Grand Prix d’Angouleme Boycott Announced. Creators Pull Out of Consideration.
The list of nominees for the 2016 Grand Prix at Angoulême were announced today resulting in a call for a boycott and creators asking to be removed from consideration. The award is (was?) considered a great honor and a sort of lifetime achievement award. The issue? Out of the 30 individuals nominated, not a single woman was included. Rightfully this angered individuals as it’s a slap in the face to the numerous talented female creators out there who deserve recognition.
The award hasn’t had a great history when it comes to recognizing women. As reported by The Beat, out of the 43 year history, only one winner has been female, Florence Cestac.
A group of female cartoonists, BD Egalite (a group that shines the spotlight on sexism in the French comic community), has called for a boycott. The page is in French,
but Google Chrome translates it as saying: but Jessica Abel translated it (a much better version than Chrome):
The International Festival of Comics (Angoulême): Women Banned from Comics
5 January 2016
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.
Since the announcement Fantagraphics has announced Daniel Clowes is withdrawing from consideration for the award and that the publisher and creator stand with BD Egalite.
In a statement Clowes said:
I support the boycott of Angouleme and am withdrawing my name from any consideration for what is now a totally meaningless ‘honor.’ What a ridiculous, embarrassing debacle
We have seen reports that Riad Sattouf has also withdrawn as of this post. We’ll update when further individuals comment or withdraw.