Do you Know the Bédélys Independent Francophone Award Jury?

MCAF

Do you Know the Bédélys Independent Francophone Award Jury?

The Bédélys Independent Francophone Award has recognized the best self-published French-language comic strip in Quebec since 2008. In addition to the traditional one-of-a-kind trophy, it comes with a $1,000 grant, a copy of Antidote+ Personnel and a half-table offered by the Montreal Comic Arts Festival during next year’s event.

Selection Criteria

The francophone and anglophone independent Bédélys categories are the only two that operate by submission. It is the creators who must send their work in duplicate to the planned drop-off points. To be accepted a submission must meet the following criteria:

  • Self-publication in French
  • Quebec resident artist
  • A print version must exist, webcomics that are not published in print will not be eligible
  • No artwork generated in whole or in parts by Artificial Intelligent (AI) will be accepted

Jury

Composed of readers who work in the book industry, this jury includes, among others, librarians and booksellers, but also publishers and all other book professionals. 

  • Catherine Racicot, librarian and Jury President 
  • Valérie Lampron, librarian
  • Jean-Michel Berthiaume, mediator
  • Pierre Brissette, reader
  • Mélina Lopez-Racine, bookseller

While we await the unveiling of the finalists for the 25th annual Bédélys Awards, we’d like to introduce you to the jury for the Bédélys Independent Francophone and Catherine Racicot, the Jury President.

In this brief interview, Catherine highlights the importance of supporting emerging creators.


MCAF: Why do you think your jury category is important in the comics landscape?

Catherine: The Bédélys indépendant Francophone jury supports emerging creators by bringing more marginal works to a wider audience. The winners of previous editions have frequently found a publisher after winning this award.

MCAF: How does the jury work?

Catherine: Discussions between jury members are fairly limited in time, since the readings take place in January and February, and the winning title is chosen in March. So it’s an intense time, and the exchanges between jury members are very passionate. The opinions expressed are often divergent, enabling the jury members to see the works from a different angle, to change their point of view, to evolve in their thinking or even to argue in defense of their reading of the work. That said, the whole process is always respectful, and more often than not we reach a consensus on the winning works.

MCAF: If you had to convince someone to get involved in the jury, what would you say?

Catherine: The Bédélys Independent Francophone jury is an opportunity to discover emerging artists and to get a bird’s-eye view of the dynamic creative underground comics scene. It’s also an opportunity to get your hands on books that have been envisioned and produced, in large part if not in their entirety, by the author herself, without the support of an editorial team. It’s a chance to admire the talent that creators bring to bear to ensure that the form and format of their work is as high quality as the content.

The call for applications to join the jury for the 26th annual Bédélys Awards is now open.

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