Here is a roundup of the Angoulême Awards 2023 which took place at the 50th anniversary edition of the festival. These are a liiitle late (thank you, hellish con crud) but we provide them now for your reading pleasure nonetheless.
“The Official Prize List of the 50th edition of the International Comics Festival of Angoulême was unveiled this evening [Jan 28]. During the ceremony, hosted by Olivia Gesbert (France Culture), 12 prizes known as the Fauves d’Angoulême were awarded. This official prize list honors works published in French, regardless of their country of origin, and distributed in French-speaking bookstores between December 1, 2021 and November 30, 2022.
“On the occasion of this anniversary edition, special prizes were also awarded: a Special Fauve of the 50th edition was awarded to Hajime Isayama, and mangakas Junji Itō and Ryōichi Ikegami were awarded Fauves of Honor.”
FAUVE D’OR – AWARD FOR BEST ALBUM: La Couleur des choses [“The Colour of Things”], Martin Panchaud (çà et là)
This French translation of a unique Swiss German graphic novel has been getting a lot of attention in the past year – most notably receiving the Grand Prize from the French comics critics association, ACBD, back in December. Hopefully an English translation isn’t far off.
“Simon bets the family savings at a horse race and wins a jackpot that he can’t cash in. Meanwhile, his mother has fallen into a coma and his father has disappeared. This coming-of-age story, which sees a previously timid English teenager go in search of his father, is distinguished by its innovative form. The characters are colored circles and the settings are maps.”
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Animan, Anouk Ricard (Exemplaire)
“In an amusing homage to Manimal, which she watched as a teenager, the well-known author of Anna and Froga relates the life of Francis who, as in the American TV mini-series, transforms himself into an animal to carry out his investigations. Composed of short stories interspersed with paintings, Animan practices a unique mix of genres, between humor, thriller, superhero and family chronicle.”
“Animan is a comic book recounting the life of Francis, alias Animan, in short and humorous stories that follow one another. The premise is inspired by the 1980s TV series Manimal, where a man transforms himself into an animal to solve crimes.
“The stories are not only about investigations but also about Animan’s life, his confrontations and fights with his sworn enemy, Objecto. The book is punctuated with paintings, as in some of Anouk’s previous books.”
BEST SERIES: Les Liens Du Sang [Blood on the Tracks] vol 11 (Ki-oon)
Available in English from Vertical Comics
“What is the border between passionate love and madness? If Seiichi’s daily life may seem banal, the young boy is in reality a prisoner of his mother’s excessive affection, which imprisons him like an insect caught in a spider’s web… A suffocating atmosphere in the service of a subtle plot which shows that love can sometimes be toxic.”
REVELATION AWARD: Une Rainette En Automne [A Frog in the Fall], Linnea Sterte (Éditions de la Cerise)
English edition published by now-shuttered Peow Press (RIP). Hopefully a new home for the book in English won’t be long in coming.
“The day a little frog meets two wandering toads who have captured the ghost of a flower, she decides to go south with them. On the way, she will meet a variety of animals and discover life, quite simply.
“An enchanting and poetic tale, magnified by a light and delicate line, which echoes the graphic worlds of Moebius and Miyazaki.”
HERITAGE AWARD: Fleurs de Pierre [“Stone Flowers”], Hisashi Sakaguchi (Revival)
No English translation released (thus far)
“Reissue of a classic manga set in Yugoslavia in 1941, which was under Nazi occupation, and whose heroes are two children who are confronted with the horrors of war. Published in France in 1997, Fleurs de Pierre is offered in a version faithful to the original work, thanks to a complete edition in five volumes with a new translation.”
KIDS PRIZE: La Longue Marche des Dindes [The Great Turkey Walk], Kathleen Karr & Léonie Bischoff (Rue de Sèvres)
Comics adaptation of a kids story by the late American children’s novelist Kathleen Karr. Suitable from ages 10+.
“In the middle of the American West, young Simon sets out to drive a flock of a thousand turkeys to the big city of Denver. A long road full of encounters and dangers, but also an opportunity to grow up and find his way. This sunny adaptation of Kathleen Karr’s novel advocates, with finesse, self-assertion and openness to others.”
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – KIDS CATEGORY: Toutes les princesses meurent après minuit [All Princesses Die Before Dawn],Quentin Zuttion (Lombard)
Available in English via Europe Comics (digital exclusive though). Suitable ages 14+.
Europe Comics synopsis:
“August 31st, 1997. In the bathroom of his suburban home, 8-year-old Lulu is trying on his mom’s lipstick. He dreams of kissing his best friend, a neighborhood boy. Meanwhile, his teenage sister Cam covers her much-older boyfriend sneaking up to her bedroom by blasting the latest summer hits. In the kitchen, their mother is waiting for their father, who didn’t come home last night. On TV, newscasters are announcing the death of Princess Diana. Three love stories, from budding desire to fading passion, play out within one family on a late summer’s day—a day that will change all their lives forever.”
FAUVE POLAR [Crime Thriller] SNCF: Hound Dog, Nicolas Pegon (Denoël Graphic)
Book synopsis (translated):
“César and Alexandre, two incredible losers, and the nameless mutt who is following them, on the trail of an accident masked as a murder masked as a suicide (not necessarily in that order). A funky ride between Twin Peaks and Bukowski in a pre-apocalyptic suburban America under the merciful and unblinking eye of the god Elvis…”
ÉCO-FAUVE PRIZE: Sous Le Soleil [“Under the Sun”], Ana Penyas (Actes Sud – L’An 2)
“By telling the story of a family through three generations, Ana Penyas highlights the ravages of Spanish tourism policy since 1969 and its dramatic consequences on the city of Valencia, victim of the disappearance of its traditional activity, of the concrete development of its coastline, of land speculation and the excesses of mass tourism.”
FRENCH TV AUDIENCE AWARD: Naphtaline [tr: “Mothballs”], Sole Otero (çà et là)
English translation in the works and will soon be announced.
“In 2001, Rocío moved into the house of her grandmother who had just died. The young woman begins a process of personal reflection that leads her to revisit the history of her grandmother and that of her family. But also that of her country, Argentina, and its patriarchal system. Partly autobiographical, Naphtaline is the seventh album by an author who now lives in France.”
FAUVE DES LYCÉENS: Khat – Journal d’un réfugié [“Khat – Diary of a Refugee”], Ximo Abadía (La Joie de lire)
“Natan, a young boy from Eritrea, decides to leave his African homeland to find refuge in Europe. With hundreds of other migrants who, like him, have fled misery and hunger, he arrives in Spain. A beautiful album with dazzling colors, which testifies with precision to the daily life of these thousands of migrants who have abandoned everything to live a new life.”
ALTERNATIVE COMICS PRIZE: Forn de Calç (Spain)
“Forn de Calç gives the opportunity to new and confirmed authors to freely experiment with the language of sequential art. And, above all, to build a space from below, from activism to independent comics.”
Nominees in this category were from a pretty diverse pool, with representatives from Chile, Brazil, China, Croatia and – for the first time – the Philippines:
- 64 PAGE (Belgium)
- BANZAI (France)
- BUCHE (La) (Switzerland)
- CABOT COMICS (France)
- CAFE ESPACIAL (Brazil)
- DARKNESS (Philippines)
- DET GRYMA SVARDET (3) (Sweden)
- DOPPELGANG (France)
- EGOSCOPIC (France)
- FORN DE CALC (Spain)
- GAZETTE DU ROCK (La) (Belgium)
- GO! GO! HUGO! (France)
- GORGONZOLA (France)
- GROSSE VICTIME MAGAZINE (France)
- INSECTOIDES (France)
- J’AI LE FANZINE (France)
- KILIG (Philippines)
- KOMMUNITY 2022 (Philippines)
- MARIA MAGAZINE (Brazil)
- MÉMOIRE D’IMAGES (France)
- MINI MACHINE (France)
- MURMURE (China)
- NACHI (Chili)
- NOVLAND (France)
- OHOHO ZIN (Croatia)
- PLI (Le) (France)
- POIJUKU TESSY (Belgium)
- POINT BAR BD (France)
- RACINES (France)
- RAGU 9 (Brazil)
- RIBOZINE (France)
- ROCHA NAVEGAVEL (Brazil)
- RUROK EXOTIC COMICS &ART ANTHOLOGY (Philippines)
- SEM OLHOS DE GUILHERME & SILVEIRA (Brazil)
- THIRSTY BOYS LOVE ANTHOLOGY (Philippines)
- TIRETDUSIX (France)
- TITAN TERRIBLE (France)
- TONNERRE DE BULLES (France)
- UNE CUEILLETTE DE RUTABAGAS (France)
- ZINE PANIQUE (France)
HONORARY FAUVE AWARDS
Mangaka draftsman Ryoichi Ikegami’s career stretches back to the 1970s. Best known in English for Crying Freeman with Kazuo Koike. Now in his late 70s (he is 78) he is still working – since 2020 he has been working on Trillion Game with Riichiro Inagaki. Also receiving a special rerelease (in French) of political thriller series Sanctuary. At Angouleme he received a major career retrospective exhibition.
Horror impresario Junji Ito has been producing intensely disturbing manga for decades. The artist has a penchant for detailed lines to produce chilling horror effects. A lot of his work has increasingly rapidly been making it into English and French in recent years. His earliest published story in 1987 became the Tomie series which ran until 2000. Other works include Uzumaki, Sensor, Remina, Gyo – and that is not to mention the regular translations of his collected shorts.
SPECIAL FAUVE AWARD ON OCCASION OF 50th EDITION OF FESTIVAL: Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan)
Invited to the festival and given a special exhibition of his smash hit manga series Attack on Titan (2009-2021) which is currently in the final season of its anime adaptation.
RENÉ GOSCINNY PRIZES FOR WRITING:
PRIX RENÉ GOSCINNY PRIZE – BEST WRITER: Thierry Smolderen for Cauchemars ex Machina [“Ex Machina Nightmares”], with Jorge González (Dargaud)
“Paris, 1991. One morning in September, an old writer of suspense novels is killed in his locked office. To solve this mystery, we have to go back to the fall of 1938 and the secret dinner that a German enthusiast organized that year to celebrate his favorite authors. It is there that Margery Allingham, the great lady of English detective fiction, will cross paths with the young Corneille Richelin (who is inspired by his nightmares to write breathtaking suspense stories), and with Baron von Richtenback, who is close to the high spheres of Nazi Germany. No one knows it yet, but the pieces have been placed on the chessboard…”
PRIX RENÉ GOSCINNY – NEW WRITING TALENT: Mieke Versyp for Peau [“Skin”], drawn by Sabien Clément (Çà et Là)
“Peau is a story about the body and its exposure. A story about aging, motherhood, the ideal of beauty, the thirst for perfection and the impact of time. About scars, shame, pride, sexuality, intimacy. And about life. The first Belgian – and Flemish – graphic novel published by çà et là, Peau is a beautiful graphic novel with soft and delicate illustrations and colors, and a superb portrait of women linked by an initially tenuous friendship that gradually becomes essential.”
PHILIPPE DRUILLET PRIZE: La Falaise [“The Cliff”], Manon Debaye (Sarbacane)
Note: New prize sponsored by Barbier Gallery to support new artists. For artists who have produced no more than three books. Winner receives €3000 and an exhibition at the Barbier Gallery in Paris.
“Two girls, one oath…
“One is as blonde, sweet and dreamy as the other is brunette, violent and angry. The family of one is as rich and balanced as the other is broken and dysfunctional. At school, when one is immersed body and soul in her readings or in the writing of wonderful stories, the other harasses, insults and fights with the gang that accepts her because she is not a “real girl”. Everything contradicts them. Everything except the cliff where they meet every day in hiding and the blood oath they made there not to survive their 13 years.
“Friday, before noon, will Astrid and Charlie jump into the void or will they face their feelings and overcome the gap that separates them?”