Angoulême International Comics Festival

Angoulême International Comics Festival
The Angoulême International Comics Festival (Festival International de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême) is the second biggest event of its kind in Europe after the Lucca Comics & Games event in Italy, and the third largest in the world after Italy’s Lucca Comis & Games and Japan’s Comiket. The festival has been held every January since 1974 in the city of Angoulême, France.

The Angoulême International Comics Festival was founded by Francis Groux, Jean Mardikian and Claude Moliterni. In 1971, Groux was elected to the Angoulême City Council where he met Mardikian. They bonded over their shared love for comic books and organized a comic book exhibition entitled “Ten Million Images: The Golden Age of Comics” with the help of Moliterni. The exhibition was a success so they decided to organize a larger festival. After visiting Lucca Comics & Games for Inspiration, they held the inaugural edition of the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 1974.

Angoulême’s first comic book festival was an immediate success. It featured some of the France’s finest comic book authors and attracted about 10 thousand attendees. Over the years, the festival attendance has grown from tens to hundreds of thousands visitors. More than 200,000 people come each year to the festival, including over 6,000 industry professionals and several hundred journalists.

The four-day festival features a large comic book exhibition, Q&A sessions, panels and autograph sessions with comic book artists, workshops, and a lot of other events and activities for visitors of all ages. One of the festival’s highlights is the award ceremony.

The Angoulême International Comics Festival awards several prestigious awards in cartooning. The festival’s main award was originally called the Alfred Award. It was named after the pet auk from Alain Saint-Ogan’s comic strip Zig et Puce. In 1989, the prize was renamed to the Alph-Art Award to honor the unfinished final volume of The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé.

Since 2003, the awards have been called the Official Awards of the International Comics Festival. The prize for the best comic is also known as the Golden Wildcat because its statuette portrays the festival’s mascot, Le Fauve (The Wildcat) that was introduced in 2007 Other prizes awarded at the festival include the Jury’s Choice Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award (Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême), and more.

Angoulême International Comics Festival

Photo by Jorge Fidel Alvarez,




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