Robot 6

Angouleme Grand Prix’s male-only long list sparks call for boycott

angouleme

The French group BD Egalite is calling for a boycott of voting for the Grand Prix d’Angouleme because not a single female creator is included on this year’s list of 30 candidates. Cartoonist Jessica Abel provides a translation, and some context, on her Facebook page.

The Grand Prix is a lifetime achievement award, and the winner is named president of the following year’s Angouleme International Comics Festival. In the event’s 43-year history, just one woman, Florence Cestac, has been awarded the Grand Prix. Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) and Posy Simmonds (Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe) have been among those nominated in years past.

Abel, a former member of the Grand Jury (which chooses the nominations for the book prizes but not the Grand Prix), posted that she supports a move to boycott this year’s awards, saying, “I may write in a vote — for a female creator — but I’m not voting for another man for this award. Not this year, maybe not ever. The committee is going to have to win back my confidence.”

Abel’s husband Matt Madden, who’s on this year’s Grand Jury, provided ROBOT 6 with the following statement:

This festival has meant a lot to me over the years and I have observed it struggle to open its vision of comics as an art form, and industry, and a community. I accepted to be part of the grand jury (nothing to do with the Grand Prix I’d like to point out) with some trepidation because women and minorities aren’t very well represented in comics awards either (at FIBD or elsewhere). I was pleased when our president Antonin Baudry brought in two women in the jury of seven and I feel like I can get behind the selection for the prizes: there are 11 books by women (or co-created by them) out of 47 total. It’s far from representing the reality of things but it’s a step in the right direction. (That said, there are a few manga but otherwise the list is admittedly heavy on the Euro/American sphere.)

Given this general nudge in the right direction on the awards I was shocked by the complete shut-out of women in the nominations.

Not only are there no new women added–they’ve actually REMOVED women who have been nominated in previous years, such as Marjane Satrapi and Posy Simmonds.

I don’t know who the nomination committee is but I can’t believe that none of them were able to take a step back and say “hang on a minute, we’re moving in the wrong direction here!” I will point out, as I did in my FB post, the Japanese have at least gained a foothold in the festival as the continual disregard of manga was another bone of contention a few years ago. So, maybe Otomo this year and… Julie Doucet in 2017?

I will participate in boycotting the final vote but I have already voted (in a bit of a daze) during the first round. For a bunch of guys.

In December, BD Egalite released a statement denouncing the lack of women on the Angouleme juries.

This year’s Grand Prix long list includes Brian Michael Bendis, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Richard Corben, Stan Lee, Milo Manara, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Joann Sfar, Bill Sienkiewicz, Naoki Urasawa and Chris Ware.

Comments

19 Comments

Is it possible that the nomination committee just didn’t think any woman were worthy of a nomination this year? It would be sad to just nominate someone just to fill a quota if their work didn’t deserve it because you saw there wasn’t a woman in the running. Just a thought.

At T. Morgan, nah today’s society is all about to fill a quota and not who does the best work. All about PC bulls***.

The only explanation she gives for not wanting to vote for “another man” is they are men.

Shouldn’t it be the body of work being judged first and foremost and not the genital configuration?

Is that really the message she wants to send?

“Female creators, you deserve to be nominated because of your sexual organs, not because of your innate talent or the quality of the content of your work.”

Yeah, -that’s- a step forward.

This PC thing is really getting to me. Judge the work the creators are doing, not their sex!

Off the top of my head, these female comics creators are on the same level of lifetime achievement as most of the males nominated: Lynda Barry, Carol Tyler, Rutu Modan, Posy Simmonds, Rumiko Takahashi, Miriam Katin, Roz Chast, Alison Bechdel, Phoebe Gloeckner, and of course Claire Bretécher.

For the love of little apples, it’s not PC or “tokenism” to wonder why a lifetime achievement award list for comics doesn’t have ONE woman on it. Not one. Out of 30. Clearly they don’t think any women “deserve” it but shouldn’t we questions maybe WHY THAT IS? Are you actually going to argue that there are NO women creators on par with any of these names? None? Not a single one? Not across the ENTIRE WORLD?

Excuse sexism however you want, but just because this jury doesn’t value female creators or their work doesn’t mean they’re right or this is some sacrosanct award no one should criticize. This is absurd.

Lynda Barry, Rumiko Takahashi, Moto Hagio, Marjorie Satrape, Julie Doucet, Alison Bechdel…I think there are probably women too choose from, if they cared.

Like, Frank Miller and Milo Manara more deserving of a lifetime achievement award than *any* women—that’s a statement there.

Matt Madden came up with the following list of deserving female candidates: Alison Bechdel, Lynda Barry, Phoebe Gloeckner, Julie Doucet, Marjane Satrapi, Posy Simmonds, Kate Beaton, Clamp, Rutu Modan, Anke Feuchtenberger

just goes to show, the deck has always been stacked in favor of white men. “IT JUDGES THE BEST WORK, WHY ALL THIS PC BLAHBLAHBLAH” sorry, try stepping out of the pale sausage clique?

It’s not that women need to be nominated “because they’re women” it’s that maybe – just maybe – the folks making this list needed a slightly wider view of the industry? It’s not like this is some freak occurrence, if only ONE woman has ever won it and so few have been nominated over the years, it seems to be a problem of focus for the people making the list. And the fact that so few people consider that a woman COULD be put on the list shows how male-centric the damn comics industry is. Awards should be about highlighting the best the industry has, not just the best mainstream comics but all kinds of stuff.

if you don’t think that any women made comics worthy of a lifetime achievement award then your opinion on the subject of comics is beneath contempt, beneath notice and beneath NOTHING. If I offend you, I intend to

do all the people who dont question the lack of women on this list realize that they are essentially admitting they dont think women are capable of deserving lifetime achievement awards?

do you TRULY look at this list and say “damn i guess all women just suck at this stuff, amirite?”

This isnt being PC– this is pointing out obvious sexism. just because YOUR whole collection of comics doesnt include a single woman doesnt mean there arent women creators who are qualified for the award.

I, too, am skeptical that there were NO women who produced work worthy of nomination and/or equal to the work of the 30 chosen nominees over the past year. It seems to defy probability.

Hang on, I didn’t read fully: It’s a Lifetime Achievement Award. Well, that makes it even more ridiculous; I can think of plenty of women cartoonists worthy of such a thing. And I see I’m not alone in that.

Whoops my mistake. I didn’t notice that it was for a Lifetime Achievement Award. I withdraw my previous comment.

It’s a males only award… Get the fuck over it! Women have “girls only” bullshit all the time, this is nothing different

Jesus Christ, NoFace, are you really that stupid or ignorant?

1) If this is a ‘males only’ award, then they need to come out and labe it as such. But that’s not how it’s being presented, and I’m pretty sure the people running it would disagree with you (even though that’s how they treat it).

2) The reason that there are ‘bullshit’ awards specifically for women, and other marginalized groups (all the time, no less!) is because the overwhelming majority of awards are, for all intents and purposes, already ‘white/male only’ and don’t recognize the work and contributions of entire groups of people deserving of recognition – usually as much, if not more than their white/male peers.

Your fedora is too tight, because it’s obviously cutting off blood flow and causing brain damage.

you idiots really think this is because no women were worthy enough? morons. there are plenty of female creators who are deserving but were shut out just because they are women. half the world’s population is women and you think exactly zero of them are as good as the men they selected?

Not sure about the details of nomination history, but Marie Severin seems like a glaring omission, just to name one.

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