France, Jan. 26 -- The 50th Angouleme International Comics Festival, held every year in south-western France, was officially inaugurated on Wednesday with a ceremony to grant the coveted Grand Prix d'Angouleme. This year's award for career excellence went to Franco-Syrian author Riad Sattouf.

"I am deeply honoured and moved," Sattouf said upon accepting his award. "It's the centrepiece that was missing at the top of my ego pyramid."

Sattouf was up against two other candidates nominated by peers for the Grand Prize this year: the American writer Alison Bechdel and French writer and illustrator Catherine Meurisse.

Wednesday's opening ceremony was attended by French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak and 2022 Grand Prize winner Canadian wr...