The brainchild of a French artist collective comprised of Sammy Stein, Séverine Bascouert, Alexis Beauclair, Bettina Henni and Jean-Philippe Bretin, Lagon is a publication that champions contemporary illustration. Founded after the group met at Angoulême comics festival, it is the product of their shared interests and tastes. “We liked each others’ work and we found that we had the same ideas and the same experience in self-publishing,” explains Alexis.
Giving each issue a different name, this fourth release is titled Marécage, meaning “swamp” in English. Choosing not to present the contributors with the issue’s theme, the team instead provide them with only the name. Some artists in turn to choose to react to this and shape their work around it, though this is not compulsory. “We also give them specific technical details about the issue, such as the page count, the printing techniques and what colours we will be using,” says Alexis. “It’s like cooking; we try to find all the ingredients to make a strange, forward-thinking and exciting comic anthology.”
The result is an intriguingly diverse collection of work, bound together figuratively by the group’s artistic guidance, and literally by their respective skills in DIY. “Séverine uses silkscreen printing for the cover, whilst Bettina and myself run a risograph press where we print most of the other pages.” The latter making up half of the publication, the other half is then put together with offset printing using neon yellow, neon pink, cyan, black and a fifth layer of metallic silver, on two different papers.
Showcasing an updated format, now bigger than before, the Marécage edition is the most impressive yet. Beautifully finished, it’s a space worthy of the host of brilliant illustrators to be found inside. From the comical, lighthearted work of Melek Zertal, to the dark, gothic style of Daylen Seu, this release presents a wide range of aesthetics from a global selection of artists.
“For each issue, we like produce other pieces to go with the magazine and test new printing technics. This time, there is a series of blankets featuring the cover drawings of Acacio Ortas,” says Alexis. “But as far as the next issue is concerned, it’s too early to say. Although, we already have a list of new artists that we want to collaborate with and a lot of ideas for printing, design and other adventures!”
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