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January 6, 2015

Twenty-Six Authors On Angouleme Grand Prix Preliminary List: Six Americans, One Woman


According to the French-language comics news sources like the one generating this report, 26 authors were named to a preliminary list which will then be voted on at the Angouleme Festival for their Grand Prix, which last year went to Bill Watterson. The Angouleme Grand Prix is perhaps the greatest honor given to a cartoonist.

The list was:

* Christian Binet
* Christophe Blain
* Charles Burns
* Pierre Christin
* Daniel Clowes
* Richard Corben
* Cosey
* Nicolas de Crécy
* Étienne Davodeau
* Edika
* Emmanuel Guibert
* Hermann
* Alejandro Jodorowsky
* Stan Lee
* Milo Manara
* Taiyo Matsumoto
* Lorenzo Mattotti
* Alan Moore
* Katsuhiro Otomo
* Quino
* Marjane Satrapi
* Joann Sfar
* Bill Sienkiewicz
* Jiro Taniguchi
* Jean Van Hamme
* Chris Ware

From what I've reading, nearly every site is picking up on the fact that seven comics-makers best known for making English-language comics have made the list: Alan Moore, Chris Ware, Bill Sienkiewicz, Stan Lee, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes and Richard Corben. This is interesting because of the relative dearth of English-language comics-makers on the grand prix list over the year relative to the French-language comics-makers, and that there's been some desire expressed by those changing the voting over the last few years that English-language winners may be valuable for the interest in English-speaking visitors to the festival.

A few sites have picked up that the preliminary list includes one female candidate, Marjane Satrapi. I can't tell if this site e-mailed to me is in reaction to the preliminary list because Satrapi appears on both (as does Alan Moore...?), but the idea that there aren't at least four to six to more female candidates strikes me as almost willfully clueless. I remember thinking Simmonds in particular would be a fine winner and make for a potentially great UK-spotlighting show.

Anyone I know with an interest in the grand prix winner either has a very surface interest or a deep interest combined with a general throwing up of the hands, so I can't judge the mood. My hunch is that the new way of doing it is going to generate results like these, but the old way with its mix of a jury -- some members were largely clueless and not curious about comics; others were direct peers and close friends of people being voted on -- had deep problems, too.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the only grand prix winner in the past was Claire Bretecher, who won one of the anniversary awards instead of one of the annual awards, so take that how you want.

Update: My apologies to Florence Cestac! A fine, fun heavyweight of a cartoonist. Sheesh, 2015 is off to a great start. Bart Beaty also points out that if Joann Sfar can be listed after winning one of the anniversary honors, then Claire Bretecher should have eligible for listing. If Claire Bretecher is eligible to be listed, she should be list. Hell, she should win the damn thing, no vote necessary.

posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink

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