58th edition
14-17 June 2021
Bologna
Italy

COMICS - Middle Grade

COMICS - Middle Grade

WINNER

Imbattable. Justice et légumes frais

Text and art by Pascal Jousselin
Dupuis, Belgium, 2017

What the jury said:
Imbattable may look like an average humour-comic with a clumsy superhero. In truth, Imbattable (Invincible) is the smartest and most powerful of all comic-heroes because his superpowers stem from his ability to use the visual language of comics to defeat the villains. He travels not only through time and space, but from panel to panel and page to page, sends his earlier or future self messages and even rescues himself. Pascal Jousselin is a virtuoso in the use of the visual language of comics and its self-reflexive potential. There's probably never been a comic about the language of comics as funny as Imbattable."

SPECIAL MENTION

Simon et Louise

Text and art by Max de Radiguès
Éditions Sarbacane, France, 2017

What the jury said:
“The summer holidays are about to start, and Simon discovers that he and his girlfriend will be parted. What will he do? (Answer: he will hitchhike 520 miles to find her.) Told from the points of view of both its protagonists, this is one of these stories in which nothing much happens – and yet, everything happens. In other words, it’s a story any child will relate to. It’s also a story of young love. The judges loved the story telling, and the illustrations: their warmth and exuberance." 

SPECIAL MENTION

Les Vermeilles

Text and art by Camille Jourdy
Actes Sud BD, France, 2019

What the jury said:
“The weather is wonderful, the place is nice, but the picnic with her step-family is boring – that's why Jo strays off into the nearby forest. She stumbles into an enchanted world full of happy animals and "vermeilles" (fonderwuls), where a mean cat-emperor celebrates his birthday. Camille Jourdy combines her skills as an inventive storyteller with her subtle drawings full of life and her artful use of warm watercolors to create a “fonderwul” universe, where Jo and her readers experience a wonderful initiation." 

SPECIAL MENTION

Akissi Aller-Retour

Text by Marguerite Abouet
Art by Mathieu Sapin
Gallimard Jeunesse, France, 2019 

What the jury said:
“Much like Aya, her irresistible series for older readers, Abouet returns to her own childhood in Ivory Coast, Africa, through delightful stories about a cheeky little girl. When Akissi isn’t being a pest to her older brother, she’s got to worry about the thieving neighborhood cats stealing her fish or saving her little monkey from ending up in the frying pan. Abouet is able to write scenarios in an African setting and colloquial voice that are relatable, filled with warm, humane characters that are always funny, no less because she’s paired with an artist who manages to visually convey her voice and scenarios perfectly."