The electors of the Angoulême International Comics Festival have chosen Chris Ware as the recipient of the Grand Prix d’Angoulême, an annual award that recognizes a cartoonist for his or her life’s work. Previous recipients in the past few years have been Richard Corben, Rumiko Takahashi, and Emmanuel Guibert.
Each year’s prize winner is honored with a special exhibit at the following year’s festival, which Ware has already agreed to, and he will also, following custom, design one of the festival’s three posters for next year.
Ware was one of three finalists for the prize, along with Pénélope Bagieu and Catherine Meurisse. Voting for the award is open to all comics creators whose work is published in France, but a number of this year’s votes were disqualified because they were for a protest candidate, Bruno Racine. Racine, a writer who has held a number of posts in the French cultural sector, including President of the National Library of France for almost a decade, wrote a report last year calling for more support for comics creators, most of whom cannot make a decent living from their work. The group Autrices et Auteurs en Action (AAA) called for its members to vote for Racine, although he was not eligible for the prize, to bring attention to the issue. Their votes were declared invalid.
Next year’s festival is scheduled for January 27-30, 2022.