Proposal: Family Mouse International Design Competition

Dear Eric Britton,

I have been following your work and plans for the new edition of Family Mouse, and as a private environmentalist, long time language teacher and school administrator, I think it’s a great and timely idea.  So to show my enthusiasm, if you agree, I will be pleased to lend a hand in translating the text into lively and appropriate French. Please send me the final text so I can get started on it next week.

A Do-it-Yourself Family Mouse

But as I scanned though the book and all those bold, calming  and colorful retro images, another thought came to mind.  Suppose you invite anyone who might have the taste for this sort of thing, to pick up pen or brush and go  to work with the FM theme and see what happens when they tell the story — but this time with their own images.

Who to invite? Well the children of course, and families and the schools might find some interesting clues in their versions (Including “cris du cœur”, “cries from the heart”,  if you will).  If you have children, give it a whirl and see how they tell the tale in their own way. (I would, incidentally, certainly not insist that they keep to the text, but that will be their choice.. The last thing we want to do is to tie their hands.)

But then what about this? What about opening up a worldwide “Family Mouse International Design Competition” with a prize of some sort (or prizes), and invite submittals which you can share, select and eventually post to World Streets for all to see, share and think about. We have in France (and Belgium) an art form which we call BD or “Bandes dessinés”, a Francophone version of the (mainly) US tradition of the comic book or more lately the Japanese Manga. Among others. By whatever name these are (a) sequential (b) multi-panel (c) graphic, (d) narrations — which to my mind is what Family Mouse is, exactly.

It would be interesting to me, and I am sure to many others, to see how other artists and would-be artists from other times, places and cultures handle this challenge. It would certainly make an excellent project for art schools as well.

I don’t know of course if and how you are going to do this, but here is my idea and wouldn’t it be nice if it inspired a few people and took a few cars off the road.

France B

Paris, France

PS. For the English familiar reader you can find a good summary of our BD’s at  Of the comic book: . And the Japanese Manga at


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