Ten years after the international comic festival in Angoulême, the Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l'Image was founded, a complex that includes a museum, media library and digital image centre.
The current museum moved to a majestic new location in 2009: renovated and converted old wine cellars, on the other bank of the River Charente. A footbridge connects the museum to the Cité, from one bank to another. The Cité de la Bande Dessinée now boasts a heritage library, a multimedia technical support centre, cinemas, an artists' residence, a bookshop and a restaurant.
Here, the public is presented with the whole fascinating history of comic book art, from its origins to the present day. Visitors can go behind the scenes to learn all about this major art form, its techniques and its aesthetic, thanks to an original display.
In order to preserve the collections - the initial core of which comes from the city's Museum of Fine Arts - from light damage, the exhibits are renewed every four months. Therefore you can see a whole new museum every time you come by.
Comic fans will be thrilled by the 8,000 original comic strips, spread across 4 main chronological sections with an emphasis on the influence of American comics on their French counterparts. A second approach focuses on the technical stages of the creative process, from storyline to colouring in.
In the reading areas furnished with large, comfortable armchairs, visitors can browse comic books that relate to the collections displayed on the premises, for a few minutes… or a few hours! Bécassine, manga, superheroes and Gaul villages appear alongside works by the greats, such as Franquin, Hergé, Dupuy, Berbérian, Zep, Ferrandez, Servais, etc., rising stars in the world of graphic novels, American comic books and Japanese comics, the latter having the biggest readership in the world.