French judge applauds outcry over graphic novelist’s child-sex themes

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The prestigious Angoulème International Comics Festival has cancelled its planned showcasing in January of the works of acclaimed French graphic novel artist Bastien Vivès, following strong protest that some of his works promote paedophilia and incest, which he denies. In an interview with Mediapart, French magistrate Édouard Durand, co-president of a newly created “independent commission on incest and sexual violence towards children”, says the outcry illustrates a new public awareness about the extent of the sexual abuse of children, and says cartoon portrayal of the subject is “unbearable for all child victims and the adults they have become, unbearable for everyone who understand what they live through”.

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The prestigious Angoulème International Comics Festival, which will open in the south-west French town in January, announced on Wednesday it had decided to cancel a showcasing of the works of comic book artist Bastien Vivès following public outcry, illustrated in an online petition which drew around 100,000 signatures, over his alleged wilful promotion of paedophilia and incest in some of his works.