Quick Hits | Posy Simmonds wins the 2024 Grand Prix at Angoulême

Plus: News on the Eisners, Brett Lewis, Bill Griffith and more.

British cartoonist and illustrator Posy Simmonds has been awarded the Grand Prix at France’s annual Angoulême International Comics Festival. Simmonds beat out Daniel Clowes and Catherine Meurisse to capture the prize, and is only the fourth woman to be awarded the Grand Prix in its 50-year history.

Simmonds, 78, has done it all in her career, including comic illustration, daily press cartoons, weekly comic strips, best-selling albums, children’s books and screen adaptations. Her debut graphic novel, True Love, is one of the first British graphic novels, and she went on to create the well-regarded Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe and Cassandra Darke. She began her career doing comic strips for the Sun, the Times and the Guardian, where she spent the majority of her career. Later in life, she would start creating children’s books, and her most famous, Fred, went onto become an Academy Award-nominated short film, Famous Fred.

“I always think in a perfect world, the gender of a prize winner shouldn’t be remarkable,” Simmonds told the Guardian. “But it’s an imperfect world and the comics and bande déssinée world has always been a masculine milieu, a bit of a boys’ club. But, bit by bit, especially over the last decade, women have infiltrated it, so I’m pleased to be one of them, of course.”

Awards | Moving to comics awards on this side of the Atlantic, the Eisner Awards have announced the judges for 2024: Ryan Claytor, N. C. Christopher Couch, Andréa Gilroy, Joseph Illidge, Mathias Lewis and Jillian Rudes.

These judges will have their work cut out for them, as they follow a controversial 2023 in which one Eisner nominee withdrew his work from consideration after widespread criticism that the work had racist overtones. Several industry pros asked for more transparency around how the judges and nominees are selected. And in more recent controversies, the Eisners have apparently combined the best comics-related book and best comics-related periodical into one category, which is raised some eyebrows among the comics news press.

I worked for Newsarama and Comic Book Resources back when they were nominated and won in the category, and I also was editor in chief of Robot 6 for the first half of the year in which we were nominated (which was also the year we won the Harvey Award, back when they had a similar category). Now, most awards programs in entertainment don’t have a journalism category, and I can see that the “Comics Oscars” having one is kind of weird. But it’s a weird industry, comics journalism is a thankless job that doesn’t pay well and we constantly hear complaints about how nobody does it well. These are all good reasons not to want to do it at all, and taking away the only recognition the field has is just another way to discourage the professionalism and quality that people say they want to see.

Awards | The American Library Association has announced the winners of their annual awards for books aimed at kids and “young adults” across a wide array of categories, and several graphic novels have been honored. Most notable, Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martin has won a Newbery Honor, the Pura Bulpre Award in Youth Illustration, the Children’s Author Award and an Odyssey Book Award Honor. Esther Keller has a breakdown of the other graphic novels that won awards.

Publishers | Per Publisher’s Weekly, comic writers Steve Orlando and Jim Kreuger have joined the editorial team of a new publisher, Gungnir, which is named after Odin’s spear. Their first graphic novel, Hiroquest: Genesis & Double Helix,  by Kruger and DJ/music producer Steve Aoki, will arrive in April.

Publishers | David Mariotte, formerly at IDW, has joined BOOM! Studios as an editor.

Creators | Brett Lewis, writer of The Wintermen, among other projects, suffered a brain injury earlier this month and had to have an emergency hemicraniectomy. His sister, Jenn Graves, has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical costs. Lewis was assaulted in 2009 and suffered a traumatic brain injury at the time, and he still has “after effects and financial burden from that,” according to his sister.

Creators | In honor of his 80th birthday, Bill Griffith talks to the CT Examiner about his life and career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.