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Comic book festival in Angoulême

From manga to satire, highlights of a festival 

 

In the comic book festival of Angoulême, Japanese author Kastsuhiro Ōtomo received the Grand Prix award for his total body of work. Other highlight in the event: many tributes were paid to "Charlie Hebdo".  

 

Kastsuhiro Ōtomo receives the Grand Prix award of the festival of Angoulême 

It's the first time Japan is awarded the Grand Prix of the festival of Angoulême. For its 42nd festival, the jury of the International comic book festival of Angoulême has awarded Kastsuhiro Ōtomo with its highest prize. This is a true recognition of the significance of manga in France. Every year, no less than 1,500 Japanese comics land on bookshop stalls.

 

A visionary cartoonist who revolutionized the codes of Japanese comic books 

Kastsuhiro Ōtomo was born in Japan in 1954. A pen genius since he was child, he quickly revolutionized the standards of Japanese comics. In 1982, he experienced a dazzling success for his dark, urban, post-apocalyptic "Akira". First published in "Young Magazine", the manga was a revolution in Japan due to its violent and subversive tones, both present in the aesthetics and the theme of the story. His work thus became a masterpiece, and Ōtomo designed an anime out of it. Fascinated by the cinema, the mangaka gladly bounded the 7th art to the 9th art.

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Two awards for "Charlie Hebdo" 

For once, nobody asked where Charlie was ("Charlie" is Waldo's name in French): "Charlie Hebdo" was everywhere, under the tip of every pen or on every building façade. Three weeks after the attacks against the satirical newspaper, the festival and the City of Angoulême paid a tribute to the murdered cartoonists and contributors.

The organizers of the Festival of Angoulême have awarded "Charlie Hebdo" with two prizes: a Grand Prix Spécial (Special Grand Award) and the prix Charlie de la liberté d’expression (Charlie award for freedom of speech). The first prize awards the newspaper for its total body of work. The second has been created during this 42nd festival. It will be awarded every year to a cartoonist who, as a victim of censorship, has not been able to freely practice his/her profession.