“The Property,” a graphic novel written and illustrated by Rutu Modan, has won an award for excellence at the International Comics Festival in Angouleme, France. The festival, which took place last weekend, is the most important comics festival in Europe and one of the most important in the world.
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“The Property” was chosen by Amazon as one of the best graphic novels of 2013. In the story, a grandmother who fled Poland during World War II returns to Warsaw with her granddaughter to reclaim property that had belonged to her family.
Modan, who was born in 1966, is one of Israel’s top illustrators and comic-book artists. She graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 1992.
For 20 years she has taught illustration and comic-book art, and since 2008 she has worked as a senior lecturer in Bezalel’s Visual Communications Department. In 1995, Modan established the alternative-comics group Actus Tragicus with Yirmi Pinkus to publish their work.
Since then, Modan has penned both graphic novels for adults and illustrations for children. She has won a raft of awards including the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration from the International Board on Books for Young People. She’s also a four-time winner of the Israel Museum Ben-Yitzhak Award for illustrating children’s books.
Like “The Property,” two of Modan’s previous works — the graphic novel “Exit Wounds” and the children’s book “Maya Makes a Mess” — have won particularly high praise from both critics and readers and have been translated into many languages.
“I love books. I love them as physical objects,” Modan told Haaretz when she founded Noah’s Library, a publishing house for children’s books. “The feeling of holding a book in your hand, turning the pages, is essential to the medium. It’s part of storytelling, and since it’s the form I want to work in, I create books.”