang Chun (黃駿), is a doctor of anthropological linguistics and a manga artist who previously worked in Florida, Taiwan, and the Philippines. He drew his first comic story about his friend’s pet ferret, “Sluggo,” at the age of 32 as a farewell gift, and has since become renowned for his humorous anecdotes, advice for his young son, and a parade of Floridian gators.
The artist, who is of indigenous Siraya ancestry, noted that he chose comics as a medium of personal expression because of the range of tools available – from text and dialogue boxes to lines, shapes, and shades, each panel is vibrant yet self-reflective.
Sally, an architecture graduate from Taipei, was the recipient of a Silver Award from the 11th Japanese International Manga Awards. Her winning comic, “Left Hand Vol. 1 (左手),” is based on the male protagonist’s unruly hand, which doesn’t actually belong to him as it was magically “switched” with another classmate’s hand.
Her web series, “Let’s Take the Train Together, Shall We? (一起搭捷運，好嗎？)” – which revolves around a chance encounter on the Taipei Metro – was also translated and published digitally in Thai and Korean.
Hailing from Yunlin, Ruan is an award-winning manga artist whose works have received recognition for their detailed portrayal of stories and characters inspired by Taiwan. His illustrations often bring back collective memories shared by all those who lived on the island.
His latest release “Yong-Jiu Grocery Store (用九柑仔店),” which takes inspiration from his own childhood memories with his grandfather, was named Comic of the Year by the 2017 Golden Comic Awards in Taiwan. This will be his second time at Angouleme.
Tseng, who was shortlisted for the Golden Comic Best New Artist Award in 2013 with “Daughter of Manga (漫畫的女兒),” is an art graduate who excels at using different art mediums such as acrylic paints, rag papers, and calligraphic brushes.
He will be bringing “Park (公園),” a dark comic story drawn in his signature sparse and moody style, to Angouleme.
The four-member delegation will be joined by Elainee (房瑞儀) and HOM (翁瑜鴻), two Taiwan artists serving residency at Angouleme’s La Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image.
Together, they will draw upon their childhood memories exploring street stalls and marketplaces in "A Market For Fun!" – the theme of the 2018 Taiwan Pavilion.
In other related news, Taiwan’s Wei Chin (覃偉) and Huang Yu-chen (阿文) have won a spot at the "Young Talents" pavilion of Angouleme.
Four young artists – Eli Lin (林倩羽), Asta Wu (吳雅怡), Liu Chien-fan (劉倩帆) and LINX (次叔) – have also been shortlisted for the top 10 at the festival’s digital challenge competition.