‘Calvin & Hobbes’ Creator Bill Watterson Wins Grand Prix at Angouleme Festival
Hosted every year in France, the Angoulême International Comics Festival is the biggest comic con in the world, surprising even San Diego's mighty Comic-Con International by tens of thousands of attendees. But like the San Diego show and its Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Angoulême comes with its own venerable awards celebrating sequential art from around the world, the most auspicious of which is the Angoulême Grand Prix, given every year to a living comics creator as a kind of lifetime achievement award. This year's went to Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson, who's certainly deserving of the honor.
Watterson is only the second American creator to win the Grand Prix this century, but the other was Art Spiegelman just two years ago, which some take as a sign that more Americans might be in the running soon.
One of the reasons the Grand Prix is such a prestigious prize is that is winner is chosen by past recipients, with the latest meant to serve as president of the next year's jury. That's a seemingly daunting tradition to uphold for the famously private Watterson to uphold. A small handful of print interviews notwithstanding, the cartoonist has successfully remained completely out of the public eye since ending Calvin & Hobbes in 1996.
Heidi MacDonald was in France for the festival and has a write-up of the ceremony and a list of 2013's other prize winners.