Beaulieu, Jimmy. "Automythology." European Comic Art 5.(2012): 25–56.
Added by: joachim (11/9/12, 7:58 PM)
|Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Beaulieu2012
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Keywords: Beaulieu. Jimmy, Canada
Collection: European Comic Art
A brief historical overview considers a number of factors that were not propitious for the development of a home-grown comics culture in Quebec (notwithstanding the popularity of a few noteworthy artists) including the impossibility of competing with cheaper American production, and the ambient conservatism that dominated much of the twentieth century. Beaulieu goes on to describe the shock and excitement of his discovery in the mid-1990s of an alternative comics scene (more active in Montreal than in Quebec City), and his own involvement in it from the beginning of the twenty-first century as an artist, publisher and teacher. He offers a firsthand account of the realities of negotiating the pressures of alternative comics publishing within the two structures that he set up: Mécanique Générale and the smaller and (still) more radical Colosse. There are pleasures: the ethos of collective work, the opportunity to support up-and-coming young authors and to ensure the survival of work by an illustrious predecessor, invitations to take part in productive exchanges on a local, national and international level, and the sheer obsessive pursuit of perfectionism. But there are also frustrations: the never-ending grind of getting manuscripts ready for the printer, wearying battles with publishers’ reps, the constant need to manage the expectations of authors and the skewing of the market by competitors prepared to outsource printing to Asia. The author explains his decision finally to withdraw from his publishing commitments and to focus on his own work. His conclusion, about the future of comic production in Quebec, is, however, optimistic and devoid of cynicism.
Added by: joachim