AFTER ART SPIEGELMAN got “the call” a year ago, asking him to be Angoulême’s Grand Prix recipient and president, he told Comic Riffs of the gig’s immense planning duties: “I don’t know whether you should say ‘congratulations’ or ‘condolences.’ “
On Sunday, a beaming Spiegelman got to say “congratulations!” to some fellow top cartoonists at the awards ceremony that concluded Angoulême’s four-day Festival International de la Bande Dessinée.
French cartoonist Jean-Claude Denis received the Grand Prix award (for lifetime achievement) from Spiegelman, the Pulitzer-winning creator of “Maus” and last year’s anniversary book project, “MetaMaus.”
The Paris-born Denis, 61 (also known by the nom-de-toon Jean-C. Denis), began to make his mark as an illustrator in the ‘70s. His best known works include the Luc Leroi series, yet the Angoulême prize should buoy his international prominence.
Elsewhere, the Special Jury Prize went to American cartoonist Jim Woodring for “Congress of the Animals”, and the Best Comic award went to Canada’s Guy Delisle for “Chroniques de Jerusalem” (“Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City”).
The Legacy Award went to “Dynasty Donald Duck: The Complete Carl Barks.”
Eisner-winning manga master Yoshihiro Tatsumi won for “A Life in the Margins”
Among the other award winners: Kaoru Mori for “Bride Stories”; Morgan Navarro for ”Beat Teddy”; Gilles Rochier for “T.M.L.P”; and Cyril Pedrosa for “Portugal.”
The full list of winners can be found at the festival website.
The festival included what it described as the largest European retrospective ever of Spiegelman’s work.