JULIE DOUCET

 

Page from "New York Diary," 1996
Ink on paper
8 1/2" x 13"

Page from "New York Diary," 1996
Ink on paper
8 1/2" x 13"

Page from "New York Diary," 1996
Ink on paper
8 1/2" x 13"

Page from "New York Diary," 1996
Ink on paper
8 1/2" x 13"

Page from "New York Diary," 1996
Ink on paper
8 1/2" x 13"

Page from "An Happy Ending Nightmare," 1990
Ink on paper
7 5/8" x 10 3/8"

Page from "An Happy Ending Nightmare," 1990
Ink on paper
7 5/8" x 10 3/8"

Page from "An Happy Ending Nightmare," 1990
Ink on paper
7 5/8" x 10 3/8"

"Interlude," 1991
Ink on paper
7 5/8" x 10 3/8"

 

Julie Doucet was born on the very last day of the year in 1965, which means she was the youngest girl in any of her classes at the all-girl Catholic high school she went to in the Montreal suburb of St. Lambert. Maybe it was being a catholic schoolgirl that gave her a rebellious streak, but Julie has probably given gray hairs to more then one person, as anyone who is familiar with her books and comics would attest. Her comic book Dirty Plotte has had to be ripped from the hands of more then one child who reached for her brightly coloured covers. What lies between the covers would make most parents cry.

Plotte is French for cunt and Dirty Plotte is a frank, funny, and sometimes shocking melange of dreams, diaries and stories that that Entertainment Weekly called "id with an ink bottle".

It started as a mini comic in 1987, something Julie was inspired to do on side while at art school in Montreal. She had begun reading comics again while studying, something she hadn’t done since childhood—but now she was reading French cartoonist F'murr and "pirated" R. Crumb. By 1989 Julie appeared for the first time in a the Heck-published American anthology Comic art of the late 1980s and the next year Julie began publishing Dirty Plotte as a regular comic book series with Drawn & Quarterly.

Julie had clearly touched a nerve with her confrontational and controversial work and she won Best New Talent at the 1991 Harvey Awards. (The attention she received could be negative too. Julie’s work has been stopped by the notoriously prudish Canada Customs more then once.) 1991 was an important one for Julie.

The 1990s were characterized for Julie by a series of moves around the world that marked new changes and directions in her development. In 1991 Julie moved to New York City and captured the unsettling and difficult period in her Firecracker award winning graphic novel New York Diary published in 1999.

The next year she moved to Seattle just as that city had the hot media glare turned on its thriving artistic communities and her first collection of strips was published by Drawn & Quarterly as Lift Your Leg, My Fish Is Dead!

In 1995 Julie left Seattle for Berlin while D&Q published her second strip collection My Most Secret Desire. In 1998 Julie moved back to Montreal and issued a well-publicized farewell to comics with the last issue (#12) of Dirty Plotte. She decided to concentrate on different forms of non-narrative art. From these experiments emerged the breathtaking collection of engravings and prints Long term Relationship published by D&Q in 2001. Among the work are a series of engravings based on a bag of photographs Julie found in a dumpster in Berlin.

But it wasn’t long before Julie was drawn back to the comic format when she produced a strip, for a Montreal weekly, called The Madame Paul Affair, a hilarious (and typical) story about the odd characters and mishaps that accompany urban living in Montreal. D&Q published the graphic novella of The Madame Paul Affair in 2000.

Julie is active in the local arts community of Montreal and a visitor is just as likely to find her work hanging in a communitaire galerie as in any of the international exhibitions she has taken part in around the world.

copyright ©2006 drawn & quarterly

 

other work by Julie Doucet