Paul Joins the Scouts
Translation by Helge Dascher
ISBN 1-894994-69-8 / 978-1-894994-69-9
172 pages, 7.5×10 inches
black and white, $20
Winner of the Doug Wright Award for Best Book, 2014
Following on the heels of the The Song of Roland, Montrealer Michel Rabagliati returns to the childhood story of his famous semi-autobiographical character. It’s 1970 and Paul’s family watches the news with anxiety as bombs are going off around Montreal. But Paul is more interested in flying his kite, comics, and his first kiss. Soon Paul joins the Scouts and heads off to camp. Away from his parents and extended family he discovers self worth in a troop of like-minded and enthusiastic boys. Things take a turn, however, when the troop gets mixed up in the terrifying events of the FLQ crisis. Paul Joins the Scouts is a coming of age story which takes an historical approach to both the Baden Powell scouting movement and the October Crisis, but humanizes these incidents for both a YA and adult audience. It is original, sincere, captivating, and a little bit retro.
“Rabagliati’s work short-circuits all expectations, using a familiar style to confront difficult subjects with candour and bracing innocence.” — Globe and Mail
“His European-style cartooning is clean and deceptively loose, but it remains deeply expressive without one line wasted. Paul’s coming-of-age story, along with the lovingly rendered scout-camp scenes, are sure to have wide appeal among adults and teen readers.” — Booklist
“The Paul series is destined for a larger audience beyond the graphic novel world.”
— North Adams Transcript
The French edition, Paul au Parc, sold incredibly well and was critically hailed, nominated for the youth award at the Angouleme Festival 2012, a Shuster Award, and for a Friends of the Library Award in Montreal.
The Toronto Star has an excellent video of Rabagliati detailing his creative process.
Michel Rabagliati was born in 1961 in Montreal, where he grew up in the Rosemont neighbourhood. Having developed an interest in typography, he studied graphic design and in 1988 moved into freelance illustration. Since 1998, his graphic novels have revolutionized the comic-book art form in Quebec. With his six books, Michel Rabagliati has become an essential figure in the comics scene of Quebec. In April 2005, he was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville de Québec, care of the Festival de BD de Québec, and was selected as a Personality of the Week by the daily newspaper La Presse. In 2007, Rabagliati’s body of work to date earned a Special Mention from the Prix des libraires du Québec.