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women and the angoulême grand prix

What a scandal! France's top comics prize, a major feature of its annual Angoulême International Comics Festival announced its 30 nominees for the Grand Prize... and not one of them was a woman. At least ten of the nominees withdrew their names, and the festival is grudgingly backtracking and adding some women to the list. In Britain, I know we tend to look up to the French comics culture because it's so much more developed and generally popular than in Britain, but the prize revealed a real core where it's still a very old-fashioned men's club.



Whenever there's an international comics furore, it's always a clue to jump onto Twitter to see if anyone's drawing anything. And some did!




Brigid Alverson was quick to report on it for Comic Book Resources:


Read the rest of the article here


The insult to women comic creators was so blatant that it got people rallying around the Twitter hashtag #WomenDoBD, letting people know about female creators they might not have been aware of.



One of the creators I didn't know about was Japanese artist Kaoru Mori, creator of The Bride's Story books. (So many amazing pictures popped up when I did a Google Image search on her!) Thanks for the tip, @Iron_Spike!



Some people posted lists of women they thought ought to be considered for the Grand Prix:



What surprised me most was that the judges seemed surprised by the outcry at the announcement. I would have thought they'd be a bit embarrassed and regretful if they truly believed there weren't any deserving women artists, and have prepared a statement. But it's like they just didn't think it was an issue.



I do hope this doesn't discourage women from thinking they can't rise to the top of the comics profession (in France and elsewhere) and that the outcry will inspire them to try to become some of the best comics creators in the world. And that the men's club will open up, learn about them, and encourage them. Last year I posted this article right after the Charlie Hebdo killings and outcry, and I think it's still very relevant: I want to make cartoons & comics but I have no idea where to start! This walks people through some of the basic questions they might have. (Do share if you think anyone will find it helpful!)



If you understand French, you can watch Angoulême Executive Office Franck Bondoux being grilled on television about the committee's decision:



And Rob Salkowitz has written about it for Forbes:


Read the article here




You can keep checking the #Angouleme and #WomenDoBD tags for updates.

Edit: Further update from Brigid Alverson on CBR:

Read the article here

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mr_sadhead
Jan. 7th, 2016 03:16 pm (UTC)
Andrei Moloteu, or maybe Andrew Farago, suggested that they just ditch the award for this year, since they made such a hames of the ballot. Admit they screwed up and start again later.
mr_sadhead
Jan. 7th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
'Kinell, they quoted your LJ in The Guardian and used your graphic!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )