1 nov. 2009

Introducting Anatheme Books

interview for a corean website, september 2009

I started the projet of ‘editions anatheme’ after I made three experiences in my life which were very important for me. As a student in the fine art school of Angouleme I practiced many medias, such as photography, drawing, silksreen and even comics, but I found years after years that it would be very difficult for me to become an artist, or a cartoonist.

I loved watching or looking art masterpieces, but beeing a creator by myself always made me feel unsatisfied. As long as I like to work with group of people or to be like an assistant, in a technical questions. I think I like the technical problems in the art fields. When I open a book for instance, I was sometimes more attracted by the object and the choices concerning this object, than by its content, which should normally be the most important thing when you by a book, or any cultural goods.

During my studies I always saved most of my holidays by having a work experience in a company where I thought I could learn something about a job I like.
I started with a bookshop specialised in comics in Paris, called Super Heros, when I was in High school.
Later I met Jean-Louis Gauthey, a very important person in the comics’ past 20 years evolutions. He is managing the Cornelius publishing house, which he started by printing photocopied and silkscreened books in his personnal appartment in Paris. Now they published more than 100 books and have about 15 new books every years, from Robert Crumb, to Blutch or some old stories ofTezuka Osamu.

After this experience I took the responsability to manage the technical part of the ‘fil du nil’, a book in which students have to make stories and also publish them by their own. The school offered the print fees, then we have to organise by ourselves. I took this oportunity to assist every one depending on their artistic technique, and how we had to work the files in order to get a good offset printing in the end. It was also the first I worked with an offset print shop.

Then, I had another important experence : I assisted a lithographer in his work during one month. He was working with an artist, and then I discovered how to be close to someone who create, who should not be influenced or interrupted. By the way, as a lithographer, Thomas Marin had to give some tips and help the artist in his decisions, and also respect a time for working (the gallerist - as an editor - was limited in his investment). So I experienced how to accompany someone in a process of creation.
Then, the last big experience was here in Seoul. I was welcomed by Saï comics publishing company, led by Cho Kyung-sook and Kim Dae-joong. I worked ther for six months totally. My strategy coming to asia was to take a computer, come to a publishing house and start working hardly, proceeding on the file cleaning before printing it in a comic book. I thought that I could then meet some people step by step. This turned much more easy when I shared some time in Saï Comics : I met a lot of cartoonist, and most of them (specialy Ma Young-sin) introduced me to some of the corean way of life (sssibal).
Kim Dae-joong and Cho Kyung-sook were leading the Saï comics project with a lot of courage, experience and passion. That was very helpfull for me to share their life, and specially in the contact whith authors. They showed me that you may sacrifice a lot of things to something that you share with others. The life of Saï Comics I experienced was very influent on me and my decisions.

By the way, this last work experience was so long and so far away from my home that I decided in Korea to definately become a publisher. I had worked totally more than one year for free and was trusting myself enough to start a project.

My first drawings about a book design was made in Seoul, but back in France I worked totally one year on the project, from january 2008 to january 2009. First I concentrated on creating a book format wich could be interpretated by the different comic artists.

Then when it was designed, I presented it to about 10 cartoonist whom I knew the work. By the way I had a limitation : it would be black and white books, with a one color covers. I tried to turn this lack of ressources (due to the limitation of money I had for this project) in a positive point. That’s why I tried to think how the format would allow, by its carateristics, to display and expand the works that would be published.

Three cartoonist - who are close friends I admit - were interested and then we made it. The three books were ready for the Angouleme festival of 2009.

I think we made a good combination between their own artistic work and my perception of what a book could be, as a medium for an artistic work. We used some tricks, like adding a headband on the covers, which content the typographic elements, and I also designed a specific binding, inspired by the corean and japanese old time bindings I saw during my trip here in Seoul.

But all that was my part of the story, most interesting is whet the comic artist made in their own projects, and I invite you to see their work on our naver page.

I hope this editorial project will live at least 10 years. Now I am preparing the next 3 books which will be presented on the next angouleme festival in january 2010. I wish I could come to present our book sin korea some day, who knows…

Kilian Dinon - éditions Anathème

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