[bientôt en français]
Québec’s 2012 student strike became an important protest movement such that it occupied a daily space on the front page of daily newspapers, was a regular segment on evening newscasts and was the subject of hundreds of editorial cartoons in local, regional and national newspapers.
Several comics were created by many of Québec’s talented pool of comics artists. La Boite à Bulle published the book Je me souviendrai in August 2012 by a collective of comics artists. At the launch, phlppgrrd was also launching his Marveille comix – Passionrougeman. An exhibit of the comics from the book was held from April 8-19, 2013 at Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. It included digital prints and original artwork published in the book. A print version of the final edition of Manif de bonhommes was featured at the exhibit. An on-the-streets comic I once saw exhibited measured an estimated 36 feet in length. A digital comic of more than 100 comic protestors — some of which are animated — was created by a collective of dozens of Québec comics artists. This mass demonstration marches in support of accessible education and against tuition increases, among other incantations. Twenty-four pages of the now 33-page webcomic by Antoine Corriveau was published in the Boite à Bulles book. The autobiography, On est + que 50 begins on May 20, 2012 with an inspiration to take up the drawing pen and make a comic of Québec’s political climate. It ends on page 33 (singed January 10, 2013) with a word of thanks to student demonstrators who awoken him from political slumber, from which he claims to never want to return.
It is hosted on the aencre website, which seems to be Vincent Giard‘s personal blog that leads to part of Montréal’s wider comic artist community through its workshops with la Maison de la bande dessinée de Montréal. This loose collective were particularly active during the student strike and also produced the didactic comic, La hausse en questions: 8 arguments illustrés by fifteen artists and published on the aencre site that is based on the explanatory document created by the Institut de recherche et d’information socio-economiques (IRIS): research and comics are rarely so well matched. A second publication that a collective affiliated with aencre and for IRIS is Point de fuite au Sommet, a five-day comic blog about the Summit on Higher Education or otherwise known as the Summit of Tuition Indexation. Another publication they produced is Dépasser la ligne (Pass the line), which includes a poster by Clément de Gaulejac (whose prolific poster production during the strike is well documented in the poster archive) and Jimmy Beaulieu (whose concluding comic panel in this zine was a t-shirt print often worn during the hundreds of demonstrations and was sold by Mister Dress Up among other t-shirts to raise funds for Juripop to defend those arrested during the strike. Nicolas Lachapelle, whose blog’s subdomaine is within the aencre website, published his Dérives no.2, with its fictional musings on police brutality during the street protests and the effect it might have on our own subconscious. Many of the images are present on his blog.
Among my favourites is the 40-page should-be-classic, Schtroumpfs ! Unis ! Jamais ne seront vaincus !. This fictionalized documentary comic book of the printemps érable is a retelling written and drawn as the ‘crisis’ evolved. It has all the requisit characters from recent history: L’oie spéciale, Bananaschtrxxmpf, Cracourschene, Gargacharest, Azraline, the Rabbit Schtrewmpfs and even anarschtrxxmpfs have a role in the story. To read. Absolutly. It’s online presence was removed due to copyright pressure but once it is relocated on the web, a new link will be added here.
A European collaborative comic, Web Trip, has ten episodes each of which is written and drawn by a different comics artist. Episode 10 is written by Montréal-based comic artist, Jimmy Beaulieu and brings the Québec student strike into the story and to an international audience with Carré rouge. I recently found the blog Carnet de Martin PM that is filled with comics including a series inspired by the student strike.
If you’ve made a comic related to the “printemps érable” that is not featured here, please let me know so I can add it to the archive.