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In my last post about the Paris Manga & Sci-Fi Show, I said I had a blast, but also that the concrete out-side-the-ring-road setting felt a bit odd, that it could have been in any city. But my last day and a half wasn't like that at all, when I went to stay with new friends in the heart of the city, in Montmartre! (If you've seen Amelie, yes, just there.) ...I've a feeling we're not in London anymore, Lettuce!

I knew the Brink-Morrisons a little bit from some of my events, and I'd interviewed Emma for my blog and posted another interview when she won a big illustration prize, but I was rather red-cheeked when I plucked up the nerve to ring them up, out of the blue and say, 'Um, would you mind if I crashed on your sofa for a night?' But they were lovely and welcoming, and we got up to all sorts of drawing fun. Here's us all sketching on said sofa! (Although they gave me a bed, I didn't sleep on the sofa after all.) Emma drew me on the left, Luc drew himself in the middle, and I drew Emma on the right.

I had a great time going through the whole family's sketchbooks. Here are some Vern and Lettuce drawings Emma did earlier for her Page 6 of The Pickle:

And a couple pages from Barbara's sketchbook. (You can see larger versions here.)

My drawing of the family at dinner:

Here are Rob Morrison (@morrisonbrink on Twitter) and Barbara Brink (Tweet name @bbonthebrink). They're English, and when Barbara grew up in Oxford, she had Philip Pullman as her English teacher. He even wrote a bit of his book Count Karlstein for her, to act out in the school play!

Barbara and Rob both trained as architects, although Barbara works more with graphic design these days, and has a real love of pattern, which you can often see in the glimpses of Paris on her amazing photo blog:

Barbara's had a lot of experience doing graphic design on publications for clients such as UNESCO, and if you're interested in commissioning someone who works fluently in English, French and some Swiss-German, you can see her design portfolio here:

They live in a house that they converted from a garage space, and it's amazing, all the architectural tricks they used to make it a truly beautiful, full-of-light place to live. Here's their architecture website:

A drawing I made of Rob:

Here's another peek at Emma's sketchbook, some day-to-day scenes:

Barbara took me on a lovely walk around her neighbourhood, and on the way back, we were lucky enough to catch the door open of Les Fusains, a private network of streets behind this facade:

It's magical back there, all these little twists and turns of an old artist community, with bits of sculpture and wall decorations everywhere. Amazing!

We picked up lunch from a bakery with a mouth-watering assortment of pastries and confections... and MACAROONS! With fresh raspberries! I don't think there's a more perfect sweet in the world than this objet d'art:

Here's the bakery, Coquelicot (which means 'poppy'), on 24 rue des Abbesses. I am partly just blogging it so I don't forget the address and I can go straight back there next time I'm in Paris! Yum and double-yum.

And here's another comics interlude, from Emma's sketchbook. She's very talented for a ten-year-old!

Some street graffiti with newspaper collage:

Emma's done loads of amazing drawings, but I'm especially pleased to see that she's turning them into stories. Here's a three-page comic from her latest sketchbook:

And Emma's Nelson drawing! (I gave the Nelson anthology to her parents, because it's not strictly family-friendly, but I'm glad she had a peek anyway.)

A huge thanks to the Brink-Morrisons for hosting me, and making my trip so marvelous!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
Looks like you had a great time! Did you hit the comic shops on the south end of the latin quarter? They're amazing!
Feb. 9th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
Hi, Will! I didn't get a chance to visit any comic shops this time, darn. Hopefully on the next trip! I'd also really like to stop by the Pompidou centre, they have an amazing bookshop for children's picture books.
Feb. 9th, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
Ohh I'll have to check it out when I'm there in july. When I went last year I spent waaaaaaay too much and came home with a box full of books...and not a small box either....
Feb. 9th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha... whenever I go to Brussels, I always stop by Tropismes bookshop and have the same problem. Comics upstairs, picture books downstairs, what more could you want.
Feb. 9th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
the BD museum there is really good! They had a Tove Jansson exhibit on which was amazing, it even included her tolkein covers she painted as well as the moomin strips.
Feb. 9th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Love the pictures of Paris
Loved the pictures of Vern and Lettuce. Obviously their travels in their tractor to our neck of the woods taught them some French.

Be assured that there is a canapé here with your name on it should you ever get to our part of France (that's a sofa and not a small savoury snack - which might have gone a bit off by the time you got here). Not sure if the patisseries do macaroons round here - if they do I've a feeling they are seasonal. Custard pies seem to be the regional speciality!

Too cold to type - google Versoix and ice to see how cold it is. Hope Paris was warmer. I'm off to find some fingerless gloves and to mend my daughter's woolly hat. It is so cold the bobble fell off.

Genevan Jill

Feb. 10th, 2012 08:29 am (UTC)
Re: Love the pictures of Paris
Hi, Jill! Funnily enough, I AM going to be in Geneva on 10-11 May, I'm doing two days of work at the International school. I'll be staying at a hotel and it's a bit of a quick visit, but it would be lovely to meet up for coffee and custard pie if you're around!

Paris was freezing cold, the whole time, and I came down with flu afterward, but I think I'm better now. Hope you're staying warm!
Feb. 10th, 2012 09:53 am (UTC)
Re: Love the pictures of Paris
How exciting! Which international school is it? Unfortunately for us it is probably "THE" International School rather than the institute my daughter goes to, or the English National Programme at the state school in Ferney where my son goes one afternoon a week. And you might have to cross the border for a custard pie - I think things are a bit more refined in Geneva - I've even seen pictures of macaroons. I shall dash off to look at my non-computerised diary but I'm pretty sure we are free for the whole of May, most of June and indeed the rest of the year.

It is slightly warmer today, in theory, but the winds are gusting at 74km per hour so it doesn't feel it.

Genevan Jill
Feb. 16th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Re: Love the pictures of Paris
Yes, it is The International School, I think! Is that very far away from you?
Feb. 10th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
looks wonderful, wish france wasn't so far away to me
love everyone's drawings !
Feb. 16th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Thanks for that! Yes, it was good there, if VERY COLD!
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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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