Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 4, 2015

50 Comics Positives For 2014: Bill Watterson Won Festival Presidency At Angouleme


Bill Watterson is an undeniably great cartoonist and a significant cultural touchstone for multiple generations of comics readers. He won the grand prix at Angouleme last winter after some changes in a voting process that some people felt had become stale and put too much pressure on personal relationships because of the limited number and public identity of the voters (past festival presidents). He won't directly participate, but the honor is one for which he is more than qualified, and if nothing else we got about twice the number of new Bill Watterson comics panels as we've seen since his 1990s retirement in the form of the poster/comic for the show, now just a few weeks away.

I have no idea how much Watterson is or ever was oriented towards world comics or even comics of any sort outside of editorial and strip cartooning. He might have been shocked by the honor; he might have had no idea what Angouleme is. I could not say. But combined with the show he did at the Billy Ireland, and the graciousness of his interactions with Richard Thompson, and his surprise appearance on the actual newspaper comics page (raising money for charity), I can say that all of the Watterson stuff this year felt like one of those moments where a distinguished actor pops up at the Oscars 10 years after his last movie, handsome in a tuxedo, allowing you one last, brief look into both themselves and that time in your life where what they did was something that kept you distracted and happy when you maybe really needed that. Everybody wave to Mr. Watterson.
posted 5:10 am PST | Permalink

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