In Montreal, a large community of artists, both French and English, has emerged at the forefront of a graphic narrative movement, after twenty years of struggle. Perhaps it is the unique position of the city, influenced by both European and North American styles, which has made some of these artists internationally recognized. Some European publications have had completely “Montreal” issues featuring many of these artists: StripBurger from Slovenia and Ferraille from France to name but two.
Cyclops is the work of twenty-five highly prolific, award-winning, mature Canadian artists. Consisting of longer graphic narratives the book allows these artists room to express themselves within a medium which fuses the form of the graphic narrative with the conventions of the short story. The stories relate to the human condition and are told through a variety of approaches including humour, autobiography, poetry, philosophy, legend and myth. Some of these artists are well known in North America as well: Tessier and Lafleur released the Fantagraphics title Theatre of Cruelty; Harvey award winner Michel Rabagliati has had work appear in the Drawn and Quarterly anthologies; Bernie Mireault is featured in the Blair Witch Chronicles; Marc Bell’s strips are syndicated across the country and Highwater is releasing his Shrimpy & Paul book; Bottenberg is also the Montreal Mirror’s music editor; but for most of the French artists this book will be the first showcasing of their work in English. Cyclops is the English version of the popular and critically-acclaimed series of Cyclopes books which have represented Quebec culture abroad. Publishing their innovative work in translation will finally provide an opportunity for these artists to be appreciated in the rest of North America.
THE ARTISTS: Michel Rabagliati, Siris, Line Gamache, Marc Bell, Peter Thompson, Alain Reno, Stéphane Olivier and Gilles Boulerice, Marc Richard, Marc Tessier, Bernie Mireault, Caro Caron, Jimmy Beaulieu, Phil Angers, Richard Suicide, Leif Tand, Rupert Bottenberg, Carlos Santos, Obom, Jean-Pierre Chansigaud, Jean-Claude Amyot, Philippe Girard, Hélène Brosseau, Billy Mavreas, and Alexandre Lafleur.