it's raining outside the karaoke bar: TMH in Brussels

by Val & Jana
photos: Mathilde 

No, this time we didn't go very far. We took our bags full of books for a 45mn ride to the capital. I sat in the car with Dries and we discussed, amongst other things, his thought-provoking stickers. "You should put your name on it. They're so anonymous" I told him.
"I don't want to be known as the dick guy..."

a satisfied customer and a famous sticker

When we arrived in cultural center 'Maison des cultures' in Saint Gilles, Alice Milani (La Trama) was already there. We shared a table with our two collectives' publications. Our paths often cross and Mathilde Vangheluwe and I had participated to their new project Coppie Miste, a series of five little books, each made by two different authors. During the three days of the festival, we also came up with new ideas for collaborations, which goes to show that sitting behind tables is not wasted time.

One thing we noticed immediately in Cultures Maison: the quality of the books on display was very high. There were well known publishers of great books, such as FRMK, Bries and Nobrow, but also quantities of small publishers and collectives which gave a good idea of what is happening in Belgium now. I bought amongst other things Belgian cartoonist Steve Michiels' new book, Crépuscule Civil : 164 pages of darkness, crime, mystery, absurdity, humor, nudity and bar fights.

There was a fabulous exhibition by KutiKuti (Finland) downstairs. Monsters of bright colored cardboard were coming out of the ground and beautiful work was hanging on the walls.
A personal favourite is the work of Amanda Vähämäki with her sensitive lines, blurred smudges and lively expressions. She has been edited in french by FRMK and co-founded the italian collective Canicola.

After the first night was done, people were scattering and we went to a karaoke bar with the good people of Salade de Frites, a collective from Liège. In the bar, everybody was singing together and fighting for the microphone. French classics and some Britney Spears.  It's my Life was sung by a girl who really meant business - eat your heart out, Bon Jovi. A muscly bouncer was there to make sure the fun was not getting out of control.
"No sitting on the tables"

On saturday, there was a presentation about GRANDPAPIER, an online comics platform by l'employé du moi. Another project by l'employé du moi is this online catalogue of fanzines you can print at home, for free. Using the same simple folding system we used for our summer edition.

Sunday was rainy and sticky. Still, the typical Belgian weather didn't stop the crowd eager to buy books : the weekend ended on a high note. With that in mind, through the bad weather, we went for last drinks with new friends, already thinking about the next festival.

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