Once a year, Delémont turns into a meeting place for super-heroes, or at least Switzerland’s capital of comics, heralded as «Delémont, Cité de la BD». What this means becomes clear every June, when the tranquil town is transformed into a comics universe. Monsters occupy shop windows, speech bubbles and stick figures pop up on billboards, and those strolling through town are sometimes made to feel part of a picture story themselves.
The town exploits the potential of comics to expand the range of culture on offer, to foster local cultural production and its visibility, and to enhance the professionalism of the regional comics scene. Superhuman powers may not be required, but it does take a good strategy for a young festival with an unusual focus to establish itself in a predominantly rural region. Pro Helvetia helped the festival develop formats that serve this purpose. They include a residency for comics artists, exhibitions, the female artist publication «La Bûche», a postcard competition for art practitioners from the Jura region, as well as encounters and workshops for comics creators of all ages.
Pro Helvetia is supporting the project from 2016 to 2018.