Angoulême Festival manages to get even worse by humiliating cartoonists with “Faux Fauves”


Angoulême has really jumped the shark this year. Not content with showing a medieval level knowledge of art and comics history by claiming that there were no significant women in the history of comics, the Festival has outraged everyone with what, from Google translate and the flood of legit outrage on my social media, was a humiliating stunt worthy of high school bullies.

Apparently at the awards ceremony (now presented Saturday night), several winners were announced by comedian host Richard Gaitet leading some in the audience to tweet to the purported winners, only to have it turn out to be a joke. UPDATE: Here’s the actual transcript and half hearted “apology” for the mess.

Among the fake winners, the sublime Arsene Schrauwen by Olivier Schrauwen and published by L’Association. Sorry to present the bad Google translate of the article, but it makes it clear that this was some kind of awful hazing ritual:

The best series of awards had been presented [to] Saga(Urban Comics), great space opera. The best detective went to the manga Inspector Kurokochi, edited by Komikku. We congratulate the authors, the boards of BD are linked on the screen. And then everything changed immediately after announcing that the Golden Prize was handed to Arsene Schrauwen (the Association), Richard Gaitet, the master of ceremonies, said that it was all a farce, as the real prize will begin.

“Nobody had been warned, explained Sam Souibgui, editorial director and false Komikku winner. We thought it was a rehearsal, they would still not dare to change names. “The result seems endless.” Killofer, head of the Association: “Olivier Schrauwen [the author of the bogus golden Fauve] and I did not understand at all. Some false prizes became real prizes, we wondered if we would really have the golden Fauve. Words like “full stupidity” [“stupidité intégrale”] today come to mind. ”

Almost forgotten in the kerfuffle: Richard McGuire’s Here won the ACTUAL Fauve d’Or. And G. Willow Wilson was the sole female winner of a major prize for Best Series, Ms. Marvel. However it should be noted that several of the prizes for younger cartoonists and students went to women.

Reviews for this year’s festival have been less then glowing, as this story in Liberation suggests that classics such as Hugo Pratt and Lucky Luke are being recycled without reflection. Also, the matter of the general poverty level of cartoonists and hwo to set up pensions for them (legally required in France) is a hot topic that may be informing some of this hubbub:

The States General of comics brought after an investigation several crucial information: the profession is feminized far as it precarious. The cartoonists actually constitute 27% of illustrators and not 12% as was long believed. Among the authors surveyed, 53% (67% for women) reported perceiving a gross annual income below the minimum wage and 36% of them living below the poverty line. Proposals for the pension plan should follow, at the Book Fair.

Angoulême is still a pinnacle of comics, but everything that happened this year — including the bafflingly unfunny Faux Favues — shows that the rest of the comics world is passing it quickly, in new audiences, diversity and being part of the world’s comics culture.

For instance, the actual Fauves were handed out nearly 24 hours ago as I write this, and only one news site of any kind has even bothered to cover them in English. This hardly seems like a prestigious international prize. (On the festival’s official page there is only this long piece that mentions the Faux Fauves.)

For the record the actual winners are (my translations in parentheses):

• FAUVE D’OR – PRIX DU MEILLEUR ALBUM (Golden Prize Best Album) Ici (Here) Richard McGuire / Gallimard

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX SPECIAL DU JURY (Special Jury Prize) Carnet de santé foireuse (Lousy Health Record) Pozla / Delcourt

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX DE LA SÉRIE (Best Series) Ms. Marvel, Tome 1 Gwendolyn Willow Wilson et Adrian Alphona / Panini

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX RÉVÉLATION, (Best debut book) parrainé par Europe 1 Une étoile tranquille – Portrait sentimental de Primo Levi Pietro Scarnera / Rackham

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX DU PATRIMOINE, (best reprint) parrainé par la Caisse d’Epargne Vater und sohn – Père et fils E.O. Plauen, Erich Ohser / Warum

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX DU PUBLIC CULTURA (Public Culture Prize) Cher pays de notre enfance – Enquête sur les années de plomb de la Ve République Etienne Davodeau et Benoît Collombat / Futuropolis

• FAUVE POLAR SNCF (best Thriller) Tungstène Marcello Quintanilha / Çà et là

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX JEUNESSE (Best bopok for younger readers) Le grand méchant renard Benjamin Renner / Delcourt

• FAUVE D’ANGOULEME – PRIX DE LA BANDE DESSINÉE ALTERNATIVE (Best Alternative comic) Laurence 666 Édité par Mauvaise Foi Editions

• PRIX JEUNES TALENTS, parrainé par la Caisse d’Epargne (Prize for young cartoonists in France)
3e Lauréate: Laurine Baille « Melting pot »
2e Lauréate : Elsa Abderhamani « Personne ne m’entend »
1ère Lauréate : Cheyenne Olivier « Fashion victim »

• PRIX JEUNES TALENTS REGION, parrainé par la région (best local talent)Poitou-Charentes
Camilo Vieco

• PRIX DU CONCOURS DE LA BD SCOLAIRE « A L’ECOLE DE LA BD », parrainé par la Caisse d’Epargne et le Ministère de l’Education Nationale –
Scholarships for entering comics school

Prix d’Angoulême de la BD Scolaire :
Marin Inbona –
Prix Graphisme du Concours de la BD Scolaire :
Claire Czajkowski –
Prix Scénario du Concours de la BD Scolaire :
Julien Auclair –
Prix Coup de Coeur du Concours de la BD Scolaire :
Noémie Chust

• PRIX DES ÉCOLES D’ANGOULÊME, en partenariat avec la Ville d’Angoulême et l’Inspection Académique de la Charente Hector manigances et coups tordus, (I am not sure what this prize is, but Goog translates it as “shennanigans and dirty tricks.)
Marc Dubuisson et Régis Donsimoni / Delcourt

• PRIX BD DES COLLÈGES POITOU-CHARENTES, avec le rectorat de Poitiers (a college level prize)
Les Enfants de la Résistance Tome 1 Premières Actions, Benoît Ers et Vincent Dugomier / Le Lombard

• PRIX DES LYCÉES POITOU-CHARENTES, avec le rectorat de Poitiers (Another local prize)
Pandora Beach, Eric Borg et Alex Talamba / Big Foot

• PRIX RÉVÉLATIONLINE, co-organisé par Vraoum (Best online comic)
Esquimaupeche ( pour ses planches suédées d’Isaac le Pirate

• PRIX CHALLENGE DIGITAL (Despite what it sounds like, not for webcomics.)

3e Lauréat : Thibaut Rassat « Des combinaisons et tout le tintouin »
2e Lauréat : Nicolas Vaudour et Thomas Rouzière « Le dernier épisode des argonautes »
1ère Lauréate : Anna Griot « La forêt »

Correction: An earlier version of this stated that winners came to the stage and got fake prizes — that was my mistaken understanding of what people joked about, and bad Google translate. Still the actual incident was bad enough.

While Grand Prix winner Hermann and Best Book winner “Here” by Richard McGuire may have a spot in the


  1. Peggy Burns says

    The thing about the actual fauves, which makes this extra cruel, is that they are the ONE comics award perhaps outside of Japan that are reported on by the general press in France and more importantly, actually able to move books in great numbers post-win–perhaps by several 1000. Appearing at the festival and accepting your award, also helps sales. The idea that artists were accepting awards on stage not knowing they were “faux” is disgusting. Their response is negligent. When you have to explain the joke…

  2. fdx says

    Angoulème is turning into a train wreck. Even a kid wouldn’t dream of doing something this awful.
    BTW “Médailles en chocolat” means false awards, they’re not really chocolate medals, it’s one of those idiomatic expressions that Google still have a hard time translating. .

  3. David Blot says

    Just an important correction that you have to make, since a lot of people are talking about this thing without having seen it : nobody who’s been on the stage received a “faux fauve”, the faux fauve were only in the words of the host. Yes it was beyond silly and rude, and some people in the audience believed it, but still, it was not as humiliating as the story you are telling. The false winners were not called on stage, it was just the host reading a long list of false winners and try making the worst joke possible.

  4. Aaron Renier says

    Wait! Was I supposed to get a fake chocolate statue? Where is it?! Now I feel even worse!

  5. Emmanuel says

    I urge anyone who understand french to read the transcript (follow the link “half-hearted apology”.

    The transcript is unambiguous. The awards were never given to people, or even to books, they were given to CATS (loose translation of “fauve”).
    For example, Saga did not receive the award, but Lying Cat did.
    Basically the speaker looked into the books to find “fauves” and gave the award to the book with the best cat.

    I don’t understand how this could be misunderstood this badly by people in the audience. The speaker should have been really bad at his job. This should have been a light-heartened five minute joke, possibly he presented it too seriously?

    Reading the transcript again, the joke is missing an 10 second introduction that possibly would have made all the difference. If the transcript is accurate and the speaker directly started by giving the first award without any sort of introduction, I can understand the confusion.

  6. Derf Backderf says

    It’s a catastrophe. French comix folk here are in a rage. It’s bummed out the whole festival, which was reeling anyways. Unbelievable.

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