Here at Channel Frederator headquarters, we consider Cartoonist of the Year to be our most prestigious award. This award goes to the one person in cartoons who has made the biggest impact on the industry. We ask for input from all of our viewers, then argue fiercely about it here at Channel Frederator headquarters. This year was tough. We had a few great suggestions. In the end, however, we really thought that Marjane Satrapi, creator behind Persepolis, truly deserved this award. Eric Homan, Channel Frederator’s President of Programming, wrote a great tribute to Marjane for the Channel Frederator Awards program, so I’ll leave it to him! - Carrie
When we created the Cartoonist of the Year category for last year’s inaugural Channel Frederator Awards, we decided the honor would go to the person who brought the most attention to the world of animation in recent months. Choosing our first recipient, John Lasseter, was an easy call. Even easier was choosing this year’s winner, Marjane Satrapi.
Ms Satrapi, who co-directed and co-wrote Persepolis with Vincent Paronnaud, based the movie on her own autobiographical graphic novels. By making the film, she’s given the average American adult audience everything it craves in its movie-going experience – a French, hand-drawn, mainly black and white, exceedingly 2D, coming of age story of a rebellious Iranian girl set in Tehran and Vienna.
Seriously, the fact that Persepolis has resonated with so many people in spite of (because of?) its perceived commercial drawbacks makes a mighty argument for there being a marketplace in the U.S. for animation geared toward adults (although older kids have enjoyed the movie just as well). Plus, it didn’t hurt that every time we turned around in past year the film was getting some sort of award and nomination, like from the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and the BFI Awards. Marjane can now add Channel Frederator Cartoonist of the Year to her many well-deserved accolades.
Finally, it hasn’t been lost on us that, when it comes down to it, the thing we and audiences around the world best love about Persepolis is Marjane, the animated character. So, in a way, making Marjane, the filmmaker, our Cartoonist of the Year is a way to recognize not only her achievements but also herself in a much greater sense.
Thanks, Marjane, not only for the wonderful film, but also for getting folks to pay attention to animation in ways they may not have before.
- by Eric Homan, Channel Frederator’s President of Programming