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Conversational Euro-Comics: Bart Beaty On The Angouleme Press Conference
posted December 4, 2009
 

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By Bart Beaty

The FIBD in Angouleme held its press conference today in Paris, at the Louvre, announcing the nominees for the prizes as well as the expositions that will be held. Given the furor over funding for the 2010 version of the festival, it is possibly notable that Angouleme mayor Philippe Lavaud was not present.

imageFor exhibitions, it looks to be a good year. Blutch, as president, will be the subject of a retrospective, as will alt-comics superstars Fabio Viscogliosi and Fabrice Neaud. Popular comics series Les Tuniques Bleues, Leonard and One Piece will all have exhibitions, and Fremok's Match de Catch a Vielsam (one of the more interesting books of last year) will be on display.

Blutch will also host a "spectacle" at the Theatre, a live drawing/music collaboration. The Theatre will also host Enki Bilal's Cinemonstre, a deconstruction of the master's work in film.

Among the invited guests of honor this year: Joe Sacco, Ivan Brunetti, Dash Shaw, David Heatley, Kevin O'Neill, Alan Martin, Enki Bilal, Seiichi Hayashi and Floc'h and Riviere.

With regard to the awards, at least they kept the name. They're still The Essentials, but now come in a variety of different flavors. These are:

Best Book of the Fauve d'Or: Pretty self-explanatory
Special Jury Prize: Something that the jury would like to particularly draw attention to
Series Prize: Basically, the best book in an ongoing series. This could almost be called "Best Mainstream Book"
Revelation Prize: Best book by an author/authors at the beginning of their career -- sort of a best new talent prize
Daring Prize: For most formally or narratively innovative work
Intergenerational Prize: Will quickly be known as the old fogey prize, but is oriented towards the "classics" of the field

A whopping 58 different books have been nominated for these prizes.

In addition, as in years past, there are prizes for:

Patrimony: A best reprint prize (eight nominees this year)
Youth: A best children's comic prize (20 nominees)
Fanzine: For non-professional work
Public: Voted on by the attendees

In total, 86 books have been nominated for prizes at the 2010 Festival, which is, frankly, a little too much for me to take in at the moment. My first glance at the list shows a lot of works that I'd be happy to see win (Pachyderme by Frederik Peeters; Alpha by Jens Harder; Hector Umbra by Uli Oesterle), but far fewer than in years past. In truth, I don't immediately recognize the majority of works that have been nominated so might find it hard this time to do a preview.

One thing that has been retained from last year is that the awards will be presented on Sunday at 4:00 when most people have left the Festival.

A list of the nominees can be found here.

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* this year's poster
* tiny sample of art from exhibiting artist Fabio Viscogliosi
* tiny sample of art from exhibiting artist Fabrice Neaud (bottom)

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Those interested in buying comics talked about in Bart Beaty's articles might try here or here.

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