Kennedy, Harriet: "Sorcerers and supreme chiefs. René Lévesque and Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the Bojoual Le Huron Kébékois series." In: Studies in Comics 7.1 (2016), S. 73–98.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Kennedy2016
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Keywords: "Bojoual le huron-kébékois", Canada, Guilemay. J., Lemay. Jean-Guy, Politics
Collection: Studies in Comics
The 1970s in Quebec is often referred to as the Springtime of Québécois Bande Dessinée. Following the so-called Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, a period of intense social change and modernization, the decade saw Québécois creators and publishers seek to create a distinctly Québécois incarnation of the Bande Dessinée form. Groups of creators sprang up throughout the province and publishers sought Québécois creators to help them capture for themselves contemporary interest in imported titles. Bojoual le Huron Kébékois (1973) by J. Guilemay is a Québécois version of Astérix that attempts to use the form, style and content of Goscinny and Uderzo’s albums to make something that is at once familiar to a reader of comics but also distinctly Québécois in tone. Populated by characters inspired by contemporary political figures such as Jean Drapeau, hapless Mayor of Montreal, these albums give insights not only in the development of the BD form in Quebec but also the contemporary political situation. This article will address Guilemay’s depictions of René Lévesque, leader of the pro-independence Parti Québécois and Pierre Elliott Trudeau. It will also address why their appearance in this BD aimed at a young audience is so significant for the contemporary political situation. Following their victory in the 1976 provincial elections the Parti Québécois became a crucial voice of opposition within the province. A referendum on Quebec sovereignty became inevitable and so Trudeau and Lévesque were positioned in opposition to one another as assumed leaders of the Yes and No campaigns. This relationship was echoed in the comics produced before and during the referendum campaign and this paper will explore the significance of these comics and the depictions of Trudeau and Lévesque via a close reading of the three Bojoual albums and the political background to their production.
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