What a day! I'm totally exhausted but we really had fun!!
First, we went to Japan Expo in the afternoon. It was as crowded as ever, and we were only Thursday!! I immediately went to buy the shikishi :
In fact, as we discovered very soon on the booth entirely dedicated to the CLAMP, there were two others illustrations : one with Shaolan, Watanuki and the Mokona, and another one with Shaolan, Chii and Yuuko. From our discussion with the staff, there’ll be another as a consolation price for those who won’t have the chance to get a ticket for a signature tomorrow and Saturday. There were some interesting goodies, for example giant posters of X and TRC, but everything was very expensive. There were also a lot of advertisement for Code Geass, which is going to be published in French in September. After going to the C&M booth, where I spent all my money for their beautiful art, and a little cosplay show, we went back to Paris.
At 7 PM, we were queuing in front of the Gallerie des Bibliothèques.
Fifteen minutes later, a black van passed and a moment later, Shii-chan told me they were coming. We could take a few pictures while they were shaking hands with all the important people from the town hall, which was organizing the event.
It was only after I took these pictures that I realized I had actually seen the CLAMP themselves… My friend told me I had the silliest smile she had ever seen! So as you can see, they were all smiling and they waved a bit at the crowd before entering. We had to wait some more time to do so.
The exhibition was very interesting. There were plenty original drawings, some in color and other in black and white. You could see all the small details! It was very impressive!!
At some point, a guy arrived saying we were not allowed to take pictures, but French people always like to rebel, so everyone continued more or less discreetly – including me XD. That’s why the first pictures are quite good, while the last ones are a bit of a mess, and I could'nt take any good one in the second part of the exhibition. It’s a pity, because it was about CLAMP’s working process. We could see the evolution the black and white drawings were going through, from the sketches to the inking.
At the very end, there was a short movie showing the CLAMP working in their studio (the one from Angoulême I presume) while answering some questions. From what I remember :
- Ohkawa-sensei always knows what will happen at the end of the story she creates.
- Igarashi-sensei complained about nobody
- Mokona-sensei had difficulties drawing Yuuko, because the lines were really smooth, like a Japanese engraving. She also said she was proud of the design of the female characters in Chobits. She was also listening to some music while working at some point.
- Nekoi-sensei said she liked working in small place, so she could get everything from where she sat.
After we finished our visit, we went to small party they had in the courtyard of a nearby “hôtel particulier” (we were in one of the oldest district of Paris after all). There, as in the exhibition hall, there was a bit of everyone : officials, professionals, and some fans. We met two boys that managed to get an invitation a few minutes before the beginning of the event, and one took really great pictures, so I hope he’ll publish them soon. We were told by them and other fans that the CLAMP were inside, answering to television interviews but also signing autographs. A bit later, a woman came out of the building saying that only four autographs were given to children selected in a contest, which was obviously a lie : some kind lady let me take a picture of the signatures she got on her invitation.
The CLAMP finally came out, still smiling but looking a bit tired and very much amazed by the number of people around. They said a few words that their interpreter translated, and that could be sum up as “thank you for coming, we hope you’ve enjoyed our work”. They waved at everyone and a moment later, they disappeared in the black van again.
Ohkawa-sensei makes such a weird face on this one XD she must have been surprised by the crowd!
My friend was told by one of the Pika staff who was acting pretty much like a body guard that the CLAMP were very tired and a bit afraid of the crowd. That seems quite logical when you know they spend most of their in their studio, but I wonder how they’ll react tomorrow to the thousands of people at the Japan Expo…
EDIT : chibiyuuto-san also posted some great report with VIDEOS!! Go see them!!