The Angoulême International Comics Festival (French: Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême) is the largest comics festival in Europe. The annual event, found in 1974 in Angoulême, France, and takes place in January. The four-day festival is notable for awarding several prestigious prizes in cartooning, they are 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. 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.
The official selections and nominees were announced earlier this week, including Darwyn Cooke in the Best Album Category for Le Chasseur – Parker 1, published in French by Dargaud and Dave Sim in the Heritage/Legacy Award category for Vertige Graphic’s translation of the second Cerebus book High Society.