Vpro-Grand-Prix Ware Web
Chris Ware beat out Dominique Goblet and Naoki Urasawa for this year’s VPRO Grand Prix, an award handed out each year at the Stripdagen Haarlem in the Netherlands. Marcel Ruijters won the VPRO Hoogste Prijs for best Dutch cartoonist, and Randall C won the VPRO Debut Prize.
More info in the PR below:

Chris Ware was nominated, along with Dominique Goblet and Naoki Urasawa, by an independent jury of three national and three international comix experts. A committee of one hundred Dutch language comix experts was invited for the final vote and the majority of them chose Chris Ware as the winner. Thus, Chris Ware is celebrated as a world class comix artist, along with the likes of Manu Larcenet, Lewis Trondheim, Joe Sacco, winners of the VPRO Grand Prix in 2006, 2004 and 2002 respectively. The VPRO Grand Prix entails a prize money of euro 1,000 and is awarded binannually for the occasion of the renowned European comix festival Stripdagen Haarlem in the Dutch city of Haarlem (June 7 and 8).

Below follow some quotes of the committee of Dutch language comix experts motivating their choice for Chris Ware:

‘With every new book Chris ware proves himself to be one of the main vanguard artists in contemporary visual storytelling.’

‘Within the parameters of his architecturally wrought comix structures, Chris Ware succeeds in analyzing the emotional turmoil of his apparently unmoved charcaters.’

‘On a graphic plane alone, Chris Ware is no less than brilliant. His work as a comix artist, but also as the graphic designer of his own ACME Novelty Library series, various posters and reprints of classic American comix (Krazy Kat, Gasoline Alley): it is all utterly wonderful! Also his sketches in the two ACME Novelty Date Books form further proof of his masterly eye.’

Vpro-Hoogste-Prijs Ruijters

Marcel Ruijters winner VPRO Hoogste Prijs 2008

Also during the official opening of Stripdagen Haarlem 2008, Marcel Ruijters was awarded the VPRO Hoogste Prijs 2008, for the best Dutch language comix artist working today, which entails a prize money of euro 1,250.

– Marcel Ruijters: for his soulful and often grotesque comix interpretation of Dante’s classic La Divina Commedia, ‘Inferno’.
More @ http://www.xs4all.nl/~troglo/ (check out the cool Inferno book presentation video under the ‘Inferno’ link)

[According to the latest scoop, Ruijters’ Dutch editor Oog & Blik is considering English and French translations of Inferno. For those interested, Inferno has already been translated in Hungarian as Pokoli színjáték (http://www.nyitottkonyv.hu/pokoli.html)]

During the first Stripdagen Haarlem press conference, April 17, also the VPRO Debut Prize 2008 was awarded to Randall.C for his book ‘Slaapkoppen’ [Sleepy heads’]:

Suppose you are dreaming that you are falling asleep. And then you dream. That you are falling asleep and then yet again you are dreaming. This ad infinitum fantasy is the basis of ‘Slaapkoppen’, Randall Casaer’s debut comix, which in the final months of 2007 gripped the hearts of his readers. ‘Slaapkoppen’ [‘Sleepy heads’] is a highly original and funny juggling comix game of clouds and words, dream and reality, poetry and humour, philosophy and absurdity. With the compliments of Carlos Castaneda, Patricia Garfield and Lewis Carroll, Randall C. (from Ghent, Belgium) takes his readers on a dazzling adventure in a dreamed landscape. It’s a trip that can only be completed, grinning, eyebrow raising and laughing out loud.

Randall Casaer’s innovative, idiosyncratic graphics and distinctive use of colour distinguish his work from the torrent of new comix published lately. What fantasy and what raw visual power! A masterly debut and a dream winner of the VPRO Debut Prize 2008.

[A French translation of ‘Slaapkoppen’ is in the works for the end of this year.]

More @ http://www.randall.be/

The Stripdagen Haarlem 2008 jury: Hans van Soest (Zozolala.com), Rik Sanders (Stripschrift.nl) and Linda Torfs (Mekanik-strip.be). The preselection for the VPRO Grand Prix was done by an international jury: Matthias Wivel (Metabunker.dk), Volker Hamann (Reddition.de) and Didier Pasamonik (Actuabd.com). The winner of the VPRO Grand Prix was chosen by an independent committee of some one hundred Dutch and Belgian comix experts.


  1. Aw, man… I don’t want to say that Ware doesn’t deserve this award, because he’s obviously at the top of the field, but Faire Semblant C’est Mentir was just SO GOOD. I would have voted for Goblet. She’s incredible, and unlike Ware she hasn’t already been enshrined.

    But, on the other hand, this is Chris Ware we’re talking about… and I’ve never even read any Urasawa, but I’ve never heard anything bad about him. Damn. This is why I don’t believe in artistic awards: I can never really choose…