The Grand Prix d’Angoulême is a prize for body of work created in 1974, awarded each year during the Angoulême International Comics Festival to a comic book author, and is considered the highest prize of the comic art and industry. Awarded mainly to French and Belgian authors, but also to other nationalities, only two women, Florence Cestac and Rumiko Takahashi, have never won the award. Since 2014, the Grand Prize of the Angoulême International Comics Festival has been awarded following a vote by the community of professional comics authors.
The first stage of the Grand Prix 2022 selection, which took place from February 21 to 27, has just been completed. The three nominated comic creators are Penelope Bagieu, Julie Doucet and Catherine Meurisse. Catherine Meurisse was previously nominated, but this is the first time the Festival has had a 100% female shortlist. There’s only been a handful of times they’ve had women on them.
Pénélope Bagieu was born in 1982 in Paris. After studying at the Arts Déco in Paris, then at Central Saint Martins in London, she created My life is quite fascinating in 2007, a webcomic in which she describes the daily life of a young Parisian with humor and grace. The success of the collection led her to create her first long story with Exquisite Corpse, in 2010, then his first biography with The California Dream‘ which won the Harvey Award in 2018. In 2016, she created a series of comic portraits of women under the title Panties, which won an Eisner Award in 2019, and was adapted into an animated version by France TV. In 2020, it adapts Roald Dahlthe novel The witches and in 2022 she tackles her first autobiography with Strata.
Julie Doucet, born in 1965 in Montreal, studied visual arts at the Cégep du Vieux Montreal in the early 1980s, and enrolled at the University of Quebec in Montreal, where she completed a certificate in printing arts. . During her studies, she discovered comics and started publishing a photocopied fanzine: Dirty ground, in which she documents her daily life, her dreams and her anxieties in French and English. The title was taken over in 1991 by the Montreal publisher Drawn & Quarterly and, after having lived in New York, Seattle and Berlin, Julie Doucet returned to Montreal where she lives and works, working in the graphic arts. Her work, which she publishes in limited editions in screenprint, continues to be published by Drawn & Quarterly. In 2018, essayist Anne-Elisabeth Moore published a study on the work of Julie Doucet (Sweet Little C-nt: The graphic work of Julie Doucet), which she sees as a precursor to a new feminism in comics.
Catherine Meurisse was born in 1980. After studying modern literature, she studied at the Estienne School and then at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris. Catherine Meurisse is a cartoonist, author, cartoonist, reporter and illustrator of children’s books who has worked for fifteen years for The World, Liberation, Les Echos, L’Obs and especially to Charlie Hebdo..After creating comics My Men of Letters, The Bridge of Art, Modern Olympia and funny womenshe published in 2016 Lightness, the story of a return to life, drawing and memory, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo which she survived. Also among his recent works are Shameless Scenes From Hormonal Life, The Great Spaces, telling the story of his childhood in the countryside, blending country aesthetics with the political consciousness of the rural landscape. She also has The Story of Alexandre Dumas, The Young Woman and the Sea and in 2020 a major retrospective exhibition was dedicated to her at the BPI Center Pompidou. This is how Catherine Meurisse became the first comic strip creator to become a member of the Academy of Fine Arts. She was also nominated for the Grand Prix last year, losing to Chris Ware.
The Angoulême Comic Strip Grand Prix will be awarded at the Angoulême International Comic Strip Festival from March 17 to 22, 2022.