For its 51st edition, the Angoulême International Comics Festival awarded the Grand Prix of the city to the British artist Posy Simmonds for her entire body of work and American Daniel Clowes received the prestigious Fauve d'Or for his latest book Monica.
It was on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the opening of the 51st edition of the Angoulême Comics Festival that the Grand Prix of the city of Angoulême was awarded to the British author Posy Simmonds. The nomination resulted from a two-round ballot among a college of comic book authors who had been published at least once in French. The author of Gemma Bovery, aged 78, thus becomes the first British artist and only the fifth woman to be honoured for her entire body of work by the city of Angoulême since 1974 and the creation of the comics festival.
The British author shared her thoughts with France Info: "It's important for women because, until very recently, the world of comics was a very male-dominated environment," she said, even referring to it as a "male bastion." "In recent years, it's been women who have infiltrated this bastion, this 'boys club,' and I'm very happy to be part of it," she added. She also admits that the Angoulême Festival is "very important" to her: "That's where I encountered the world of comics. Before that, I was always working for the English press," the illustrator confides.
With this award, editorial cartooning receives true recognition, as Posy Simmonds worked from 1972 to 2008 for The Guardian. A pioneer of the graphic novel, Posy Simmonds succeeds Riad Sattouf, the 2023 Grand Prix winner, and will be the subject of a major retrospective at the next edition of the Festival in 2025. It is worth noting that she is already being celebrated in France with a retrospective at the BPI of the Centre Pompidou until April.
She won against the French artist Catherine Meurisse, for whom being a finalist has become a habit (it is the fifth consecutive time she has reached the second round), and the American Daniel Clowes.
Although Clowes did not receive the grand prize this year, he nonetheless leaves with the prestigious Fauve d'Or, which rewards the best album of the year.
This is Daniel Clowes' first comic book in seven years. In this book, he tackles a choral narrative, crafted like a puzzle: the various stories come together to form a biography. Each part is distinctly different from the others, both in terms of art style and narrative.
Aged 62, Daniel Clowes has been honoured with Eisner and Harvey awards in the United States, but had never been recognized in France until now, despite being nominated at Angoulême for Patience in 2017, his previous title. Three of his comic books have been adapted for the big screen: Ghost World in 2001, Art School Confidential in 2006, and Wilson in 2017.