Comics: Angouleme winners 2013
The major European comics art festival, Angoulême, took place over the weekend, pretty much the festival for those with a deep love for the medium. The hugely prestigious awards were announced and I am absolutely delighted to see that not one but two UK creators, published by some of the Indy Brit comics publishers we have been posting about frequently on here, are among the winners. Glyn Dillon and Jon McNaught, for Nao of Brown (SelfMadeHero) and Dockwood (Nobrow) respectively, with Glyn nailing the Prix Special du Jury and John the Prix Revelation. Willem took the Grand Prix, Christophe Blain and Abel Lanzac won the Prix du meilleur for Quai d’Orsay. You can read the full list of award winners here on the official site.
At the end of last year we had the first British Comics Awards celebrating major UK works like Nelson (Blank Slate), then just a few weeks ago we saw, for the first time, a comics work (Mary and Bryan Talbot’s Dotter of her Father’s Eyes) win a major UK literary award, beating a number of high profile prose works. Now two excellent creators from two of the success stories of the recent boom in UK comics publishing are acknowledged by their peers at the pre-eminent European comics festival, in a country that we know takes the ‘ninth art’ very, very seriously. We’re all absolutely cock-a-hoop here at this. We try to take in good comics from all over (just this week our own Zainab has kicked off a great series on comics from Singapore), but I hope you’ll forgive us for having some bias to good work from our own rainy little island nation. The whole blog crew has repeatedly banged the drum for the ever-increasing tidal wave of superb work we’ve seen coming out in the UK in the last few years, small press, the growing success of the new Indy publishers. We’ve stood up on our soapbox and proclaimed just how bloody good some of the work from the Brit comics scene is right now, on a par with the best anywhere. It’s terrific to see the Angouleme voters recognise that work.
It’s a huge triumph for Jon and Glyn to be acknowledged thus by their peers in the biggest comics reading nation in the Continent, it’s a big deal for Nobrow and SMH, but, as with Dotter winning the Costa award recently, I’d argue this is also a win for everyone in the Brit comics community, from the creators and publishers to the readers, the folks who organise the conventions and support new talent, to the lads and lassies who stand behind comic store counters and recommend titles like these to readers. Brit comics, we love you and we look forward to being blown away with what works you will place before our eyes over the rest of this year, which has started to brilliantly for the medium. And we look forward to telling everyone who will listen about those works to come. Go Team Brit Comics!
Some video of the awards ceremony (thanks to Glyn for the link for this):