The 25th « Villa de Avilés » Comic Conference concluded yesterday with the awards ceremony. The award for the best national cartoonist went to Javier Rodríguez for « History of the Marvel Universe » and the award for best foreign cartoonist went to Andrea Sorrentino for « Gideon Falls ». « La cholera », by Santiago García, was chosen as the best national work and its author received the award for the best national screenwriter. As the best foreign work, « The States of Hysteria » by Howard Chaykin was selected.
Also, several popular awards were awarded. The one corresponding to the graphic press was for Ricardo Solís, graphic editor of LA NUEVA ESPAÑA.
Before the closing, the authors, the Galician Miguelanxo Prado and the French Antoine Ozanam and Matz, participated in colloquium talks and highlighted the importance that, despite the coronavirus, the Comic Book Days were maintained in Avilés. « We are happy that despite the current situation this event could be held, which has followed those in La Coruña, » said Miguelanxo Prado.
The author, who collaborated in the humor magazine « El Jueves », obtained international recognition after the publication of « Trazo de tiza ». In 2013 he won the National Comic Award with « Ardalén ». He is also director, since 1998, of the « Viñetas desde o Atlántico » Comic Fair in La Coruña.
« The one in Avilés is a different festival, I’ve been coming for four years and it is one of my favorites. Although it is different from other editions because the bars close at one in the morning, » Matz said. « I am happy that this festival in Avilés survives because in France most of the events related to comics have been suspended. Keeping these festivals is a gesture of resistance, » added the French author. Matz (Alexis Nolent) is the author of more than 30 comic albums.
« Comic authors have an obligation to go to festivals. In France, due to the coronavirus, only small encounters have been held. Life continues, confinement was not so difficult because I work at home, that’s the life of the authors comic « , said the French also Antoine Ozanam. The author publishes in Spain the work « Yaga » together with the Spanish Pedro Rodríguez. « It’s the story of a witch, people called her that because she lived alone in the forest. I fell in love with the character who lives in a male-dominated society, » Ozanam said. « Witches were women who did not want to marry, who had extensive knowledge of plants or who helped others to abort, » he said.
The coronavirus, at least for the moment, does not seem like a source of inspiration for the authors. « Neither the confinement nor the mask I am going to use in my works, I am not using it now. If the thing lasts for a long time, I will have no choice but to use the matter because I do realistic comics, » said Matz. The French criticized what he called « the second epidemic, cospiranoia. Those people have a biased perception of the world, the worst thing is that they believe in those theories, I can put that in my comics, » he said. And he added: « I have several jobs underway. One of the projects is to capture the time when people lived without mobile phones. »
Miquelanxo was satisfied that the Avilés Conference could be held, an appointment in which, in his opinion, « there is contact between the authors and the readers, » said the Galician. On the effects of covid-19 in Spanish society, he said: « This cannot continue like this, we have problems that are not normal, » concluded the author.