Lakes International Comic Art Festival and VIP Brands Ltd. launch 2024 “Sophie Castille Award – English” for Comics in Translation

VIP Brands Ltd. has announced the 2024 Sophie Castille Award – English, this year’s award to again be presented in partnership with Comica and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, at the Festival’s annual event in Bowness-on-Windermere this autumn, taking place Saturday 28th September – Sunday 29th September.

The Sophie Castille Awards for Comics in Translation are for the best translation of graphic novels into a variety of languages around the world.

Launched last year, the Sophie Castille Award – English is an award for the best translation of a non-English graphic novel into English, a project initiated by VIP Brands Ltd., in partnership with Comica and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Michele Hutchison was announced as the winner of the inaugural Awards at last year's Festival, for her translation of The Philosopher, The Dog and the Wedding by Barbara Stok, published in English by SelfMadeHero.

Now, publishers around the world are again being invited to submit for consideration graphic novels they have published that are translations of works into English.

These awards have been created in honour of Sophie Castille, international rights director and V. P. of licensing for Mediatoon, cofounder and director of Europe Comics, who died unexpectedly in 2022. Since the late 1990s, Sophie built bridges for bandes dessinées and their authors, out of France and around the world. She was a constant source of creativity, motivating publishers from throughout the world and encouraging them to exchange ideas and, as a result, became a key figure in the growth of translation of comics and graphic novels around the world.

The goal is to have these awards in as many countries in the world as possible. Since the Award was launched in the UK last year, other countries have launched their own iterations. Most recently, in Spain, Comic Barcelona announced their nominees for the SCA. You can read their announcement here. For Italy, Napoli Comicon will announce the winner of their awards later this month. You can read their announcement here. In Poland, the Lodz Comics Festival will host their inaugural awards at their annual event in early September, and an awards programme will also be announced soon for publishers in Slovenia, in partnership with Tinta Festival Slovenia.

The UK jury will again be comprised of three judges: Karen Green, Curator for Comics and Cartoons, Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library; comic creator and former British Comics Laurate, Charlie Adlard, who has been an advocate for the translation of world comics into English for many years; and former TV producer, Peter Kessler MBE, Chair of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Comics and graphic novels, considered in France as The Ninth Art, are a diverse and dynamic international medium that are growing in popularity every year and are loved the world over. Spreading these works internationally through translation is a way to bring the world together.

With comics in translation becoming an important influence in the publishing world, VIP Brands Ltd, Comica and LICAF have decided to honour Sophie’s memory and continue her work to promote comics in translation around the world with these new Awards.

"The Sophie Castille Awards are global awards to recognise the work of translators in the medium,' explains Ivanka Hahnenberger, General Manager of VIP Brands, "as well as to highlight the importance of the work of translation in the world of comics, recognising the skill and dedication of those who contribute significantly to the dissemination and understanding of comics around the world which was very important to Sophie Castille."

This year’s Sophie Castille Award – English prize will be awarded at the Lakes International Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere over its Festival weekend, 28th - 29th September 2024.

The Entry Form for this year’s Sophie Castille Award can be downloaded here, from the Lakes International Comic Art Festival web site