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The Sky in the Head, the tragic odyssey of a Congolese towards Europe, receives the ACBD 2024 critics’ grand prize

From the first pages of the comic, Nivek almost gets buried alive.

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The Sky in the Head, the tragic odyssey of a Congolese towards Europe, receives the ACBD 2024 critics’ grand prize

From the first pages of the comic, Nivek almost gets buried alive. Toiling in a mine in Kivu, when you are only 12 years old, is not a life. The young hero becomes a child soldier, perpetuating the atrocities of the adults. What if he tried his luck in Europe instead? Interspersed with some wonderful encounters, his journey will make him face dangers, from the jungle to the desert, to the Mediterranean Sea, a monster devouring frail boats. Will he arrive alive in Italy or Spain?

Written by Antonio Altarriba, drawn by Sergio García Sánchez, colored by Lola Moral and translated by Alexandra Carrasco, Le Ciel dans la tête, published in France by Denoël Graphic, received on Tuesday the grand prize for criticism from the Association of Critics and comic book journalists (ACBD). It follows The Color of Things by the Swiss Martin Panchaud. The association crowns a second time a screenplay by the Spanish author, grand prize 2015 for I, assassin. “Antonio Altarriba paints [...] an uncompromising portrait of the black soul of humanity,” writes the ACBD. The chaos of our world is both tempered and exaggerated by the clever plasticity of Sergio García Sánchez's drawing, which plays with perspectives and proportions, through a particularly inventive staging.

The four other finalist titles were Chumbo, by Matthias Lehmann (Casterman), Toxic Environment, by Kate Beaton (Casterman), Frontier, by Guillaume Singelin (Rue de Sèvres, Label 619), and I am their silence, by Jordi Lafebre (Dargaud ).

The ACBD 2024 critics' grand prize intends to “support and highlight, in a spirit of discovery, a comic book, published in French, with strong narrative and graphic demands, marking by its power, its originality, the novelty of his words or the means that the author deploys therein. The winners will receive their prize on Thursday January 25, 2024 at 12:30 p.m., in the lobby of the museum of the Cité Internationale de la Bande et de l'Image d'Angoulême.

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