What the—

Today, Matthias Wivel rejoins us for his third and final report on this year's Angoulême festival. In this installment, he takes a wider look at the festival as a whole, covering everything from the Charlie Hebdo exhibits to the meaning of Otomo's Grand Prix to attendance controversies. Here's a short sample:

As has been the case in the past, the festival once again this year provided the perfect platform for comics professionals to air their grievances with aspects of their industry. This year a particularly visible manifestation took place on Saturday, when some 500 cartoonists and writers representing the newly-formed comics subsection of the writers and composers’ organization Syndicat National des Auteurs et des Compositeurs (SNAC) marched through the streets of Angoulême to protest the disadvantageous conditions under which comics makers work.

The specific occasion was a recent reform of the French pension system for authors and artists. From January 1, professionals in this sector are obliged to submit 8% of their income to a pension fund, whereas before the required percentage was less than half of that. Effectively, this means being forced to give up what amounts to a month’s salary a year for their retirement.

Such government-mandated pension systems are quite normal in Europe and one would think this one fairly sensible in terms of the amount it reserves. The problem in this case is that French comics makers are surprisingly badly paid. [...]

Much more at the link.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—News. The Chicago Reader reports on how emails discovered through a FOIA request have revealed the role of Chicago Public Schools officials in the removal of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis from classrooms, despite previous public denials.

Michael Davis writes rather cryptically about why he's not involved in the relaunched Milestone.

The story of Diplo's unapproved use of Rebecca Mock art, and his ill-advised and moronic responses on Twitter after being called on it, has unsurprisingly gone viral. Obviously, this is interesting in light of other recent stories about "appropriation," too.

—Crowdfunding. As always, there are several crowdfunding efforts of interest going on right now, including an Indiegogo campaign from Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), a Kickstarter for another Jackie Estrada collection of convention photos, and the final week or so of the Indiegogo drive for a new graphic novel from cult cartoonist Jack Katz.

—Reviews & Commentary. Tim O'Neil looks back at an early Grant Morrison/Klaus Janson Batman story.

The A.V. Club has a strong slate of reviews, and I believe this is the first week featuring new contributor Zainab Akhtar.

Over at the Nib, Renee French shares her sketchbook.

The most recent issue of the UK online magazine Five Dials includes a whole bunch of preliminary art and background information on the creation of Richard McGuire's Here. And it's free to download.