Detail of the poster produced by Charles Burns for the Angoulême festival 2020 - © C. Burns & 9eArt +

  • Disturbed by capricious weather, the Angoulême comics festival ends with "a feeling of satisfaction", according to its organizers.
  • Comic strip fans, however, regret the "elitist" character of the awards given during the Fauves ceremony.
  • This edition coincided with the launch of the event "2020, year of the comic strip" initiated by the Ministry of Culture.

From our special correspondent in Angoulême

While its last edition wanted to be "appeased" after the previous ones had been the subject of numerous claims (status of the authors, artistic parity), the Angoulême Comics Festival 2020 leaves, among comic book lovers who there are displaced, a mixed feeling ... The fault of the many disturbances - the rain, the occasional demonstrations and the blocking of the city center during the presidential visit - which enamelled the four days. But not only...

The three posters of the 47th Angoulême Comics Festival © 9eArt +

First subject of annoyance: the exhibitions offered this year were mainly aimed at an expert audience. Maxence, who came from Arles with his two daughters, 7 and 9 years old, confided to "20 Minutes" his frustration: "apart from the exhibition dedicated to Calvo, which they appreciated because it is an animal world and the one dedicated to the heroes for youth - whom they adored -, we had the feeling of having moved for very little ”.

The frustration of the general public

This may be a bit excessive, but it must be recognized that exhibiting Nicole Claveloux, Jean Frisano, Wallace Wood or Antoine Marchalot - yet all admirable artists - is not welcoming the "simple" fans of little Mickeys with open arms . Of course, the Festival aims to be a prescriber, but "putting a spotlight on a somewhat confidential comic is cool, but it frustrates those who came for the mainstream series, those found at the 'corner hypermarket', regrets Jean-Yves, a retiree from the neighboring town of Jonzac.

A feeling of frustration exacerbated at the discovery of the prize list of Fauves (the awards awarded by the Festival), revealed on Saturday evening: "It's still incredible, protested Jean-Yves, I'm a big fan of comics and apart Emmanuel Moynot, who designed Nestor Burma, I don't know any of the award-winning authors! "

The list of Fauves 2020 © 9eArt +

The consecration of the “excellence” BD

It is the paradox of this institution that the Angoulême festival has become, whose organizers aspire to make it a popular event - in France and abroad - to create a schism with the general public by highlighting (too much?) a comic strip supposed to be of excellence.

The attribution of the Fauve d'Or of this 47th edition to Révolution , by Grouazel and Locard, however, suffers, objectively, no dispute: it is probably one of the best albums of the year. But for some visitors like Romane, a young Angoumoisine, "it is an admirable book but difficult to access which is rewarded, while" Les Indes fourbes ", which is the comic strip for all audiences par excellence, leaves empty handed. . "

Extract from the Robert Kirkman exhibition © Kirkman & Delcourt

A sling still well marked

In addition to this discrepancy between the choices made by insiders (the Fauves are awarded by a jury of relative connoisseurs) and the majority of the comic book readership, this edition will also have been marked by a slightly tense atmosphere. Firstly, following the claims - oh so legitimate - of the authors with precarious professional status. The arrival of the Minister of Culture and Bruno Racine, author of a report published a few days before the Festival and proposing 23 commitments to improve the working conditions of the comedians, left the interested parties doubtful. To the point that some have for a time considered a strike of the dedications - which are however one of the main reasons for the displacement of festival-goers.

Police presence in the streets of Angoulême © Didier Charlet - RTS

Then with the arrival, Thursday, January 30, of the President of the Republic: by honoring the festival with his presence, Emmanuel Macron highlighted its importance; he also listened to, and promised to take into account, the complaints made by representatives of the authors. But as happy as it was (the last president to come to the Angoulême festival was François Mitterrand, in 1985), its presence considerably hindered, police presence obliges, the free movement of festival-goers.

"The festival is still an incredible celebration"

The outcome of this 47th edition is therefore very temperate. The comic strip, in its general dimension, comes out again victorious since it benefited, as every year at the end of January, from an unexpected world exhibition. The base of his fans, she leaves a little jaded ... but also, paradoxically, hopeful, like Maxence who told us that he and his daughters would come back next year "because when we love comics, whatever happens, the Angoulême festival is still an incredible party! "


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  • Society
  • Culture
  • Literary prize
  • BD
  • Emmanuel Macron
  • Angoulême Festival