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Where I Slept in France

Where I Slept in FranceOur springtime trip to France was an accident.  We had just spent two weeks there in January, when we drove up to Paris from our home in Oviedo, Spain, with our visiting son to meet his girlfriend in Paris and take in the sights.  After we returned, my wife noticed, among the piles of brochures she had picked up during the trip, a flyer for boat rentals on the Charente River, near the city of Angoulême.  “Angoulême?” I cried.  “That’s the most important European center for comics studies!”  (I had been laboring on a series of essays about images of art and archaeology in comic strips for nearly a year but I had only recently discovered the importance of Angoulême’s Musée de la bande dessinée and was kicking myself that I had missed it during our January trip, even though we had driven within only a few dozen kilometers of it.)  So we asked our friends in Oviedo if anyone would be up for renting a boat and cruising up and down the Charante for four days.  An ex-…

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