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Cartoonist call for boycot of Grand Prix d’ Angouleme

The Grand Prix d’ Angouleme is one of the highest awards that can be conferred upon a cartoonist. Previous American honorees include Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, R. Crumb and Bill Watterson. This year’s list of 30 nominees did not include the name of any woman and that has many cartoonists upset. Leading the charge is Jessica Abel. From her Facebook page, she’s posted the call for boycott asking for people to abstain from voting this year.

Here’s the call:

With the announcement today of the list of nominations for the Grand Prix d?Angoulême 2016?and award for which we comics creators are asked to vote?the ax fell:

30 names, 0 women.

We remind you that in 43 years, Florence Cestac has been the only woman ever to receive this distinction. Not even Claire Brétecher, pillar of the 9th Art, has ever received the Grand Prix. She was awarded the ?10th Anniversary Prize? in 1983 (a prize which does not prevent its winner from qualifying for the Grand Prix as well).

We protest this obvious discrimination, this total negation of our representation in a medium practiced by more women every year.
With the Grand Prix of Angoulême, the comics world recognizes one of its own for their entire career. This award is not only honorary, it has an obvious economic impact: the media covers the Grand Prix winner extensively, and the distinction makes a huge impact in the bookstore, to the benefit of booksellers, publishers and…the award-winning author.
We simply ask for a consideration of the reality of our existence and of our value.

Indeed, what is the message sent to women cartoonists and those in the process of becoming such? We are discouraged from having ambition, from continuing our efforts. How could we take it otherwise? It all comes back to the disastrous glass ceiling; we?re tolerated, but never allowed top billing. Will we require women in comics to perpetually play second fiddle?
It is no longer tolerable that renowned female creators, known by one and all, are absent from the nominations of this Grand Prix. If comics professionals are expected to select three names from a list decided by the FIBD, this list must be truly representative of comics today. Female comics creators are also significant players in this literary field.

For all of these reasons, the Women in Comics Collective Against Sexism calls for a boycott of the Grand Prix 2016.

We will not vote.

Community Comments

#1 Joel Tieg
@ 10:41 pm

I don’t understand the process of nominations or voting, but it does seem unlikely that not a single woman is among those nominated. How many woman have appeared in previous years? Who were they? What countries have the most female cartoonists? I’d be interested in more stats, if anyone is able to provide them.

#2 Joel Tieg
@ 2:25 pm


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