Nicolas Finet (born July 24, 1959) is a French writer, editor, documentary filmmaker, consultant, journalist and speaker.
Throughout his many activities, he shares his in depth knowledge of contemporary Asian cultures as well as his long-lasting companionship with comics.
Nicolas Finet began his professional career in written journalism at the beginning of the 1980’s. Formed in daily press (La Presse de la Manche, France-Soir), he decided very early on to work as a free-lance reporter. A choice which led him to nourish many collaborations, with no initial specialty, but with a strong predilection for certain subjects such as cultural news, images of all nature and the Far-East.
During some twenty years of journalism, he traveled to almost sixty countries and has had his investigations, reports and interviews published in more than hundred publications: Les Échos, Télérama, Les Nouvelles Littéraires, (À Suivre), 20 ans, L’Express, L’Usine Nouvelle, Le Nouvel Economiste, Géo, Ça m’intéresse, CFDT Magazine, Grands Reportages, CB News, Le Monde, VSD, BàT, Voyager Magazine, Télé Star, Rock en Stock, Challenges, Voyages d’Affaires, etc.
This eclectic trajectory led him to experience diverse editorial functions. He has been the editor-in chief of Max, a monthly journal, since 1989. In the same year he created Angoulême, Le magazine, an official review of The Angoulême International Comics Festival. In 1995 he was the editorial adviser and chief editor of Lettre d’Europe, a cultural bi-monthly report on the French presidency of the European Union.
Additionally to written journalism, he also experienced other media forms, such as television (he presided during one season as an editorial coordinator) and the Internet, where, beginning in 1999, he conceived and coordinated a legal website, signed a literary column during two years and participated in investigations on Asia for a website dedicated to tourism.
In 1995, Nicolas Finet created N2 The Emerging Side, a news agency specialized in the coverage of Eastern Asian, which provides original and exclusive editorial content (studies, investigations, books, reports, photography, etc.) to a media, editorial, institutional and corporate-based clientele. At the end of the 90’s, this agency starts to develop recurring qualitative studies in Asia, Europe and United States on assignment for french market research companies such as Louis Harris and Ipsos. This activity is still going on today.
Throughout the years 2000-2010, Nicolas Finet synthesized his knowledge of Asia and his expertise in comics with new occupations. He was put in charge of the Asian sector for The Angoulême International Comics Festival, initiated the translation of Korean and Chinese comic-books for many francophone publishing houses, led conferences and readings on comics in Seoul, Paris, Hong Kong, Saint-Petersburg, Guangzhou, Jakarta and Taichung and carried out the commission of the first edition of the Exposition universelle de la bande dessinée (World comic fair) presented in January 2007 at the Angoulême Festival.
Nicolas Finet has participated in a half-dozen joint-publications, has developed storylines for two comic-books, has written six travel guides and two artists monographs, a memorial-book — (À Suivre) 1978-1997 – Une aventure en bandes dessinées – and an anthology of travel writings in Asia, Le puéril jaune.
In 2008, he became the publication director and one of the main authors of DicoManga, the first encyclopedia dictionary on Japanese comics, published by Fleurus, and created a series of conferences devoted to the history of Japanese graphic narration with the Ecole européenne supérieure de l’image (EESI) of Angoulême. In 2009, Nicolas Finet was commissioner of two exhibits: the exhibit dedicated to the Korean publishing house Sai Comics at the 36th Angoulême International Comics Festival and the exhibition Chine II presented by the 16th comic book festival in Bastia. He also directed the postscript of Ari Folman and David Polonsky’s comic inspired by the film Waltz with Bashir and wrote the texts for the book Secrets Défense, based on Michelle Auboiron’s paintings.
In 2010, after having been one of the commissioners of the collective exhibit at the Angoulême festival on Russian comics, Nicolas Finet wrote the preface for the unfinished anthology of Kazuhiko Miyaya’s L’Éveil and participated, as a consultant on China, in the exhibition Cent pour cent bande dessinée presented at the Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image, for which he wrote the notes assigned to China, Korea and Japan. In April of 2010, with the release of Luc Besson’s film The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, he wrote Le Livre d’Adèle with Tardi, a reminiscence and portrait of his famous heroine.
In 2011, he was one of the principal contributors of the collective work 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die, published in Great Britain by Cassell Illustrated, and the next year carried out the coordination of the French edition of this work, published by Flammarion with the title Les 1001 BD qu’il faut avoir lues dans sa vie. In 2013, he was one of the three writers of the city guide Seoul published in three languages (French, English, Korean) by Louis Vuitton. The same year, with the release of the movie Snowpiercer by Korean director Bong Joon-ho, inspired by the French comic book Le Transperceneige by Lob, Rochette and Legrand, he wrote the album Histoires du Transperceneige and then, in January 2014, wrote the foreword of San Mao le petit vagabond by Zhang Leping, a classic Chinese comic strip published for the first time in French-speaking countries.
During the 41st edition of the Angouleme International Comics Festival, having became the curator of this major event, Nicolas Finet carried out the commission of Tardi et la Grande Guerre, an ambitious exhibition dedicated to Jacques Tardi’s works on 1st World War, and then in January 2015 carried out again the commission of Jirô Taniguchi, l’homme qui rêve, the first big retrospective dedicated in Europe to this major Japanese artist.
Abruptly fired from the Angoulême International Comics Festival by the general delegate of this organization, in october 2016, Nicolas Finet goes on working for the comics industry in several directions : editorial projects both traditionnal and digital, comics translations, international event management.
In 2018, he is comics editor for Rue de l’échiquier publishing company, develops asian-oriented projects for Petit à Petit publishing house and signs a new edition of his memorial book about (À Suivre), related to the 40th anniversary of this prominent french comics magazine. He is also running lectures for the École européenne supérieure de l’image (manga history and graphic novels), is sitting on the bande dessinée committee for the Centre national du livre (CNL) until February 2019 and works on several documentary projects.
In 2019, he is the publisher of his film Mississippi Ramblin’ – On the tracks of Robert Johnson in the Deep South, a documentary dedicated to Mezzo and Dupont’s musical american trip inspired by their graphic novel Love in vain (Glénat, 2014). Two of his books, as a writer, are published almost simultaneously : a comic book about the Woodstock festival story, Forever Woodstock (artwork by Christopher) and an essay about David Bowie, Starman.
In 2020, three years after having been fired from the Angoulême Festival by its general delegate, Nicolas Finet is back in the comics events management through a close and fruitful cooperation with the LyonBD Festival : he will be curating an international and collective exhibition called “Eruptions”, due to open in June 2021, for the 16th edition of Lyon BD. In September 2020 is released his book Love Me Please – Une histoire de Janis Joplin (artwork by Christopher, published by Marabulles), translated in Spanish in April 2021 and to be translated in the United States in July 2021, and two months later he is the editor and the co-writer of a collective book about David Bowie, David Bowie en BD (published by Petit à Petit). In May 2021 is released his long-awaited Découvrir Tokyo en manga, a guide book conceived 3 years before and develop with 16 mangaka.
- Découvrir Tokyo en manga (collective book, Petit à Petit, 2021)
- David Bowie en BD (collective book, Petit à Petit, 2020)
- Love Me Please – Une histoire de Janis Joplin (1943 – 1970), with Christopher (Marabulles, France, 2020 – Aloha! Editorial, Spain, 2021)
- Guides Mondeos : Laos (new edition, 2020)
- Guides Mondeos : Cambodge (new edition, 2020)
- Starman – 6 juillet 1972, la fabrique de David Bowie (Le Castor Astral, 2019)
- Forever Woodstock, with Christopher (Robinson, 2019)
- L’Aventure (À Suivre) (PLG, 2017)
- San Mao le petit vagabond, foreword to the first french edition of the strips by Zhang Leping (Les Éditions Fei, 2014)
- Séoul, city guide (collective book, Louis Vuitton, 2013)
- Histoires du Transperceneige (foreword by Pierre Pelot, Casterman, 2013)
- Les 1001 BD qu’il faut avoir lues dans sa vie (collective book, coordination générale, Flammarion, 2012)
- 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die (collective book, Cassell Illustrated, Londres, 2011)
- Le Livre d’Adèle (with Jacques Tardi, Casterman, 2010)
- Cent pour cent bande dessinée (collective book, La Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image, Paris bibliothèques, 2010)
- L’Éveil, foreword to the Kazuhiko Miyaya anthology (Vertige Graphic, 2010)
- No Art – Acmé, exhibition catalog (Galerie Olivier Waltman, 2009)
- Secrets Défense, on Michelle Auboiron’s paintings (Éditions des Glous, 2009)
- Rageman – Archivage 1990 2008 (self published collective book, 2008)
- DicoManga – Le dictionnaire encyclopédique de la bande dessinée japonaise (collective book, Fleurus, 2008)
- Voyages sur les routes du monde – La route de Gengis Khan (collective book, Géo / Solar, november 2006)
- Comès (Éditions Casterman, october 2006)
- In the Mood with Shanghai Charlie, foreword to the photo book Brut de Shanghai by Charles Guy (Éditions des Glous, may 2006)
- No Art – Dix ans de tôle (monograph, N2 Publishing / Art dans la ville, march 2006)
- Le puéril jaune – Carnets d’un blanc-bec en Extrême-Orient (self published, printrun 500 copies, january 2006)
- Fleuves du monde – Le Yangzi Jiang, L’Irrawaddy (collective book, Géo / Solar, 2004)
- (À Suivre) 1978 – 1997 Une aventure en bandes dessinées (Casterman, 2004)
- Montagnes du monde – Le Fuji San, Les Huangshan (collective book, Géo / Solar, 2003)
- Guide Mondeos : Cambodge et Laos (travel book, 2001)
- Guide Mondeos : New York (travel book, 2000)
- Maitres de la bande dessinée européenne – François Schuiten, Moebius, Sydney Jordan, Philippe Druillet, Enki Bilal : les maîtres des autres mondes (collective book, Bibliothèque Nationale de France / Éditions du Seuil, 2000)
- Guide Mondeos : États-Unis Ouest (travel book, 1999)
- Les Grandes Séries Américaines de 1970 à nos jours (collective book, Éditions Huitième Art, 1996)
- Les Grandes Séries Britanniques (collective book, Éditions Huitième Art, 1994)
- Amicalement vôtre (collective book, Éditions Huitième Art, 1992)
- Mémoire Vierge — Le chant des Autres (with Corriger, Delcourt, 1991)
- Dan Star contre l’univers (with Corriger, Sorg, 1987).
Exhibitions and events curator & coordinator
Éruptions – La bande dessinée sur le front des contestations contemporaines (Lyon BD, 2020 – 2021)
Otomo in Angoulême, curator & organization (Angoulême, January 2016)
HiBaNa, behind the scenes of a manga magazine (Angoulême, 2016)
Li Chi Tak, Hong Kong Wizard (Angoulême, 2016)
Jirô Taniguchi, The Dreaming Man (Angoulême, 2015 – Versailles, Erlangen, 2016)
Chinese Pavilion: Guangzhou (Angoulême, 2015)
Mississippi Blues illustrated concert, with Mezzo, LC Ulmer, Kingfish, Joe Eagle and John Allouise (Angoulême, 2015)
The Devil of the Blues – Mezzo, Duchazeau, Cuzor, Crumb (Angoulême, 2015, co-curator Jean-Michel Dupont)
Tardi and the Great War (Angoulême, 2014)
Korean Exhibition: Flowers That Don’t Toss (Angoulême, 2014)
Leiji Matsumoto in Angoulême, general organization (Angoulême, 2013)
“Special Korea” Pavilion (Angoulême, 2013)
Special Taiwan (Angoulême, 2012)
Hong Kong Stars: Kaleidoscope (Angoulême, 2011)
Born in U.S.S.R. (Angoulême, 2010)
China II (Bastia, 2009)
Sai Comics (Angoulême, 2009)
Chinese Pavilion (Angoulême, 2008)
Comics Universal Exhibition (Angoulême, 2007)
Korean Comics Pavilion (Angoulême, 2003)
Editor and editorial coordination
- L’Amour est une protéine, by Choi Kyu-sok (Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2006)
- Fleur, by Park Kun-woong (3 volumes, Casterman, collection Écritures, 2006)
- Corée (anthology, Casterman, collection Écritures, 2006)
- Femmes de réconfort – Esclaves sexuelles de l’armée japonaise, by Jung Kyung-a (Au Diable Vauvert / 6 Pieds sous terre, 2007)
- Le Fils, by Ren Zheng-hua (Casterman, collection Écritures, 2007)
- Comme la lune surgissant des nuages, by Park Heung-yong (3 volumes, Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2007)
- L’enfer de Jade, by Lai Tat Tat Wing (Casterman, collection Hua Shu, 2007)
- Pourquoi j’veux manger mon chien, by Ahko (Casterman, collection Hua Shu, 2007)
- Catsby, by Doha (6 volumes, Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2007 et 2008)
- Les Nourritures de l’âme, by Kim Dong-hwa (Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2008)
- Docteur Du Ming, by Zhang Jing and Han Jinglong (Casterman, collection Hua Shu, 2008)
- Souvenirs d’amour, by Kim In-ho (2 volumes, Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2008)
- Romance Killer, by Doha (2 volumes, Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2008)
- Après le zénith, by Han Hye-yeon (Casterman, collection Hanguk, 2008)
- Chine – Regards croisés (anthology, Casterman, collection Écritures, 2009)
- Quelques jours en France (anthology, Casterman, collection Écritures, 2009)
- Dorothy Band, by Hong Jac-ga (3 volumes, KSTR, 2009)
- Les Nuits assassines, by Byun Ki-hyun and J.-M. Goum (Casterman, 2009)
- La Langouste ne passera pas, by Jean Yanne and Tito Topin (new edition, Casterman, 2011)
- Haggarth, by Victor de la Fuente (new edition, Casterman, 2013)
- Le Tour de Belgique de Monsieur Iou, by Monsieur Iou (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2018)
- Je préfèrerais ne pas, by Justin Wong (translated from Chinese by Bertrand Speller, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2018)
- Mémoires d’un frêne, by Park Kun-woong (translated from Korean by Kette Amoruso, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2018) Prix Lucioles 2019
- Ramshackle, by Alison McCreesh (translated from English by Jean-Paul Jennequin, Rue de l’Échiquier BD, 2018)
- Camel Joe, by Claire Duplan (Rue de l’Échiquier BD, 2018)
- Je suis née dans un village communautaire, by Kaya Takada (translated from Japanese by Jean-Louis de la Couronne, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2019)
- Thoreau et moi, by Cédric Taling (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2019)
- Te dire merci, by Yukari Takinami (translated from Japanese by Jean-Louis de la Couronne, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2019)
- Les Cosmogoniales – Un chant de Silène, by Hyacinthus (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2019)
- Intraitable volume 1, by Choi Kyu-sok (translated from Korean by Kette Amoruso, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2019)
- Moi, Mikko et Annikki, by Tiitu Takalo (translated from Finnish by Kirsi Kinnunen, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2020) Grand Prix Artémisia 2021
- Intraitable tome 2, by Choi Kyu-sok (translated from Korean by Kette Amoruso, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2020)
- Comme une bête (ou comment je suis devenu végétarien), by Cédric Taling (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2020)
- Intraitable tome 3, by Choi Kyu-sok (translated from Korean by Kette Amoruso, Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2020)
- Permacomix – Vivre en permaculture, mode d’emploi, by Guizou and Cécile Barnéoud (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2020)
- La Voie du vide et du vent – Un vagabondage planétaire, by Kenneth White and Patrice Reytier (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2021)
- Celle qui nous colle aux bottes, by Marine de Francqueville (Rue de l’échiquier BD, 2021)