This week the largest comics festival in France announced its 30 nominees for what many consider the most prestigious prize in comics, the Grand Prix. Not one nominee was a woman.
Usually there are at least few women on the longlist for the Angoulême International Comics Festival (known in French as the Festival international de la bande dessinée or FIBD). Last year?s list included only Marjane Sartrapi. In fact, in the festival?s 43-year history, there has only been one female Grand Prix winner: Florence Cestac, who got the prize in 2000. But this year, there was a swift reaction.
First, inspired by the French group BD Égalité, or Women in Comics Collective Against Sexism, 12 nominees dropped out of consideration, among them Daniel Clowes, Riad Sattouf, Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Ware. FIBD then added six women to the original list of 30 nominees. Then it dropped the list altogether, declaring that academy members could vote for whomever they chose, and the festival would “submit to the absolute free will” of its members.
Great to see The Guardian give this issue coverage for and reaching out to Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon and Caitlin McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library for commentary. Caitlin, especially for providing a long list of worthy women in comics.
If this year’s Grand Prix is coming down to a write-in, it’s a free-for-all. Feel free to pencil my name in.