Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Angoulême Controversy: The Strumpet Responds

Let it be known, Strumpet fans, that the Strumpet herself seethed with discontent when she heard the news about the gender-skewed voting on the next Président of the Angoulême Festival (FIBD).

It got worse when the Festival posted an explanation. That the Festival leadership don't think any women are worth the prize, basically, was the jist:,le-festival-d-angouleme-aime-les-femmes-mais-ne-peut-pas-refaire-l-histoire-de-la-bande-dessinee

As far as mansplaining goes, "The Festival loves women, but we cannot rewrite the history of comics" is pretty bad.

To us, this statement says that no women - not the pioneers of 70s alt comics, not the ragers of 80s and 90s art comics, not amazing memoirists like Joyce Farmer and Roz Chast, not the amazing webcomics stars of today, not the ladies who've struggled and succeeded to make their way in the world of mainstream or kids' comics - none of them are up to the standard of Wolinski, who presented a wall of birthday cards as part of his presidential Angoulême exhibit. 

If the selection has only to do with who's popular in France, fine. But don't nominate obscurities like Edika and then try and pretend that this list is either a) nepotism-free or b) based on the commercial viability of the festival. 

In that spirit, the Strumpet nominates the following women, trans and queer cartoonists for the presidency of the Angoulême festival!  

Each of them has had a long and broad career in comics,  and would be a much needed breath of fresh air.  And if Melinda Gebbie or Alison Bechdel haven't had a transformative effect on comics...well, they have.

The Strumpet's Nominees

And in the spirit of nominating someone who could show the old, stodgy types at the Mercure what the next generation is all about, Hazel Newlevant!  She could be this year's Zep, who was only 36 when nominated.