With four books recently published in Spain (Dotter of her Father’s Eyes appeared there last September, the first two Grandville and The Tale of One Bad Rat came out this year), Bryan and I were delighted to be invited to the 12th Getxo Comics Festival.
Yes it rained. And it rained and it rained. Almost continuously. A little like Kendal, only wetter.
The long weekend didn’t start promisingly. We got to the airport early Thursday evening, in ample time, or so we thought. Then we discover that our flight was overbooked. Know that sinking feeling? We were the last to check in, so the plane was already full. As it turned out, we had a pleasant evening in a hotel close by, and all was well. Apart from having to get up before 5 am for the first flight out.
Bryan was kept very busy, sketching in the signing zone and at the Astiberri booth:
And we were interviewed by Jesus, which was nice.
Here’s Bryan signing next to the other international guest, Guy Delisle:
Hanging about eating and drinking is always good and on this occasion it was an opportunity to get to know some of the Spanish guests. Laureano from Astiberri (end of table) was a splendid host. On my left is Alfonso Zapino, whose graphic novel on James Joyce I’m looking forward to reading. There’s an English-language edition, published in Ireland.
Guy and Nadage. The festival organiser, Iñaki, is in the background.
We managed to fit in a little sightseeing. Here’s a couple of shots taken outside the Bilbao Guggenheim. It’s a spectacular building. Not being a fan of conceptual art, I can’t say the same for what’s on exhibition inside!
One thing struck us in particular: the Spanish are seriously into ham. Look!
On Sunday evening, when the festival was over, we waited for the Astiberri people to pack up then went zigzagging back and forth through the sodden streets, in search of a restaurant that wasn’t about to close. How far did we walk that night? Did the restaurants close when they saw us approaching? Who knows? But it took us here, and we zipped across the river by means of this striking suspension bridge/ferry construction:
And there was a hotel and, lo, its restaurant was open. Fabulous food. So good, in fact, that even Bryan ate the seafood. I now have photographic evidence of him enjoying a langoustine.
Our return flight on Monday wasn’t until mid-afternoon, so we spent some time looking around Bilbao before we left. Bryan spotted an Alladin’s cave down a side street. Sadly, we had no space in our luggage, most particularly not for that eight-foot mahogany armoire that caught my eye!
There are plans for Spanish editions of the next two Grandville books, with other possible publications too. So maybe we’ll be back again. And will it still be raining? Probably.