This year's award process made international news when an initial nominations list of 30 artists contained no women. A couple of half-step solutions were offered including a weirdly aggressive defense of the original list, before the nominations list was abandoned altogether. A finalists list of Claire Wendling, Alan Moore and Hermann was the result. Wendling asked not to be voted for, leading some ot wonder if anyone would take the prize in an honorable fashion. Hermann was announced via the above video early today.
I think Hermann's a strong choice, someone from the 1960s magazine serials and album series that hadn't won yet. He's both a strong artists and at times during his career a popular one. He's also been prolific both working with scenarists working on his own, over multiple decades. Jeremiah has been published in the US under various names by Fantagraphics, Caliber, Catalan (US) and Dark Horse.
Will this year's controversy mark the awards? Almost certainly. One thing I'd suggest is that it was the voting that was broken, not the history and certainly the bodies of work which should have been given initial consideration. I think Hermann's a nice choice that might have been the choice in any recent year, and could have been the choice if the initial listmakers had done their job. I look forward to seeing what he does with his presidency, and I hope anyone with an interest will hold the awards process accountable for improving itself, no matter how that must be done.
One last thing if someone from over there is reading this. I think media works now that favors the old way of announcing at the end of the weekend. I always thought that was cool, but more importantly social media and the like favors Sunday/Monday coverage over mid-week. It will be hard for some news sources to do an Angouleme wrap-up without that bit of hard news up top.