The French comics genius, In Conversation
Monday, October 18th, 2010, 6:30PM-9PM
@ L’Alliance Francaise, 24 Spadina Road (north of Bloor)
Presented by The Beguiling, The French Consulate, and L’Alliance Française

The Beguiling, Canada’s finest purveyor of comics and graphic novels, is proud to team with L’Alliance Francaise de Toronto to welcome cartooning genius Marc-Antoine Mathieu to Toronto. Mathieu is a much-celebrated and award-winning writer-artist who has given speeches and presentations around the world, at diverse locations including comics festivals, galleries, and even CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, located in Geneva, Switzerland. The complexity and the often elliptical structure of his work has led some to call him “The M.C. Escher of comics,” and the author will be in Toronto as part of a larger cultural exchange and speaking tour sponsored by the French Consulate, with support from l’Alliance Français de Toronto.

While Marc-Antoine Mathieu’s work available in English-language translation numbers just 2 graphic novels, they are influential and very well-regarded by those in the know… Mathieu’s Dead Memory is an evocative treatise on modern life—the literal and metaphorical walls that we put up to define ourselves and society, told in a dizzying and claustrophobic style. Mathieu’s most recent work in English is The Museum Vaults, a collaboration with the Louvre Museum (yes, that Louvre) that is no less a mediation on the nature of art and life itself. The Museum Vaults is a tour-de-force graphic novel, full of humour and wit, pointed observation and beautifully illustrated too. It’s a work that has drawn rave reviews, with Publishers Weekly calling it “A Kafkaesque catalogue of paradoxes,” and Booklist describing it as “Very droll, highly delightful.”

“He’s a brilliant comics creator and storyteller,” enthuses Peter Birkemoe of The Beguiling, who will be hosting the event. “He’s one of the strongest and most inventive comics formalists. Nearly every book pushes not only at the boundaries of the comics medium but also the form of the book itself. It’s a true shame that more of his work is not available in English, but his ideas are so unique and thoroughly communicated in all of his work that I feel even his French-language graphic novels hold significant appeal for Anglophones.” Birkemoe added, “This is an event not to be missed.”

Mathieu will be interviewed on stage by The Beguiling’s Peter Birkemoe in French with simultaneous English translation. A moderated Q&A and signing/dédicace session will follow. A selection of French and English-language graphic novels by Marc-Antoine Mathieu are currently available at The Beguiling, and will be available for sale at the event.

Marc-Antoine Mathieu was born close to Paris and raised in Angers. He made his comic debut in 1987, when French-publisher Futuropolis published his first album, Paris-Macon, which he had created with his brother Jean-Luc. During the 1990s he created his most popular series of albums, all featureing the character ‘Julius Corentin Acquefacques’, notable for their Kafkaesque style. He has since published various graphic albums for both L’Association and Delcourt in France, and Dark Horse Comics and NBM Books in English.

Founded in 1987, The Beguiling has set a new standard in Canada for comics and graphic novel retail. Showcasing the largest selection of alternative, underground and avant-garde graphic story telling in the country, The Beguiling has a worldwide reputation for excellence. For more information please visit them online at

MEDIA QUERIES: For more information about this event or to conduct an interview with Mr. Mathieu, please contact Christopher Butcher, Manager of The Beguiling, 416-533-9168, or via e-mail at Mr. Mathieu is currently only giving interviews in French.