31 January 2011
The jury has decided and the choice for the next president of the festival in Angoulême is... Art Spiegelman!
This is interesting in so many ways. Firstly, it is one of the first time a non-European has been chosen (Eisner and Crumb being the earlier laureates). Ok, Spiegelman was born in Stockholm but that doesn't really make him a Swede (no matter how much I would like to claim that). This is further proof of the international outlook that both the festival and the French comics culture in general has achieved the last decade or so.
Secondly, the fact that Spiegelman and especially his graphic novel Maus has been the inspiration for the whole revitalisation of the French comics market since the early 1990s, makes it fitting that he be invited and paid tribute to "over here".
Thirdly, and on a more personal note, this means that there will be at least one major exhibition on Spiegelman at the festival in 2012, something that I really look forward to, since they are really good at curating exhibitions here.
All in all, a good choice that promises an interesting festival in 2012.