Année de la Bd 2020
© Léa Mazé

2020, the Year of the Comic: actions by the Institut français

Graphic novel

Updated on 05/03/2020

At the request of the Ministries for Culture and Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Institut français will run the Year of the Comic internationally with the French cultural network abroad.


1. Call for cross-cutting projects for the network: the comic catalogue

In addition to the existing cross-cutting calls (Youth, Europe, City), the Institut français is offering the French cultural network abroad a new call for projects aimed at supporting the implementation of multi-disciplinary and editorial programmes around comics. Digital technology, cinema, discussion of ideas, music and comic books cover all disciplinary fields and make it possible to tackle many themes through different lenses.

The catalogue drawn up by the IF includes numerous proposals for the network, in particular exhibitions, cinema and animation, mediation and French as a foreign language.

Comic FOCUS and training 

The Institut français will organise an international FOCUS on comics for foreign comics professionals as well as training for cultural network agents.


Training (7/8- 10 June 2020) – Angoulême

In order to support French production internationally, the French Institute, together with Comic City in Angoulême, is offering cultural and creative industries/comic training in the cultural network, which will make it possible to understand the market and identify with the comic offering, identify the players in the sector, understand the distribution channels etc. 


FOCUS (11 – 13/14 June 2020) – Lyon Comic Festival

The principle of the FOCUS is to accompany professionals invited by the French cultural network abroad to leading cultural events. The programme dedicated to meetings and exchanges facilitates the identification of cultural engineering and French publishing, and encourages its dissemination around the world. This Focus will bring some 15 programmers who are interested in co-operating with France to set up ambitious operations around comic books during the Lyon Comic Festival in June 2020 together with French instructors, directors of cultural and literary events, major publishers and directors of comic book collections.

Comic book exhibitions by French publishers for the network

French and French-speaking publishers are taking action to disseminate French and French-language comics throughout the world. Several exhibitions (to be printed locally) will thus be made available to the French cultural network abroad. 


  •  L'École des Loisirs / Rue de Sèvres offers “Le château des étoiles” (“The Castle of Stars”), a 12-panel exhibition that pays homage to Jules Verne and brings together historical figures.


  • Delcourt publishing house presents the exhibition “Guy Delisle, un candide au pays de l’autofiction” (“Guy Delisle, a Candid Autobiography"), composed of 11 panels. Over the years, Guy Delisle has imposed his observations animated by emotions and dramas, but always without judgement. A master of serious lightness, his work reports, like few others, the little facts of daily life that speak volumes about humans. 


  • The French Publishers’ Association Comic Book Group offers an exclusive exhibition created for the Institut français to mark the Year of the Comic. Entitled “Le renouveau de la BD jeunesse” (“The Revival of Youth Comics”), this 21-panel exhibition introduces the works of the new generation of French and French-speaking comic book authors whose talent is recognised both in France and abroad.

Shoot the Book! Anim’ at the Annecy International Festival

After two successful first editions at the International Animated Film Market in 2018 & 2019, in 2020 Shoot the Book! Anim’ (pitching sessions, BtoB meetings etc.) will be dedicated to the comic.

Comics and digital technology: Machines à bulles (Bubble Machines)

Screens and digital creation tools have brought new faces and new uses to comics. French authors and cartoonists are pushing back the boundaries of printed books to explore new playing fields: boxes come alive on our social networks, paper comes to life in augmented reality, video games are discussed at the heart of the boards, and stories spread across our tablets. 

The Machines à bulles (Bubble Machines) exhibition will be offered to the French cultural network in early 2020 and will include a selection of works illustrating the new experiences of reading, and the new forms of interactive narratives that make French creation rich and unique. 

Some works will be accompanied by educational materials for use in French as a foreign language lessons. 

Year of the Comic 2020 French cultural network representatives and partners actions

The French cultural network will echo the Year of the Comic and showcase French and French-speaking authors and illustrators. Many French cultural network representatives have already reflected this in their programming by showcasing the 9th art, in particular through exhibitions, comic book cycles, author invitations and/or publishers.