Once upon a time …there were three friends who, in 1969, created a festival in Angoulême to celebrate the Comic Strip or Bande Dessinée (BD) in French.Year by year , the event gathered momentum until in January 1974, the International Comic Strip Festival was born. All the main industry players were there, the press came, and the public – more than 10,000 people across three days. Angoulême, capital of the Comic Strip, was suddenly in the spotlight !
Many things have happened since Hergé appeared at the Festival in 1976. An international centre dedicated to the art now houses the Comic Strip Museum ; street names are contained within speech bubbles ; and whole pages of comic strip adorn the sides of buildings –our Painted Walls. Our buses come in all colours too, decorated with favourite characters – so watch out for Kid Paddle around town ! Even our letter boxes have deviated from the usual Post Office yellow.
Most important event of its kind in the world, the International Comic Strip Festival welcomes nearly 6000 professionals from all over the world, as well as 220,000 visitors each year, to more than 20 different venues across Angoulême.
The Angoulême Grand Prix for 2017 is awarded to Cosey (Switzerland), who will be President of the Grand Jury for the 2018 Festival.
Since its creation in January 1974, the International Comic Strip Festival has become the must-do event for comic strip fans. As friendly as it is famous, this highly respected event showcases promising young talent each year. Marquees host a variety of public events, and authors and publishers host signing sessions, meetings and conferences. The Festival covers every kind of comic strip and every year, authors vote on line to elect a Grand Prix winner who, if they want to, can then become President of the Grand Jury for the following year and create an exclusive poster. The winner is also offered a retrospective exhibition.