Jillian Tamaki


Nov 9th, 2010

I am back from EuroTour 2010. A few notes.

PARIS. What a town! It’s completely cliché to sing praise about Paris, but hey. Gorgeous and interesting and tasty falafels. What else do you need? Junior high school French immersion kicked in and I felt like a jerk American tourist only some of the time, as opposed to all of the time, as I had feared.

I spent most of the day walking around and being a flâneur (as one does). I forgot my camera battery again, as I did in California and Comic-con, so I suppose 2010 will go down in history as the year I didn’t go anywhere. If you didn’t take a picture of it, did it really happen?

So I mostly just wandered but did decide to brave the crowds on my last day and visit the Louvre. Idea: just cut to the chase and put the Mona Lisa in a special room just off the entrance near the gift shop. In-and-out, one stop shopping! I suppose I’m an elitist for thinking one should go to a museum because you find the objects interesting, not to tick off a Paris Top Ten list. (But I digress… this happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves.) I did a new thing: I happened to have a pen and my daytimer and did some quick drawings of some of the objects. A great way to spend the morning and facilitate awkward, stunted conversations with little French children. The results are in this post.

Dutch cartooning is alive and kicking! The guys at Lambiek bookstore in Amsterdam were proud to show us their favourite comic artists such as Gummbah, Brecht Evens, Herr Steele/Kamagurka (Cowboy Henk), and a comic that I can’t remember the title of but had a picture of a guy with a giant penis on it. The Dutch! Anyway, did you know that Holland is the only country with an official government appointed ambassador of comics? His name is Gertjan Pos we drank jenever with him.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, we met a lot of people and signed a lot of books. “We” meaning me, my cousin Mariko, and Nate Powell, whose book Swallow Me Whole was also published in Dutch. Nate is a fabulous person and I was so glad to have met him. We were all over the place, including the famous Lambiek bookstore in Amsterdam (awesome), the Willem de Kooning Academie (where I met a fellow Albertan! Hi Erica!), and the Kunststripbeurs comic fair in Utrecht, where I met Joost Swarte, which was thrilling. I was pleased to meet Ward Zwart who came from Antwerp. I’m a fan.

So thank-you to everyone who came and visited us! And thanks to our publisher, Sherpa, for the translation.