Tom at The Comics Reporter announces that Hervé Baruléa – better known as Baru – has won the highly prestigious Grand Prix at the annual Angoulême comics festival in France, meaning he will be the president at next year’s festival. Tom also has a run down of other awards to emerge from what’s pretty much the most respected and important comics festival in Continental Europe, including Riad Sattouf who took the best album gong, Joe Daly taking the jury prize for Dungeon Quest (which Fantagraphics just announced recently would be coming out for the English language market this spring) and Michel Rabagliati’s Paul a Quebec took the Prix du Public Fnac-SNCF (see CR for the full list).
(a page from the mid-90s L’autoroute du soleil by and (c) Baru, published Casterman; if you fancy reading it but your French isn’t too good the Comics Influx crew has a translation you can use alongside the original French album)
Elesewhere on CR Bart Beatty tells us that it was one of the best festivals of recent times; yes, he says, there was no single exhibition or book which stood out as the single must see/have, but there were instead multiple examples of excellence in both: “Put it this way: Robert Crumb and Joe Sacco were here promoting two of the best books of recent memory and their offerings simply blended in. Comics are raising the bar so high that we risk becoming jaded to the presence of exceptional works in our midst.” That’s pretty high praise, especially from someone as respected as Bart, but he’s got a point and its one we’ve made on here repeatedly: there are simply some brilliant comics, in all genres and styles, coming out these days and we’re often spoiled for choice for quality reading in the medium. And don’t we just love it. Let’s hope the awards will get more English language publishers interested in translating and republishing some of the winners in the near future.