Sala’s THE WEIGHT OF HEROES and Rochette’s THE LAST QUEEN are joint ELLE Graphic Novel Award winners

Winner of the second annual Grand Prix de la BD award of the women’s lifestyle magazine ELLE [Comics Grand Prize] was announced in Paris last week, and it was revealed that the jury of twenty-five had come away with a tie: David Sala‘with Le poids des héros [tr. ‘The Weight of Heroes‘] and Jean Marc Rochette‘with La dernière reine [tr: ‘The Last Queen‘] – both published by Casterman. Of the two winners, Rochette entered the official selection of Angoulême 2023.

The ELLE Grand Prix de la BD started last year, and the debut winner was Corinne Rey/Coco’s recovery story for Charlie Hebdo Designer encore [tr. ‘Drawing Again‘]. Fifteen graphic novels are selected by ELLE, from which a jury of twenty-five readers then votes on the winner.

In the shortlist of fifteen books for this year’s award, two books of English origin appeared – French editions Alison Bechdel‘with The secret of superhuman strength (Le secret de la force surhumaine from Denoël Graphic) and Jennifer Hayden‘with The story of my tits (Nénés chéris from La Cité graphique).

Translated by DeepL:

“On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the second annual Elle Grand Prix de la BD took place at the Publicis drugstore on the Champs-Élysées. After religiously devouring the fifteen books in the competition, our jury of twenty-five readers chose not one but two joint winners! This year’s winners are: “Le poids des héros”, David Sala (Casterman) and “La dernière reine”, Jean-Marc Rochette (Casterman). The authors received their trophies from the hands of the 2021 winner, Coco, for “Dessiner Encore” (Les Arènes BD).”

Joint winning books (with synopses translated to DeepL)

Le poids des héros [tr. ‘The Weight of Heroes‘] , David Sala (Casterman)

Translated synopsis:

“IN Le Poids des héros, David Sala traces his early personal trajectory marked by the characters of his grandfathers’ mentors, war heroes and resistance fighters. Invoking his point of view as a little boy, he immerses us in a magnificent and rich exploration of childhood and youth. Using imagination allows us to approach dark areas and flaws from a safe distance, while recomposing for the reader a universal path of learning and transmission. Not forgetting the timeless taste of bicycle racing, the discovery of the first American rap songs, the first times of artistic initiation at the school of Emile Cohl.”

La dernière reine [tr: ‘The Last Queen‘], Jean Marc Rochette (Casterman)

Translated synopsis:

“A man scarred from the battles of the First World War, Edouard Roux finds refuge in the studio of animal sculptor Jeanne Sauvage. She gives him a face and introduces him to the artists of Montmartre. In exchange, Édouard introduces her to the magnificence of the Vercors Plateau and the story of the last bear he saw killed as a child. In the heart of the Cirque d’Archiana, he reveals the Last Queen to her and encourages Jeanne to create a masterpiece that will glorify her.

“In the spirit of the great serial novels of the 19th century, The Last Queen crosses the fates of the last bear of the Vercors and Edouard Roux, the broken face of World War II.

“As in Le Loup, man and animal face each other in a powerful story, mixing environmental issues, feminism, love story and art history.”

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