Saturday, January 27, 2024

Posy Simmonds wins the Grand Prix in Angouleme

From Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat

British cartoonist Posy Simmonds has won Angouleme’s Grand Prix, considered one of the highest honors in comics worldwide.

Simmonds won over the other finalists Daniel Clowes and Catherine Meurisse, and the award, presented for a lifetime body of work, is certainly richly deserved. 

Simmonds, 78, has been a household name in England for decades, with her comics serialized in newspapers such as The Guardian, and turned into feature films. 

Her work includes such classics as Gemma Bovary, a modern version of Madame Bovary, and Tamara Drewe, an updated telling of Far From The Madding Crowd, and most recently, Cassandra Drake, a mystery about a middle aged art dealer. 

Simmonds work is truly worthy of the word graphic novel, with a depth of plot and character and marvelous art. She’s truly someone who lives up the meaning of this award. 

She’s also quite well known in France, and as a fluent French speaker she’ll be a great Grand Marshall for the 2025 Angoulême festival.

Simmonds is the third female identified cartoonist to win in the last decade to win the award, following Rumiko Takahashi and Julie Doucet, after 40 years of one woman winning the main prize and one special prize in the award’s first 30-40 years.

Perhaps even more significantly, she is the seventh non-French cartoonist to win in the last 15 years, after almost entirely French cartoonists winning for decades. 

That led to criticism that the prize was not a worldwide cartooning award; following an embarrassingly sexist controversy in 2016 that led to a widening of the eligible voters for the award that led to a more globally diverse group, along with freshening and youthification.

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