INTERVIEW – Franck Bondoux, general delegate of the event, talks about the controversy surrounding the selection of the Grand Prix of the city, but also the highlights of this 43rd edition.
The 43rd edition of the Festival of Angoulême comics opens on Wednesday, January 27 and will run until Sunday. This year, the city hosts a prestigious guest: Katsuhiro Otomo Japanese cartoonist, author of Akira and Grand Prix 2015. The festival also celebrates seventy years of Lucky Luke, the famous cowboy invented by Morris in 1946.
Franck Bondoux, Deputy CEO, responded to questions from Le Figaro . He went back on the highlights of the international event that celebrates with honor the Ninth Art and unveiled his heart strokes. He also spoke on the controversy surrounding the selection of the Grand Prix in 2016 for which no women were called.
LE FIGARO – This year, the Festival d’Angoulême was accused of “sexism” for its selection of the Grand Prix. What lesson do you draw
FRANCK BONDOUX – I am surprised by the magnitude of this story that in reality is only an error symbolic. We must not forget that Grand Prize embodies the history of the festival. It corresponds to honoring an author for all his work. The awarded from previous years have spent several decades working in comics. In the history of comics, the festival is a reflection of reality. If one goes back in time, there are few cartoonists. That is a fact. So say the festival of Angoulême would be sexist? Now, the attack is completely misplaced. For precisely this that embodies the relationship with this festival, which are its prices. When looking at the overall selection of albums present this year, we discover a dozen cartoonists. At about 25%, are part of the official list. Today, in the world of comics, we see that there is 13% of authors with an “e”. There is no parity, but better. The festival is proactive.
The festival celebrates Lucky Luke and Corto Maltese, two legendary figures that have been created there over fifty years. Still, do not you think that the Franco-Belgian comics ran out of steam over the years?
I think the festival has the vocation to highlight the universal geniuses BD as Morris, like Hugo Pratt, but also aims to detect new talents. When looking at the exhibition dedicated to Lucky Luke, she has for us two purposes: it focuses on the artistic genius of Morris, for he had not been tried at fair value. The other reason is also to show that while Morris died in 2001, Lucky Luke is still alive thanks to younger generations. This is also the case for Corto Maltese which has reappeared after 20 years of absence. Heroes like Lucky Luke and Corto Maltese will offer a second life thanks to a new album. I believe that the Franco-Belgian comics do not breathless on the contrary, she reinvents.
What is the highlight of the 43rd
The main purpose of the festival: it is open to the world, to all cultures. If there is a good incarnation of living together, it is in the comics. The festival really helps this, intergenerational relations, but also inter-cultural. The manga artist Otomo of Akira father embodies this first international. We will also host designers from around the world, Germans, Chinese, Greeks, Americans. The festival is not self-centered on the Franco-Belgian comics, but open to the practices of comics in the world, including our new label “Grand Tour”. I hope that this will allow a bridge between each other. We must remember that a comic book that remains the most circulated among families and friends.
What is your heart stroke this year?
Without any hesitation, the exhibition dedicated to Hugo Pratt. I took great pleasure to introduce this event. We discover exceptional original Corto Maltese. This exhibition is presented in a very interesting day, it establishes the influence of great authors of literature and works of Pratt.