Update: By the time the Angoulême festival opened on 29 January, the number of signatories to the open letter had reached 110, including 2013 Grand Prix winner and Charlie Hebdo contributor Willem.

We, cartoonists, illustrators, writers, editors, distributors, translators, critics and workers in the comic book industry … urge the Angoulême [International Comics] Festival, and all festivals, conventions, and celebrations of comics and cartooning art in which we participate, to reject any partnership, funding, or co-operation with any Israeli company or institution that does not explicitly promote freedom and justice for Palestinians, as well as equal rights and equality for Israeli Jews and Palestinians, including the Israeli government and its local consulates, so long as Israel continues to deny Palestinians their rights….

You can read the letter in full – in French, English, and Arabic – with a list of signatories here.

The 2015 letter expands on a 2014 letter that called for the Angoulême Festival to drop all ties with the Israeli company Sodastream. The new letter’s signatories include workers in the comics industry beyond cartoonists, including critics Jeet Heer and former heads of the Cité internationale de la bande dessinée Thierry Groensteen and Gilles Ciment, and organizers of the first-ever festival of comics held in Palestine, Palestine Comics, which opened in November of 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »