Leo, the cyclops quebec the most popular, is 18 years old. Straight out of the imagination of Annie Groovie, the funny character continues to be fun in books, on tv, on the web and through applications. “He has not aged; it is the same little man,” laughs the author and illustrator.
The direction of the punch
The key to the success of Leo passes inevitably by its humour and brevity. After 12 years working in the advertising agency Cossette, Annie Groovie has been able to create a boy of the most dynamic that goes straight to the point and surprises.
“I learned the meaning of the punch in a pub because it is a short story”, she explains.
At 50 years old, the artist still love to create little stories. For her as a character, it looks like everything is inspiring and possible.
“I was at the mini-putt, to the famous field with the two large bumps, and the hole in the middle,” she recalls. Either it goes straight or it doesn’t pass the first bump, because this is not strong enough. (…) I said to myself that I could take the field and shake to remove the two bumps and it became a story of Léon.”
Black and white
The tour de force to reach as many children over a period of time as extended, Leo succeeds in black and white. In his books, Annie Groovie added touches of colour, but on the small screen, she has kept the aesthetic characteristic of his universe.
“I’m from the era of The Linea. It is a line, but I was “taped” on my tv. I grew up when there was not a lot of emissions with full of colors. It was still simple. My character is in black and white; what I love about it is that it is uncluttered, it breathes. Even when I was little, I didn’t color in my drawings, it attacked me, it was too loaded. It seems that I could not see a thing.”
The years have passed, and the adventures themselves are diverse, with long stories, in particular. Driven by the desire to change Leo, his “mom” wants, above all, avoid distorting it.
“Leo has an eye, he will not have two. I am trying to evolve while remaining to him. But this is not easy. […] It is hard to say that we are going to go completely elsewhere with Leon. There are some who say : “there will he a new character?” But it’s been years that they are three [Leon, Lola and the Cat, editor’s NOTE], that it is a small clan closed. If there is a third, I need to integrate it and it will change everything…”
One thing is for sure: Annie Groovie never loses sight of the path that must borrow his hero. “Leo, it’s me. […] I know him so well, it is as if he was my son. I know it by heart; I know what he would do and would not do. It is natural.”
– Two capsules of Leon are broadcast every morning on ICI Radio-Canada Télé.