Royal prizes for ‘Buck’ and ‘Bouvaert’
The biennial Literary Prize Prince Alexander of Belgium will this year be awarded to comic books from Flanders in both the Dutch and French language categories. The two winners received financial support from Flanders Literature in the form of a production grant.
Black humour and social critique
‘Buck’, Frederik Van den Stock’s debut (published by Oogachtend), took the Dutch-language literary prize: the jury lauded the ‘gorgeous, surprising drawings’ that make the book ‘a delight to flick through’, but also remarked on the critique of our contemporary society.
Simon Spruyt may write in Dutch, but his ‘Bouvaert’ was published by Casterman in French before the Dutch-language edition came out with Blloan. He shares the French-language prize with Vincent Zabus (‘Incroyable’). The jury describes ‘Bouvaert’ as an ‘intrinsically Belgian-Flemish work’ of ‘exceptional quality’ which subtly illuminates the relationship between art and art sponsorship.
What both books have in common is an extraordinary, at times black sense of humour, irony and social critique. And not only that: Van den Stock and Spruyt clearly had great fun making their drawings. It should come as no surprise then that ‘Buck’ and ‘Bouvaert’ were very well received in the press.
The Literary Prize Prince Alexander of Belgium
The Literary Prize Prince Alexander of Belgium was established by Princess Léa in memory of her late husband Prince Alexander, who was a keen reader of all genres. Each edition is dedicated to a different theme, with 2020 focusing on comic strips for adults. The prize money is 2,000 euro.