Posy Simmonds among this year’s nominees for this year’s Angoulême Grand Prix

Daniel Clowes, Catherine Meurisse and Posy Simmonds

Daniel Clowes, Catherine Meurisse and Posy Simmonds are the three nominees, voted for by the profession, for the prestigious Grand Prix of the 51st Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême, the winner to be announced at the internationally-renowned comics event later this month.

Founded by French writers and editors Francis Groux and Jean Mardikian, and comics writer and scholar Claude Moliterni, the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême, which debuted in Angoulême, France, in 1974, is the second largest comics festival in Europe after the Lucca Comics & Games in Italy, and the third biggest in the world after Lucca Comics & Games and the Comiket of Japan. Previous winners of the Grand Prix include Will Eisner, Jean Giraud, Enki Bilal, Bill Watterson, Chris Ware, Julie Doucet and Riad Sattouf.

Daniel Clowes
Daniel Clowes

A complete writer, Daniel Clowes is one of the most prominent voices in North American comics, and a leading figure in the independent comics scene. He entered New York’s Pratt Institute to study drawing, but soon eschewed art school in favour of a self-taught career, much more suited to his artistic aspirations.

Influenced by the lowbrow movement, he made his real debut in Love and Rockets magazine, and in 1986 published his first work, Lloyd Llewellyn, with Fantagraphics. This marked the start of a prolific career punctuated by now iconic titles, including Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron (1993), Ghost World (1997), Twentieth Century Eightball (2002) and Patience (2016).

The winner of nine Harvey Awards, five Eisner Awards and five Ignatz Awards, his 1950s-style social satires also inspire the cinema. Ghost World and Art School Confidential have been adapted into films, with Daniel Clowes playing an active role as screenwriter.

Catherine Meurisse
Catherine Meurisse

Catherine Meurisse was born in 1980. After a degree in modern literature, she studied at the École Estienne and then at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. A draughtswoman, author, cartoonist, reporter and illustrator of children’s books, Catherine Meurisse is a prolific artist. For fifteen years, she honed her eye and her drawing skills at a number of press titles (Le Monde, Libération, Les Echos, L’Obs), most notably at Charlie Hebdo, where she produced comic strips in which the spirit of seriousness had no place.

After Mes Hommes de lettres, Le Pont des arts (Sarbacane), Moderne Olympia (Futuropolis) and Drôles de femmes (Dargaud, with Julie Birmant), in 2016 she published La Légèreté, a moving account of her return to life, drawing and memory, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo from which she escaped.

After the cheeky Scènes de la vie hormonale came Les Grands Espaces (Dargaud), an evocation of her childhood in the countryside, where tasty memories and an aesthetic and political awareness of the rural landscape mingle.

In 2019, she published Delacroix, a highly personal graphic adaptation of the memoirs of Alexandre Dumas, a great friend of the painter Eugène Delacroix. La Jeune Femme et la Mer (Dargaud, 2021) examined man’s place in nature and the use of art to capture disappearing landscapes.

In 2020, the year a major retrospective is dedicated to her at the BPI of the Centre Pompidou, Meurisse became the first comic book author to become a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

Since September 2017, Philosophie Magazine has published two pages by Catherine Meurisse every month. In 2022, she brought this work together in an album, Humaine trop humaine, published by Dargaud – one hundred pages of dialogues, quotations and burlesque stagings that explore and introduce universal philosophical thought in an unusual way.

Her latest work includes the endearing and thought-provoking graphic novel Les Grands espaces (Dargaud; The Great Outdoors, Europe Comics).

Posy Simmonds
Posy Simmonds

Born in 1945, growing up in Berkshire, in a career spanning over 50 years, Posy Simmonds, currently the focus of a major retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, is best known for the strip cartoons and serials that were published in The Guardian and the books that derive from them. These include Mrs Weber’s Diary (1979), True Love (1981), Literary Life Revisited (2016) and the graphic novels, Gemma Bovery (1999) and Tamara Drewe (2006). Both graphic novels have been made into feature films – Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears in 2010, and Gemma Bovery, directed by Anne Fontaine, in 2014.

She has also written and illustrated several children’s books, including Fred, which became an Oscar-nominated film. The award-nominated Cassandra Darke, her latest graphic novel, was first released in 2018.

She was the winner of the Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art for 2022.

The second round in choosing the winner of the Grand Prix runs from today, Friday 12th January to Wednesday 17th January, involves the same college of authors who selected these three creators to elect the winner from among these three nominees.

At the end of this entire electoral process – carried out entirely under the supervision of a bailiff – the name of the 2024 Grand Prix will be announced on Wednesday 24th January, during the Official Opening of the Festival.

• Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême 25th – 28th January 2024, Angoulême, France | Web: bdangouleme.com

Posy Simmonds – Dessiner la littérature 22 November 2023 – 1st April 2024 | Bibliothèque publique d’information / Centre Pompidou 75197 Paris Cedex 04 | Visit the web site for opening times and further information | Web: bpi.fr

Posy Simmonds (The Illustrators) by Paul Gravett

Posy Simmonds (The Illustrators) by Paul Gravett

• Posy Simmonds: The Illustrators by Paul Gravett

• Buy it from AmazonUK

Simmonds once described her job on a census form as ‘a visual engineer’. Her extraordinary precision of drawing, her powers of observation and her sharp but welltempered wit have made her one the Britain’s most sophisticated innovators, renowned especially for expanding the scope and subtlety of comics. 

This is the first book to explore Simmonds’s life and work from her early childhood to the present day. In a series of interviews with Paul Gravett she offered insights into her creative process and provided unprecedented access to her ‘workroom’ and archives containing sketchbooks and rare or never-before-seen artworks. A portrait emerges of Posy Simmonds as a chronicler and critic of contemporary British society and a storyteller in words and pictures of rare perception and humanity.

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