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July 17, 2006

Comic exhibition at KAM in Hania

Last week we went to an exhibition of comics on display at KAM in Hania's harbour. It was a joint French and Greek venture, called "Χαρτινες Συναντησεισ'06" or "Objectif bande dessinée"


The exhibition was organized by the Center for Mediterranean Architecture, Pyxida tis Polis Journal, "9" Journal of the Newspaper Eleftherotypia, and The French Institute in Athens. It featured works that had won prizes in the 5th Greek Comic Contest and at the International Comics Festival of Angouleme, and the exhibits were roughly divided half-and-half between Greek and French.


We really enjoyed it - the works were mostly by artisits in their twenties, and there was a wide variety of styles. We liked the entry by Παναγιώτης Μνγροκανέλλος, which was a detailed realistic slice of Victoriana. I also really liked the work of Αντωνης Γαλατης - the featured strip had something with a lot of tentacles lurking under the 1916 killing fields of Verdun - I really wanted to know what happened next - probably more muddy death and destruction I expect.


Some of the entries veered a bit into fantasy dungeons'n'dragons territory, which wasn't really our cup of tea. The comic from Γιαννης Αλεβιζάκης was like this - three sheets of A4 where very little happened except a naked woman writhing around transmogrophying into a demon whilst shouting things like "Do you know why Jesus wept motherf***er". Αντώνης Βεργης also distinguished themselves by submitting a comic with the most gratuitous use of unfeasably large breasts, naturally illustrated below.


On the whole the French entries seemed to be more light-hearted than the Greek ones. I was taken with Mary Donatien's contribution, which depicted a manic serial carver of faces into potatoes, with the repetitive mantra of "J'adore taileer des patates".


Our favourite was the comic from Thomas Vieille. It depicted a blue giant falling to earth, and then exploring a deserted snow-covered city which he towered over. In the last couple of frames he bashes his head against an invisible wall, and then the viewer's perspective pulls out to reveal a row of souvineer snow-domes - in one of which the creature is trapped. Shame, poor thing.


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