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|Angoulême International Comics Festival
Festival international de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême
Entrance to the Nouveau Monde tent, photographed in 2011.
|Founder||Francis Groux, Jean Mardikian, Claude Moliterni|
|Attendance||around 200,000 on average and more than 220,000 in 2012|
|Organized by||9eART+ Société Organisatrice du Festival|
The Angoulême International Comics Festival (French: Festival international de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême) is the second largest comics festival in Europe after the Lucca Comics & Games in Italy, and the third biggest in the world after Lucca Comics & Games and the Comiket of Japan. It has occurred every year since 1974 in Angoulême, France, in the month of January.
The Angoulême International Comics Festival was founded by French cultural ministers Francis Groux and Jean Mardikian, and comics scholar Claude Moliterni. Moliterni served as co-organizer of the festival through 2005.
The attendance is generally difficult to estimate because the festival takes place all over the town, and is divided in many different areas that are not connected to each other directly.
The four-day festival is notable for awarding several prestigious prizes in cartooning. The awards at Angoulême were originally called the Alfred awards, after the pet auk from Zig et Puce by Alain Saint-Ogan. In 1989, the name changed to the Alph-art awards, honoring the final, unfinished Tintin album by Hergé. In 2003, the Alph-art name was dropped, and they are now simply called "The Official Awards of the International Comics Festival" (le Palmarès Officiel du Festival international de la bande dessinée). The prizes were reorganized in 2007 to create a pool of 40-60 albums, called "official selections," from which are awarded the "Best Album" prize, five "Angoulême Essentials," one "Revelation Essential" (given to rookie creators), and one Essential chosen by the public. The Heritage Essential (for reprinted material) and Youth Essential are selected from separate nominee pools.
Additionally, the Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême is awarded each year to a living creator honoring his/her lifetime achievement, and the Grand Prix winner becomes president of the next year's festival. Traditionally, the president heads the prize jury of the next year's festival, illustrates the festival poster, and is given an exhibition of his or her work. (So far, only one woman, Florence Cestac, has ever won the Grand Prix.)
In 2007, Lewis Trondheim (2006 Grand Prix winner) created a mascot for the festival, Le Fauve (The Wildcat), and since 2008 the prize winners have received wildcat statuettes, with the Best Album statuette coated in gold.
In 2015, the main prizes awarded were:
Some short-lived formerly awarded prizes are included in larger categories or in other awards.
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