Two cartoonists on a round-the-world creating trip

Feb 19, 2024

Two cartoonists on a round-the-world creating trip

Xiaolin and Benoît Hamet come from two different worlds. They're about to discover seven new ones. Starting on Thursday, the two cartoonists will embark on a world tour of seven creative cities (1). Together with Angoulême and Nanjing, the two creative cities behind the project, they will visit nine cities. Xiaolin and Benoît Hamet will draw up a travel diary from their two-and-a-half-month journey, which will be exhibited at the 2025 Comics Festival. At each stop, the two authors will explore the specificity of a city. In Bilbao, Spain, they will look at the traces of design; in Beirut, Lebanon, it will be the turn of literature and in Phuket, Thailand, it will be gastronomy. "We'll each do our own drawings, then put them together," says Benoît Hamet, an Angoulême-based author chosen by the city following a call for entries.

Two cartoonists on a round-the-world creating trip

Xiaolin, a leading cartoonist in China, will bring a different vision. "These are really two different cultures, which will enable us to look at our cities from different angles", comments Gérard Desaphy, delegate for the Creative City. A photographer, poet and teacher of art therapy for women with breast cancer, Xiaolin has rarely explored other continents, despite being 48 years old. "It's an opportunity to discover authors from all over the world with different styles", he says, salivating in anticipation. Until now, Xiaolin has drawn much of his inspiration from traditional Chinese paintings. For the moment, communication between the two cartoonists has not been the easiest. This week, the Chinese cartoonist Minna Yu, who lives in Angoulême, acted as translator. The pair are hoping to find intermediaries in each country. "We speak a little English. Fortunately there's WeChat. But that doesn't really matter, because the language of comics is universal."

 (1)Bilbao, Fabriano, Beyrouth, Phuket, Gwangju, Qindao, Bogota.

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