Listing the list of our favorite little places that we have seen disappear over the last decade in Rennes is an exercise with perverse effects, since it is undoubtedly accompanied by a gloomy nostalgia and a brutal desire to drive a DeLorean (fictional automobile and time machine popularized by the film trilogy Back to the Future, Editor’s note). This is why, for once, we were happy to be happy to learn of the installation of a new independent bookstore, Place Saint-Anne. Because yes, fed up with seeing all these banks, real estate agencies and other fat and expensive bistronomic street-food franchises taking over the downtown businesses!
Like a nice snub to the gentrified history of the city, the dashing and sympathetic Grégory Duval has just opened his Livrerie des Jacobins, devoted to comics and quality beer, instead of the unusual Alphagraph. So, no more old torn posters announcing an evening at the Mango or the release of a Doom-Metal-Free-Jazz album stuck on the window of 5 rue d’Echange. Today, it looks great again and lights up with a thousand colored and satiny bubbles. ” The bookstore is dead, long live the bookstore! »
Meet. Friday night. 19:12.
Incorrigible, we are coming (a little) in the rush at our meeting. Damn bike that suddenly let us go that night. But on entering the bookstore, still breathless and rosy cheeks from our last sprint, Grégory Duval does not seem at all taken aback since he is already discussing with our fellow alterist Marc. Holding a bottle of beer in both hands as if he were holding a Bordeaux Grand Cru, Grégory recounts. ” So they come from southern Finistère, it is the Chiendent Brewery located in Bannalec… and it is the artist Cromwell who designed the label. This one is an organic beer produced by a very famous microbrewery in Fougères. We serve it in the gastro restaurant The pearl fountain… »We quickly understand by listening as we pull out our crumpled list of questions at the bottom of the bag that the watchword here is passion and quality. Well, in truth, there are two words. Like comic and comic.
Grégory Duval worked for a long time ” for the others », In France and also abroad, as a bookseller, travel and comic strip option. Anyway, the guy has rolled his bump and knows what he’s doing. Corn, ” advancing age »He jokes, the very young quadra wanted to come back to live near his relatives and his family. A native of Saint Brieuc, it was in Rennes that he chose to put down his suitcases. “I know the city well because I did my studies there and also a few good evenings. (laughs …) It came about almost naturally. »The vitality of the city center finally convinced him to embark on this crazy adventure of I-become-my-own-boss.
And for good reason. This somewhat crazy desire to bring together comics and beers in the same place had been trotting in the back of his mind for a long time now. ” A concept that does not exist elsewhere, at least if I believe my research He warns. These two worlds have a lot in common. They give an important place to aesthetics, graphics, and more and more artists collaborate with breweries. The reunion of these worlds seems to me a good idea, they complement each other and sometimes mix the same clientele. Enjoying a quality beer while reading a comic book, far from the screens and the hustle and bustle of everyday life, brings real additional pleasure. This is what I want to highlight. ”
Like the wine that sublimates the dish, Grégory offers his couples ” favorites », Ideal combination between a comic strip and a beer. “ I want to introduce people to a beer that echoes the book, a sort of sensory or artistic wink ”, says Grégory. ” Even if bookseller remains the heart of my profession, my project is working to find small brews to vary the offer regularly. ” Suddenly, he canvassed, promotes word of mouth, his network of friends, and stays on the lookout (beer) to find rare hoppy pearls and farmhouse ciders. ” With passionate people who have often given up everything to make it their job, there are rarely any unpleasant surprises. The taste and the graphic aspect of the bottle are two important elements in my selection. “
For those who keep snatches of memories d’Alphagraph or ” at Jérôme », Know that the place has changed somewhat. Pleasant lights and modular colorful fresco on the ceiling, it is in the image of its owner. The gray of the temples less. With a background of books that Grégory wishes to see grow further, we note an assumed bias for the graphic novel, short series and one-shot. (publication in the form of an album whose framework is resolved into a single volume, Editor’s note). « Of course, I try to satisfy as many people as possible, but there is necessarily a part of me in the choice of comics that I offer. Afterwards, I am in the break-in period, I observe the requests, the profile of my customers. Nothing is set in stone. But for now, I’m lucky. I haven’t been asked for the Tibo Inshape comic or Geluck’s cat yet (laughs …) »
Grégory seems inexhaustible on his books which he likes to touch, leaf through, put down and then resume. Seeing him bustling about everywhere, showing us pages drawn to illustrate his words, looking for that damn tome that is no longer in its place, makes us realize that, in the end, we can hide owls discovered in only 20 square meters. Not surprising. ” Gone are the days when comics were only reserved for children and a niche audience., says Gregory. With the emergence of new graphic forms, the arrival of new authors, the sector has become as vast and creative as literature… There is something for all tastes and styles. ”
Now that Halloween is over, the holiday season is just around the corner. The bookstore will undoubtedly experience its first big rush. In any case, that’s what we wish him. We then try a shy “Some gift ideas? “ « Saint Elme is a fantastic thriller by the brilliant Frederik Peeters with a cinematographic, hyper dynamic cut that can sometimes make you dizzy, enthuses Grégory. Otherwise, from the same author, Blue Pills, is an autobiographical story that tells of his love story with a young woman living with HIV. It tells of his doubts, his anxieties, with tenderness and far from any miserability. ” He does not forget to quote the work Birthright by Etienne Davodeau ” which was expected, to taste with the farmer cider of Courtil Goulipaou de Plestan », Or the journalistic comic strip of Inès Léraud and Pierre Van (which we particularly appreciated, by the way, Editor’s note)
The increase in sales of comics has been constant for ten years and represents one in five books purchased in France. Encouraging figures for embarking on entrepreneurship, with an offer and personalized service to differentiate themselves from the behemoths that are Cultura, and Fnac or unfair competition from Amazon-de-non-droit. ” I’m glad, really, to have opened the delivery. I was a little fed up with being on the phone constantly with my suppliers, the accountant or my insurer, Grégory laughs. Then we’ll see if my idea was good or totally fucked up (laughs…). In any case, people are curious, dare to come in, watch and take the time to chat. There is such a production in comics that we are quickly lost. I am there to guide, guide, and suggest. ”
The official opening has not yet taken place, or we have not been invited (this is a call of the foot, Editor’s note), that Grégory is already teeming with projects. But one thing at a time. ” I especially plan to communicate a little more and make myself known. Later, I want to do some independent fanzines, and then hopefully, next year, start organizing small events: like inviting a local brewer, trying to partner up for a special series. a beer, for example … »
The Livrerie des Jacobins, to discover absolutely at 5 rue d’Échange, Rennes. (facebook.com page → @livreriedesjacobins)
Our complete photo gallery (by the inexhaustible Marc):