ANGOULEME INTERNATIONAL COMICS FESTIVAL 2018 (Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême)(
Location: Various Locations around Angoulême, based around Place du Champ de Mars
(Thurs 25th – Sun 28th January 2018)
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The Angoulême International Comics Festival 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.
More than 200,000 visitors come each year to the fair, including between 6,000 and 7,000 professionals and 800 journalists. 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.)