This morning, the comics internet blew up when the long list for this year's prestigious French comics award, the Grand Prix d’Angouleme, was announced. The list of 30 candidates did not include one single female cartoonist. And in case your first instinct was to mansplain this fact away — "durr, but maybe no woman produced a comic worthy of awards this year," I can hear the gamergate crowd grumbling, as though that made any sense at all — you should bear in mind that in the Grand Prix's 43 years, only one woman has ever won the award. This is unacceptable. French group BD Egalite responded to the shortlist announcement by calling for a boycott.
Awards representation is so important, and it's hard to believe that this kind of exclusionary bullshit is still happening in 2015. Happily, this afternoon one of the long listed cartoonists responded appropriately, in a joint statement with his publisher:
In the wake of today’s announcement, Fantagraphics Books and Daniel Clowes endorse the French group BD Egalite in its call for a boycott on voting for this year’s list, and Clowes has announced that he will withdraw from consideration as a result.
“I support the boycott of Angouleme and am withdrawing my name from any consideration for what is now a totally meaningless ‘honor.’ What a ridiculous, embarrassing debacle,” says Clowes.
Yes. Thank you to Dan Clowes and thank you to Fantagraphics Books for taking a stand. Now all eyes have turned to the other creators on the long list — including Charles Burns, Brian Michael Bendis, and Chris Ware — to see if they'll do the same.