Franco-Syrian author wins career gong at Angoulême comics festival

AFP - YOHAN BONNET

The 50th Angoulême International Comics Festival, held every year in south-western France, was officially inaugurated on Wednesday with a ceremony to grant the coveted Grand Prix d'Angoulême. This year's award for career excellence went to Franco-Syrian author Riad Sattouf.

"I am deeply honoured and moved," Sattouf said upon accepting his award. "It's the centrepiece that was missing at the top of my ego pyramid."

Sattouf was up against two other candidates nominated by peers for the Grand Prize this year: the American writer Alison Bechdel and French writer and illustrator Catherine Meurisse.

Wednesday's opening ceremony was attended by French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak and 2022 Grand Prize winner Canadian writer Julie Doucet, who also designed one the three 2023 posters.

Festivities began with a demonstration of breakdance followed by a live drawing performance, marking the official start of a four-day bonanza featuring autograph sessions, professional workshops, conferences and exhibitions.

Sattouf latest work is the sixth and final volume of his best-selling "L’Arabe du Futur" (The Arab of the Future) series, based on his experiences growing up in Libya and Syria.

Translated into 23 languages, Sattouf is one of the few authors to have won the Fauve d'or (Golden Fauve award) for the best album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival twice, in 2010 and in 2015. He also designed one of the 2023 posters.

For that, Angoulême is betting on manga to attract crowds, and has rolled out the red carpet for special guests from Japan, some for the first time.


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