Lakes International Comic Art Festival, VIP Brands Ltd. announce new Sophie Castille Awards for Comics in Translation

Sophie Castille Awards for Comics in Translation

VIP Brands Ltd., a company offering rights representation for comics and graphic novel publishers, has just announced the Sophie Castille Awards for Comics in Translation.

The inaugural award, recognising a much under-appreciated, vital aspect of comics publishing, will be presented in partnership with Comica and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, at their annual event this autumn (Friday 29th September – Sunday 1st October).

The Sophie Castille Awards for Comics in Translation are for the best translation of graphic novels into a variety of languages around the world. This inaugural award will be for the best translation of a non-English graphic novel into English.

These awards have been created in honour of Sophie Castille, international rights director and V. P. of licensing for Mediatoon, cofounder and director of Europe Comics, who died unexpectedly last year.

Sophie Castille
Sophie Castille

Since the late 1990s, Sophie built bridges for bandes dessinées and their authors, out of France and around the world. She was a constant source of creativity, motivating publishers from throughout the world and encouraging them to exchange ideasand, as a result, became a key figure in the growth of translation of comics and graphic novels around the world.

Publishers around the world are being invited to submit for consideration graphic novels they have published that are translations of works into English. The jury will be comprised of three judges: Karen Green, Curator for Comics and Cartoons, Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library; comic creator and former British Comics Laurate, Charlie Adlard, who has been an advocate for the translation of world comics into English for many years; and former TV producer, Peter Kessler MBE, Chair of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Comics and graphic novels, considered in France as The Ninth Art, are a diverse and dynamic international medium that are growing in popularity every year and are loved the world over. Spreading these works internationally through translation is a way to bring the world together.

With comics in translation becoming an important influence in the publishing world, VIP Brands ltd, Comica and LICAF have decided to honour Sophie’s memory and continue her work to promote comics in translation around the world with these new Awards.

This first year, the award will be for a comic translated from any language into English, the award will be given to the translator of the work. We are hoping to widen the scope of these awards and have partners all over the world so that there will beSophie Castille Awards for many languages.

“Awards for excellence in comic translation are more than overdue,” says Sophie’s partner, Dirk Rehm, welcoming the founding of these Awards. “It’s is only logical that these awards are named after Sophie Castille who loved comics – and even more, the idea of the exchange of cultures.

“In her role as Director of International Rights for Dargaud, Dupuis and Lombard, she was an ambassador for comics – making sure the whole world would get to know the treasures of the French and Belgian bandes dessinées”.

“This is a brilliant initiative” enthuses comic creator Charlie Adlard, who is perhaps best known for his work on The Walking Dead, but who has championed comics as a medium for over 30 years.“There are so many strips first published in a foreign language that wouldn’t have been a success in the United States or Britain without standout translation work.”

“Take Asterix, for example,” agrees Julie Tait, Director of LICAF. “When some Asterixstories, including the first story, were originally published in comics like Valiant and Rangerin Britain in the 1960s, the translation had none of the sparkle that Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge gave the series later, and made the English editions such a success.Good translation deserves wider recognition.”

“I have talked of this idea for years, having global awards for comics in translation to encourage acquisition and translation of graphic novels,” commented Ivanka Hahnenberger, Founder and General Manager of VIP Brands Ltd. “I spoke to Sophie about it several times and she encouraged me to do it. I wish very much she were here to see this happen, as if it were not for her, I would never have had the courage to go through with it. Sophie, here’s to you.”

The inaugural prize will be awarded at the Lakes International Festival in Bowness-on -Windermere in October 2023

Submission Information

• Submissions should be made to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival no later than 1st June, 2023
• Entries are limited to a maximum of six works per publishing company, the works must have been released in the past twelve months – and only one per series. Translators must be credited in the work
The Entry Form can be downloaded here from the Lakes International Comic Art Festival web site
• Full guidance on submissions and how to submit entries can be found on this page of the LICAF website or

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Bowness-on-Windermere 29th September to 1st October 2023 and is online at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Little LICAF on Facebook | Little LICAF on Instagram

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