Thierry Groensteen's memoir recalls the intellectual ferment of colloquia held at Cerisy-la-Salle in Normandy, subsequently the venue for two conferences organised by Groensteen himself. The first, the ground-breaking Bande dessinée, récit et modernité [Comics, Narrative and Modernity] in 1987, was a key moment in the history of the theorisation of comics as art form. Groensteen's own presentation explored the threshold of narrativity in comics, and other noteworthy contributions included those of the philosopher Henri Van Lier and Marc Avelot, whose reading of Martin Vaughn-James's La Cage rescued this masterpiece from obscurity. This conference also laid the foundations for the Oubapo movement, the production of comics under constraint, whose later development Groensteen chronicles. The second, ‘La Transécriture’, in 1993, was an early exploration of comics as part of a cross-media environment.
Thierry Groensteen curated the Comics Museum in Angoulême from 1993 to 2001. He has been editor-in-chief of two important journals, Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinee and Neuvième Art, now online as NeuviemeArt2.0. The latter includes a comics encyclopaedia, of which a print version is forthcoming later this year. Groensteen is the founder of the publishing company L'An 2, now an imprint of the group Actes Sud. He teaches at the École Européenne Supérieure de l'Image, in Angoulême, and has curated many exhibitions. He has authored numerous books about the history, the semiotics, and the aesthetics of comics, as well as scripts and novels. TGroensteen@citebd.org