Stripheurs Breda

The free sketch dilemma aside (which was less important than perhaps I made it seem by yesterday’s Journal entry), the Breda Strip Festival was a really good convention. Our hosts, Mark Thelosen and Guido de Bue, took excellent care of us, as did our publisher, John Fleskes.

While at the show I did an exhaustive interview for Europe’s oldest serious critical journal on comics. I met brilliant artists (of whose work I had been completely unaware) from all over Europe and the UK. I was especially impressed by the work of Crisse, who has produced a series of stunning cartoon graphic novels that take place in ancient Egypt. I told Crisse that if he lived here in L. A. that he’d be snapped up immediately by Disney or another such animation studio. The guy really has chops.

The artists were treated to a spectacular dinner buffet at the Apollo Hotel. The Apollo’s staff was top notch; extremely cheerful and helpful. Art collector extraordinaire Jim Reid joined us in Breda, so it was fun to get to finally hang out with Jim in a more relaxed and informal situation.

On Sunday night the Flesk artists, their spouses, Jim, and our convention hosts & friends had dinner at a typical Dutch restaurant in Breda. My wife pleasantly surprised us all by picking up the tab. That’s my sweetie!

The next day, everyone except my wife and I took off for Amsterdam. We stayed and further explored Breda. One highlight was visiting Guido de Bue’s outstanding comic shop De Stripspecialist. Guido is incredibly well-loved by the local comics community. He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to comics (from all over the world — not just Europe) and he loves to generously share that knowledge in the sweetest, most enthusiastic manner. My wife and I both fell in love with dear Guido.

That evening we stopped at a coffee shop (I don’t really think they sell any coffee there) and imbibed in preparation for one of the best meals of our trip. After a very stoned meander, we found our way to a highly recommended (by an Apollo staffer) Middle Eastern restaurant named Sultan Lounge. The food, atmosphere and service were impeccable. We received highly personal service from our phenomenal waitress.

Our walk back to the hotel after dinner was much more direct than our previous meander. We were finally getting to know our way around Breda!

A Canal in Bruges

The following morning my wife and I took a train (the train station was conveniently right next to the Apollo Hotel) to Bruges, Belgium, the “Venice of the North”. I had been to Bruges many years ago (just to see the Frank Brangwyn museum) and wanted to share the charms of this most beautiful of Northern European medieval cities with her.

One Response to “Stripheurs Breda”

  1. Rick Catizone says:

    Bill,

    It looks beautiful and sounds like a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Best,
    Rick

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