The San Diego Comic Convention is famous, but the Angouleme International Comics Festival in France is far larger. This year they honored Calvin & Hobbes’ creator Bill Watterson with their lifetime achievement award, the Angouleme Grand Prix, prompting many comic book fans to ask “Wait, you mean he didn’t already have a Nobel prize or something? He deserves at least that.

Watterson’s work with the world’s most hyperimaginative child is the kind of legacy which honors any awards smart enough to attach themselves to it, not the other way round. Any organization which wouldn’t admit that he’s crafted some of the most intelligent, energetic, and touching tributes to childhood and joy ever written is an organization which doesn’t deserve that word, because it clearly couldn’t find its own cartoon ass with a crayon.

Which is why he’s won most of them already: Reuben Awards, a couple of Eisners, Sproing and Max & Moritz and Adamson and a brace of Harveys. Even an earlier Angouleme, thought they’ve clearly decided that “Best Foreign Comic” made it sound like he was only winning a subset of comics instead of an entire artform, upping him to the big one this year. It’s an excellent tribute to a man who knew how to create — and when to stop — one of the most popular comics ever written.

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