As we reported a while back, the annual FIBD comics festival, aka Angoulême, has been split into two parts for 2021. A rights market, and other business oriented events, were held online last week, when the event normally takes place. A hoped-for summer festival with humans is being planned for June. Fingers crossed!

Part of the last week’s event was the traditional announcement of the winners of the Fauve awards, presented to worthy books. The BIG award, the Grand Prix, presented to an author for their lifetime work, will be announced at the summer event. Emmanuel Gilbert was the winner in 2020.

There were quite a few North American nominees on the list of finalists for the Fauve D’or (album of the year) and several won their categories – I’d say more than usual. (Derf, who is beloved in France, was nominated again for Kent State.) The Fauves are considered among the most prestigious awards presented to comics, and to see more international books winning is a sign of the globalization of the market — and Angoulême’s continuing diversification. It’s not the first time a US book won the top prize, though. My Favorite Thing is Monsters won a couple of years ago.

the hunting accident

The top prize went to The Hunting Accident by Landis Blair and David L. Carlson. It was pubilshed originally in English by First Second in 2017. It’s a densely constructed story of a young man who learns his father was blinded while committing a robbery — not in a hunting accident as he long believed. It’s an excellent book that got some acclaim when originally published, but to win the big prize in France is a bit of a surprise! It was published in France by Sonatine.

Other winners, with my rough translation of the prize names.

Special Jury Prize

Charente Libre

Dragman by Steven Appleby — another book published originally in the US by Metropolitan Books.

France TV Audience Award — not sure what the criteria for this is, TBH

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Anaïs Nin, on the sea of ​​lies by Léonie Bischoff (Casterman).

Goscinny Prize (Best writer)

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Black-out by Loo Hui Phang and Hugues Micol (Futuropolis)

Konishi Prize (Best Manga Translation)

Charente Libre

Miyako Slocombe for the translation of Tokyo Tarareba Girls by Akiko Higashimura 

Alternative Comic Prize – awarded to anthologies

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The Thick book of KUTI by Kuti, from Finland.

Youth Prize 8–12 years old

Charente Libre

Friends Club by Sophie Guerrive

Youth Prize –  12-16 years

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Middlewest Book 1:  – Anger by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona – another US entry, originally published by Image.  (Urban Comics.) (Congrats Skottie!)

Fauve Polar SNCF – Best Thriller

Charente Libre

GoSt 111 by Mark Eacersall, Henri Scala and Marion Mousse (Glénat)

Heritage Prize – best reprint

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The Scout by Lynd Ward (Monsieur Toussaint Louverture) – another American classic.

High school student prize – The winner is chosen by local studentsCharente Libre

Peau d’Homme (Man’s Skin) by Hubert and Zanzim (Glénat)

Revelation price – Best Newcomer

Charente Libre

Tanz! by Maurane Mazars (Lombard)

Audacity Award – awarded to an avant garde work

Charente Libre

La Mécanique du sage by Gabrielle Piquet (Atrabile)

Series Prize 

Charente Libre

Paul a la Maison (Paul at home) by Michel Rabagliati (La Pastèque) – although published in French, this is a North American comic by the much admired Canadian cartoonist.

Angoulême would not be Angoulême without controversy, and this time, it seems creators called for a boycott for the June event, citing the lack of reliable income for most cartoonists. Here’s a story in French. Via Google Translate:

Jean-Benoît Meybeck, comic book author, member of the Auteurs-Autrices en Action (AAA) collective, explained on Friday January 29 on franceinfo that half of cartoonists “lived below the poverty line” . The authors call for a boycott of the Angoulême festival which is due to take place in June to alert the state to their situation. “It’s the only means of action we have,” he said.

It’s sad to know that French cartoonists are as strapped as US ones, but at least the French have free health care and really great butter.