The 21st Bédélys Awards Have their Winners!


The 21st Bédélys Awards Have their Winners!

(May 22nd, 2020) We already knew the finalists for the Bédélys Awards, it is now time to celebrate the winners! MCAF proudly announced the winners during a virtual evening, on May 22 at 7 pm.

The 21st Bédélys Awards are marked by the incredible quality of the works presented, which made the jury’s deliberations extremely difficult. Let’s recall that these juries are composed of professionals from the literary world. The trophies of these awards are original works made from recycled materials by Montreal artist Karl Dupéré-Richer for the 11th year in a row. They have been awarded to prestigious creators such as Michel Rabagliati, Leif Tande, Fanny Britt and Emmanuel Guibert to name only a few.

In addition to these trophies, 3 grants of $1,000 are offered to the winners of the Indépendant, Independent and Québec awards. We would like to thank les Amis de la bibliothèque de Montréal who have been offering the $1,000 grant for the winner of the Bédélys Québec for several years.

Waiting is now over! Here is the list of the winners for the Bédélys Awards 2019:

Bédélys étranger: Sabrina, Nick Drnaso

Best comic book published in French outside of Québec

The jury finally decided on Sabrina, because the work simply stands out as a must-have in contemporary comics. One is immediately blown away by the great coherence and stylistic unity of the work. Through a story with very topical themes (conspiracy theories, the perverse effect of social media), Drnaso builds realistic characters that are not always easily revealed to the reader, but whose complexity can be guessed.

Drnaso’s illustration also amazes: a drawing of glacial precision, almost rigid, never cluttered with unnecessary details. The choice of colors also contributes to the sinister staging of the story. Always in dark and pastel palettes, the coloring evokes the gloom of the environments as well as the oppressive side of history. Some passages contrast with the general graphic analysis of the album in a new way: pages with a large number of boxes, overloaded with texts and icons, evoke the infinite flow of Web comments and the unhealthy curiosity that drives us to continue reading these often violent and cruel messages.

If Sabrina’s reading can sometimes be distressing because of the cruelty of her story, she does not leave indifferent. It is a multi-faceted work that requires a lot of its readers and that will certainly stand as a new classic of the 9th art

Let’s recall that the other finalists for the Bédélys étranger are: 

  • Dans un rayon de soleil, Tillie Walden
  • Le dieu vagabond, Fabrizio Dori
  • Enferme-moi si tu peux, Pandolfo et Risbjerg 
  • Les entrailles de New York, Julia Wertz
  • In waves, AJ Dungo
  • Nagasaki, Agnès Hostache    
  • Penss et les plis du monde, Jérémie Moreau
  • Préférence système, Ugo Bienvenu
  • Saison des roses, Chloé Wary

Bédélys jeunesse: Un été d’enfer, Vera Brosgol

Best French-language comic book published in Quebec for 7 to 12 years of age

Vera Brosgol and the Bédélys Awards go hand in hand! The American cartoonist wins this trophy for the second time, with this autobiographical story of a young Russian woman who immigrated to the United States and who struggles to integrate with the children of Manhattan because of differences of background and social class. Her parents then send her to a summer camp for Russian girls and nothing goes as planned!

This Bédélys is awarded by a jury of young readers.

Let’s recall that the other finalists for the Bédélys jeunesse are: 

  • Hercule, agent intergalactique, Dalena et Zabus
  • Légendes Zurbaines, Nick Bruno, Paul Downs, Michael Yates
  • Animal Jack, Kid Toussaint et Miss Prickly 
  • 109, rue des Soupirs, Yomgui et Mr Tan 

Bédélys indépendant: Apo, Catherin

Best self-published french-language comics created in Quebec

Apo is one of the most fascinating fables where themes such as death and mourning are explored. In the background, what we are really offered is a touching and unadorned story about friendship and the bond that unites us to our loved ones beyond death. Catherine Plante has charmed the jury with this rich and captivating initiatory quest.

The illustrations are at the same time imprinted with immense softness and great strength. A light and delicate line pushes us sometimes to introspection, then later to embrace the sadness and anger of the one left behind. The author suggests here a wonderfully well-crafted first comic book that can only make us want to discover what she will then have to offer us.

Let’s recall that the other finalists for the Bédélys indépendant are: 

  • Respire, Rabot
  • L’interprétation des bois, Rod Legrand
  • Boumeries (volume 9), Boum
  • L’armée du Soleil (tome 1), Anouk

Bédélys independent: Stone Fruit, Lee Lai

Best self-published english-language comics created in Quebec

A fully realized, sophisticated work, Stone Fruit is an examination of the often fraught exercise of queer family-making. Playing with tone, subtext, and a precise balance of magic realism, the story follows Bron and Ray as they navigate their relationship and their biweekly play dates with Ray’s niece. There is specificity to the storytelling and universality to the feeling as we watch the tensions between biological and chosen families unfold. Lai’s work, part of an exciting and vibrant Australian new wave, is self-assured and insightful, penetrating to the heart of what brings us together and keeps us apart. The illustration style is as tender yet fierce as the love the characters have for one another. This is a first chapter that feels complete while also building anticipation for what is yet to come. We commend the artist for this early volume, and look forward to the publication of the complete Stone Fruit by Fantagraphics in 2021.

For the first time in their history, the Prix Bédélys presents an award to English-speaking Quebecers, a logical step to highlight their contribution to the 9th art.

Let’s recall that the other finalists for the Bédélys independent are: 

  • ARC Twenty-Nine, Marc Michaud
  • Paint the Town Red, Kiakas et Mukanik
  • Everything is Super, Captain Rottsteak

Bédélys Québec: Les petits garçons, Sophie Bédard 

Best French-language comic book created and published in Quebec

Five years after having us live all kinds of emotions with Glorieux Printemps, her series on the end of high school, the new comic book published by Sophie Bédard at Pow Pow Editions tackles similar themes, but in the fringe of young adults.
The jury of Bédélys Québec was delighted by the characters of Les petits Garçons and dazzled by the way they are quickly but very rightly established. Strong female protagonists with personalities that are both fair, credible and very different from each other are clearly presented by a few lines of dialogue so that we quickly focus on them, even if they remain complex and evolve over the course of the narrative. The dialogues are precisely a force: biting, funny and touching, but above all they sound real and make the whole slice of life credible and authentic. It turns out to be an uninhibited exploration of female sexuality and relationships of friendship staged in a breathtaking rhythm by which we allow ourselves to be absorbed until the end of the reading. Staging, because Sophie Bédard really masters this art not only to make characters very expressive by her trait, but also to make them live and interact in space in a dynamic way, going so far as to give the illusion that they have their own lives. Both coming from the genre of the comedy of mores and melodrama, Les Petits garçons is a unique work that can be enjoyed.

Special mention : Le Projet Shiatsung, Brigitte Archambault

This year, the jury of the Bédélys Québec choose to award a special mention to Le Projet Shiatsung by Brigitte Archambault, published by Mécanique générale.
In Le Projet Shiatsung, the reader is led to discover the way of life of a young woman without name who grew up alone in an isolated bungalow with only contact a screen named Shiatsung that supports all her needs: education, food, entertainment, while exercising close control. In this relationship with the machine, the young woman develops certain frustrations and a deep sense of loneliness that leads her to seek answers to her questions, questions that are deeply human. Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence? Am I alone? Despite this discouraging dystopian account of the future of humanity, one feels that a form of redemption is possible through nature. The members of the jury would like to emphasize the originality of this first work by the comic artist, who offers us a universe little explored in the world of Quebec comics, that of dystopia. The innovative graphic style, which goes through a dynamic layout, various typographical games, a rather technical drawing yet very focused on the body and the movement as well as clean lines, testifies to the very strong artistic personality of Archambault. This creator is undeniably an artist to watch out for and the jurors are already eager to see where she will take them in her next project.

Let’s recall that the other finalists for the Bédélys Québec are: 

  • Le Mouchequetaire, Antonin Buisson
  • Le Projet Shiatsung, Brigitte Archambault
  • Comment les paradis fiscaux ont ruiné mon petit-déjeuner, François Samson-Dunlop
  • Wendy, Walter Scott

About the 9th edition

MCAF will be held entirely online this year for 3 days, from May 22 to 24, 2020 on our website. Workshops, Q&A, panels and live drawing are just a few of the many activities planned! The festival is also proud to announce that we are officially launching the Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press, its first book will be published for the festival.

The Montreal Comic Arts Festival thanks its partners

MCAF would like to highlight the collaboration of its partners who contribute to the success of this 9th edition.

Thanks to : Patrimoine Canada; Conseil des Arts du Canada; Conseil des arts de Montréal; SODEC, Division Festivals et événements culturels de Montréal; l’Arrondissement Le-Plateau-Mont-Royal; Caisse de la culture Desjardins; Consulat général of France in Québec; l’Institut Goethe and the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques.

Our media partners : Culture Cible; La Fabrique culturelle,;  CISM 89.3, la revue PLANCHES; as well as our booktubers : Elise, from “A Book and a Cup”; Ariane, from “Miz Littérature” and Chantal, from “La Bibliothèque Jaune”.

The participation and commitment of the team, which is largely made up of volunteers, cannot be ignored, as they enthusiastically embarked on a huge project just eight weeks before the end.

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Further Information:

Quentin Hocquinghem
Communications Coordinator
(514) 649 7352