After initially announcing he would decline the Angoulême International Comics Festival’s Grand Prix Award, Jeremiah creator Hermann has reluctantly altered his position.
"Under friendly but insistent pressure from publishers, fans and colleagues who don't understand his position, Hermann changed his mind and seems now to accept the Grand Prix if he eventually wins it," reads a statement posted this morning on the Belgian cartoonist's official Facebook page.
Hermann, Watchmen writer Alan Moore and Akira artist Katsuhiro Otomo were revealed Monday as the finalists for the Grand Prix, the festival's highest honor, presented annually to a living comics creator. Moore and Otomo were also nominated last year, but the former announced he would decline the prize if selected. Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson was instead honored in 2014.
As it seems unlikely Moore will change his position, Hermann's withdrawal would have cleared the way for Otomo to become the first Japanese artist to win the Grand Prix (Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump creator Akira Toriyama was awarded a special Grand Prix in 2013 recognizing his 40-year career; Dutch cartoonist Willem received the top prize that year).
The winner, who traditionally serves as president of the jury for the following year's festival, will be announced Jan. 31 at Angoulême.