The first lustrum of this already famous gathering of cartoonists in Virton was a great success. Raphaël Donnay (Rafagé) and Angelo Fradé realized a fabulous program in and around the city: some 70 cartoonists from countries like France,Belgium, Iran, Chad, Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Netherlands, Germany, Syria, Tunisia…were present! Most of them were pure press cartoonists but some, like Nikola Hendrickx (IOA) and myself, represented also the gag cartoonist guild. Famous cartoonists Angel Boligan and Pol Leurs came over to say hello. Marlène Pohle, António Antunes, Jean Gouders a.o.FECO representatives were there. Even Saskia and Fernand of the European Cartoon Center were present .
During the festival some 16 exhibitions were organized throughout the city. Raoul Servais, Phil Umdenstock, Roth, Batti, …all worth seeing. The big exhibition on World War I , ‘Quand sera la Paix’, in the City Hall was inaugurated in the presence of some famous local people. And of course, a lot of cartoonists. We never miss a drink!
On Friday all cartoonists gathered in the big white marquee in the city centre. This day was reserved for the schools of the region so we got a lot of youngsters that came by for a caricature or portrait. Some went from one cartoonist to another and got an impressive collection at the end of the day. On Saturday and Sunday we were visited by families and other fans of the humorous drawing. So we kept on drawing…Everybody had a lot of fun!
In between a lot of conferences and round tables give the visitors the chance to meet the artists in person and listen to their interesting comments and explanations.
On Sunday afternoon, the results of “Orval, son abbaye, ses moines, sa bière”, a contest for the participating cartoonists in Virton, were announced. I was honoured with a third award together with Val, another Belgian, second place was for the famous Sondron (Be) and the first award went to Julien Viot (IoO). And again: party time! We had a great dinner at the Franklin Restaurant with a show of a local stand up comedian included.
On Sunday evening, most of the participants left Virton, we also did hit the road. Satisfied but a little tired as well. See you next year, Virton!