A Meeting of Japanese and European Manga Stars

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Sponsored by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Japan Media Arts Festival has taken place every year since 1997. In 2012, the grand prize in the manga division went to Les Cités Obscures (English title: Cities of the Fantastic) by Benoît Peeters (scenario) and François Schuiten (artwork), one of the best-known bande desssinée collaborations of recent years. The bande dessinée is a sophisticated take on the comic book that developed in France and Belgium. This was the first time the festival’s biggest prize was awarded to a non-Japanese work. Emannuel Lepage’s Muchacho also earned an Excellence Award at last year’s festival. It has been a breakthrough year for the profile of the BD artform in Japan. [Source]

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