From our continental correspondent – Angouleme, the best BD of the year!
It’s getting closer to Christmas, but for comics aficionados the world over, that only means it’s only one more month to Angoulême, that midwinter fest of all things comics. And even for those who are unable to attend, the Festival at least gives a good overview of the best comics that were published in the past year (in French that is).
As is dictated by tradition, the Official Selection, as it is called, is a very varied affair. English speaking readers will recognize books by Alison Bechdel, Tom Gauld, Ed Piskor and Daniel Clowes, but also Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan’s Saga (for the third time in a row), the first book of Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely and Lazarus by Michael Lark and Greg Rucka. And the first collection of Richard Thompson’s Cul De Sac, lest we forget!
On the other side of the pond we find Ce Qui Faut De Terre A L’Homme by Martin Veyron (who won the City of Angoulême award in 2002), the amazing collection of Jean-Christophe Menu’s Chroquettes (in Large Format!) and Histoire Croûtes (Crusty Stories) by Antone Marchalot, collecting his absurd shorts from the webzine Professeur Cyclope. La Légèreté by Catherine Meurisse, about the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, is also on the list, proving it to be one of the most important comics this year.
Finally, for those who want their comics thought-provoking, literary or experimental, there is Otto, the new book by daredevil Marc-Antoine Matthieu, Paysage Après La Bataille by Eric Lambé and Philippe de Pierpont, Stupor Mundi by Nejib (about what happens when an Arab philosopher invents photography in the Middle Ages) and the visual headbutt that is Vivre A Frandisco by Marcel Schmitz and Thierry Van Hasselt.
As ever, there are also the specialised selections with books for young readers (featuring Gregory Mackay’s Anders Et La Comête and Tebo’s La Jeunesse de Mickey), valuable reprint editions (with Fred and Alexis’s satiric masterpiece Time Is Money) and crime comics (with Lewis Trondheim and Stéphane Oiry’s Maggy Garrisson, which really should have been translated into English by now).
As 2017 will also mark the fortieth anniversary of the death of legendary comic writer René Goscinny (Astérix, Lucky Luke, to name but two of his titles), the Festival will also award a first Goscinny Prize for the best comic scenario. A specialised jury will announce the lucky winner on the Festival’s opening on January 26th.
No news as yet as who will be nominated for the Grand Prix and will have the honor of following in président Hermann Huppen’s footsteps for the next Festival…