FRANCE | Katsuhiro Otomo, the legendary author of Akira, presents his poster for the Angoulême International Comics Festival 2016. Set in Ancient Asia, he has made a beautiful wash illustration that combines artistic influences from Japanese classical painting, yet also winks at today’s comics’ pop culture, of which, his work too, has become symbol.
Can you find the secrets within the picture?
Tributes in the poster include: ArZach on his flying pterodactyl by Moebius; a giant TIntin in the distance; as well as smoking factories, and the red bicycle from Akira, and perhaps is that the artist himself drawing beneath a shelter. Click on the image to see an enlargement.
In January 2015, Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of manga Akira, became the first Japanese author to win the Grand Prix of Angoulême.
Le Fauve D’Or is the most prestigious award of the Angoulême Festival and over the years many noted and esteemed authors have been honoured for their contribution to Comics culture.
The Hall of Fame of the Fauve D’Or has included: Bill Watterson, Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, José Muñoz, and Hugo Pratt.
Those whose works, like Katsuhiro Otomo, were a landmark in the History of Comics Art.
There are many other noted creators in the festival’s 43-year history. No-one British has yet received this honour.
It is a tradition of the festival that the winner of the Grand Prix creates a signature poster for the festival the following year.
Meet Katsuhiro Otomo!
The Japanese Master will be the Guest of Honour at a special event where he will tell in detail of how he conceived and developed Akira.
For many Akira is a graphic novel that has grown to symbolise the epitome of manga and animé.
Presented at the Theatre of Angoulême, and enhanced by an audio-visual setting of Otomo’s universe, the event will last for two hours.
It promises to be a meaningful moment—in the presence of a legend of modern manga.
To mark his gratitude to everyone, Katsuhiro Otomo will enrich this event with an exclusive surprise.
There will also be an exhibition paying tribute to the work of Otomo.
Forty cartoonists will pay tribute with an original work inspired by Otomo and his work. These works will appear in an anthology collection published by Glénat.
The Dates for these events are yet to be announced.
The Angoulême Festival of Comics 2016 blazes with sparklers from 28 January to 31 January 2016.
Illustration: A detail from the poster by Katsuhiro Otomo for the Angoulême Festival 2016.