Comic strip: happy with a spring

Comic: Happy Spring


Two major surprises launch this most promising editorial spring: a 100% Quebec manga and the return to our shelves of Jimmy Beaulieu, a key figure in the 9e national art.

Since the publication of Roles de compositionspublished by Mécanique générale in 2016, artist-teacher-editor Jimmy Beaulieu has been busy. The one-man band of Quebec comics has produced a dozen titles in confidential print runs distributed outside the usual book network. 

Although not essential to the understanding of his “official” corpus, these fragments nicely consolidate the bases, creating in the same breath in readers the exhilarating impression of participating in a treasure hunt. Beaulieu has a unique way of making books. He chooses the assembly of sketches published in different collectives and fanzines which form a script and thematic cohesion, rather than the classic construction of a story.


The fifteen intimate stories produced over more than ten years and patiently sown to the four winds that constitute this fruitful harvest of the Garden of complexes generate a great vintage.  

“ This album is the continuation of the previous ones, both my fictions and my autobiographies. It is both an extension and a return,” explains the artist. “At the same time, Jardin des complexes could very well be the first album of a reader. ” 

Indeed, the “Beaulieuesque” mythology can be approached by any of his works, as long as we let ourselves be carried away by our feelings. 

In this new delivery, the author has fun blurring the tracks by alternating fictional and biographical sections. “When you do fiction, it's autobiography in disguise, whether it's Star Wars, the Alfred Hitchcock films or Tintin in Tibet . I am always one or two of my characters. Sometimes I want to stage it in space or at the bottom of the water. Why not. Especially since it breathes life and elements of surprise into the book.  »

Great return than that of Beaulieu, therefore, which gives us a powerful, sensitive, militant album. Because the characters – just like their creator moreover – refuse unbridled consumerism, choosing beauty instead. 

We receive this book like the embrace of the painting Date Night< /em> (1956) by the Russian painter Anatoly Kuvin, which also recalls the graphic spirit of certain passages of Everything continues, a poignant story that admirably closes our reading. We come out of this reading with our hearts fully inflated and our minds airy, like a life-saving gulp of air from the St. Lawrence River taken from the shore of Île d'Orléans. 

A 100 % fleurdelized manga 

The manga's popularity with young Quebec readers shows no signs of slowing down. On the contrary. Based on this reality, bookstores and libraries are devoting more and more floor space to it. The metropolis even has a specialized forum (the O-Taku Manga Lounge) and an annual summer event (Otakuthon) dedicated to them. 

It is in this unprecedented editorial situation that Michel Quintin editions launch Les Élus Eljun, a 100 % fleurdelized shônen by Jean-François Laliberté and Sacha Lefebvre. 

“They approached us at the 2021 Montreal Book Fair, asking if creating a manga was within our abilities. Sacha and I looked at each other, smiled and said  : Oh yes!  , says Jean-François Laliberté, who hosts the science fiction series U-Merlin< with his fellow illustrator. /em> on behalf of the same publisher and whose 5th opus is currently in the works. 

“ It was a gift, because during the pandemic I had fun changing my style and make characters in the manga style. This request could not have come at a better time,” adds Sacha Lefebvre.


Inveterate manga readers, Laliberté and Lefebvre will have taken barely two weeks to lay the foundations of their manga. “I asked Sacha what he wanted to draw… we explored mechs and science fiction with U-Merlin, now what? This is where creating a universe of heroic-fantasy with a Viking-inspired aesthetic with their developed mythology came from. » 

Eljun, the tree of life, is protected from the forces of nothingness by valiant warriors. Following a murderous attack, one of the gang activates his power of reincarnation. Result ? He becomes amnesic… and a shepherd! But the force dormant in him is reactivated a few years later when his adopted village is threatened. 

“ Our inspirations for our manga are in the classics like Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto, Demon Slayer by Koyoharu Go-touge, One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100of One. There is also the great classic, which is not a shônen, but Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo which is one of my inspirations for ALL my projects. » On the graphic side, there are hints of Fairy Tails by Hiro Mashima “There is also Yohei Takemura, the illustrator of Demon Slave, whose I always have a manga near my desk that I use as a reference, as well as Reiji Miyajima from the manga Rent-a-Girlfriend, who inspired me to change my style to the manga aesthetic during the pandemic . »

Les Élus Eljun is devoured in one gulp as the pleasure of the authors is contagious. Embracing the codes of the genre, the duo delivers a convincing first part. ” One thing is certain, we have created a universe, a sandbox large enough to have fun for a VERY VERY long time. ”  

Festival Québec BD

The Festival Québec BD is back for its 36th edition at the Salon international du livre de Québec. It welcomes more than a hundred creators of the 9th art from Quebec (Caroline Soucis, Boum, Catherine Lepage among others) and abroad (including Émile Bravo, Achdé, Jean Villemin), in addition to offering a copious program ( exhibitions, talks, workshops, shows). Québec BD is deployed in nearly 25 locations across the Old Capital. An event that takes comics out of the boxes!

♦ Quebec Comics Festival: April 12-16,