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Wednesday, March 16, 2022 

As Ukraine faces Russia's war, some Ukrainian artists are honored at conventions

While Ukraine faces the war Russia tragically started against the country, 2 festivals, one for manga and the other for comics, have given honors to artists of Ukrainian descent. First, from The Mainichi in Japan:
A manga by two Ukrainian creators was chosen among the winners of the Japan International Manga Award, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on March 2. Although the pair cannot attend the online award ceremony on March 4 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they did send a message of thanks for the honor.

Natalia Rerekina and Gilbert Brissen were honored with a silver award for their manga "Moonchosen," a fantasy story about a young boy and a young girl who live in a village and make wishes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had informed the pair of their achievement before the end of 2021. While they had initially intended to participate in the online award ceremony, growing tensions over the situation in Ukraine led them to get in touch to say they would not be attending.
It's a shame these two couldn't attend. But the awards given in their honor are definitely something to admire. Next, from The Local's France edition, covering the Angouleme convention:
Cancelled in 2021 for public health reasons, and postponed from its usual January slot earlier this year with restrictions still firmly in place, the festival celebrating all things comic book and graphic novel – the second largest of its kind in Europe – runs from March 17th to March 20th in the Charente town.

This year, a special exhibition of works in support of Ukraine following the Russian invasion has been hastily arranged.

The opening ceremony, on the evening of March 16th, will include a performance featuring Franco-Ukrainian pianist Dimitri Naïditch that will bring together comic strip artists from 10 nations, who “will unite to propose, on a scenario by French author Alfred, a story in drawings evoking the situation in Ukraine”, organisers have said.
And they certainly do have a great idea to highlight the issue. I just hope the festival organizers will also have what it takes to put on a display of comics and cartoons about Islamic terrorism in the future. Because that's another subject that cannot be ignored at any time. Indeed, why is there no special exhibition focusing on comics about the Afghanistan fiasco, in example? Certainly, the Russian assault on Ukraine is a serious issue. But the failure to approach Islamofascism the same way is concerning, and symbolic of the continuing failure to recognize why Islamic jihadism is still a very grave topic that could also be discussed in comics (and Russia appears to be recruiting Syrians as soldiers), yet because of political correctness, it's been shut out of mainstream discussions for a long time, sadly enough.

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Since when do you care about Ukraine? I thought you hated communism-influenced countries.

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