Kevin Melrose has noted that the finalists for the Grand Prix Award at Angouleme this year have been whittled down to three final competitors: Alan Moore, Katsuhiro Otomo and Hermann. This is considered to be the highest prize in the comics industry, and only goes to veterans who have seriously changed the face of comics worldwide.
Last year saw the verdict go to Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbs, who came out of his retirement to design a poster for the event – before heading back into his retirement of sorts. This year sees another comics recluse nominated, in the form of ol’ beardface Alan Moore. That’s interesting because, as Melrose notes, Moore prominently said he would decline such a prize when he was on the longlist last year.
Otomo, also, was an obvious choice for nomination. The creator of Akira, amongst other works, Otomo has been recognised with most of the other highest awards in comics already. He’s in the Eisner Hall of Fame, for one thing, and was given the Purple Medal of Honour by the Japanese Government in 2013.
Hermann, a name new to me because I’m a fairly awful person, is most well known for his series Jeremiah, a post-apocalyptic story which has now reached 32 volumes and counting. He seems to be very popular within mainland Europe, having been nominated for several audience awards by Angouleme over the years. His artwork is the one I’ve chosen for the top of this page, so I can start getting more of an understanding of his work.
The winner will be announced at the end of the month.