When Japanese cartoonist/animator Katsuhiro Otomo won the Grand Prix at this year’s Angoulême comics fest, he became the first manga artist to win the prize—the win followed several years of controversy regarding the festival’s failure to recognize more international cartoonists. And unlike the 2014 winner Bill Watterson, who was at the event in spirit only, Otomo will be at the festival and deliver a two hour talk on Akira and its influences—call this a must do. And the amazing poster for the festival he drew has just been unveiled.

Glénat, Otomo’s French publisher, will hold an exhibit of Akira-inspired work by 40 international artists, which will be collected in a tribute book.

The Grand Prix is presented each year on the last day of the festival as a sort of lifetime achievement award; the winner then serves as at the Grand Marshall of the following year’s festival. Winners can have input in the festivalat their own discretion; when Art Spiegelman was Grand Prix winner he organized an art show; Watterson contributed only a poster and his good wishes. According to the BDFest website, more surprises are coming from Otomo, so we’ll see what else he has up his sleeve.

The poster is a good start, inspired by Chinese watercolors, it needs tho be blown up as large as possible to see the details of international comics icons; Kaneda’s motorcycle is easy to spot, but Tintin is hidden behind some typography! 

The 2016 Angoulême festival will be held January 28-31, 2016.


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