Max Und Moritz prize awarded in Erlangen
The 18th International Comics Festival of Erlangen, Germany, which was held at the beginning of the month, also hosted the gala of the Max Und Moritz Price 2018, which was awarded in no less than nine categories.
Reinhard Kleist won the award for best cartoonist in the German language. Probably best known for his visual biographies of music luminaries (like Johnny Cash – reviewed here on the blog – or most recently Nick Cave – reviewed here) and historic figures (Fidel Castro, Samia Yusuf Omar). Kleist was lauded for the way he had developed his own, very recognisable visual style, but also how he has evolved as a storyteller, mixing biographical information with song fragments.
The special Lifetime Achievement Price was awarded to Jean-Claude Mézières, for the fantastical worlds and their even more bizarre denizens he designed for the seminal science fiction comic Valérian, which he created together with writer Pierre Christin for the French magazine Pilote, some fifty years ago. The jury mentioned how Mézières vision influenced many current SF sagas, most particularly Star Wars and Blade Runner, and how even his very first books still look and sound as fresh as they ever were.
The award for the best comic in the German language went to Ulli Lust for Wie ich versuchte, ein guter Mensch zu sein (How I Long To Be A Good Human Being), the follow up to Today Is The Last Day Of The Rest Of Your Life. In this book, Lust tells the chronicle of an explosive ménage-à-trois that she participated in while living in Vienna in the early 1990s, and which culminated in a murder attempt. Lust was especially cited for keeping the autobiographical element of her work as raw as possible, leaving prejudices and their ambivalence as they are and not painting over them.
French-Syrian cartoonist Riad Sattouf (The Arab Of The Future) won the award for the best foreign comic for Esther’s Diaries, the first book in a series in which he wants to narrate the life of Esther, the daughter of friends, until her 18th birthday. It is a lovely and yet satirical view into the life of a young woman in the 2010s, obsessed with daily trivialities and big issues alike. The jury praised Sattouf for the way he manages to enter the life of a 10 year old, taking over her point of view while all the same making sure that he doesn’t lose himself in her naivity or contradictions.
Additional awards went to Sarah Burrini for her strip, Life is no Pony Farm, to Ivar Leon Menger, John Beckmann und Christopher Tauber for their children’s comic, The Three ???, and to the HBK Saar for Paradies, the best zine of the year. A special award was given to French editor and translator Paul Derouet. The Audience Award was for NiGuNeGu by Oliver Mielke and Hannes Radke