According to a French press release, and Google translate, manga master Jiro Taniguchi will be one of the main guests for the 42nd Festival du Angoulême in January and will have the first major European exhibition of his work there.

Taniguchi is the author of such highly regarded series as The Walking Man, A Distant Neighborhood and many others. They’re published in English by Fanfare/Ponent Mon and present an excellent introduction to manga for those more into Western comics, with more traditional storytelling, powerful man against nature themes, and clearly unfolding mysteries. Taniguchi is also popular in France, having won an Alph’Art prize and being a Grand Prix nominee this year. According to a report by Brigid Alverson, Taniguchi’s works are sold in the French section of bookstores, perhaps due to the ease of flopping his artwork to Occidental style.

With 2015’s Grand Marshal Bill Watterson somewhat unlikely to attend the festival, major world comics figures like Taniguchi will fill the void; the announcement of his presence also consolidates the modernization of the festival with non-Franco-phile cartoonists being recognized.

More in this French announcement.