Sex and Death in Quebec

Female AutobioBD and Julie Doucet's Changements d'adresses

in European Comic Art
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  • 1 University of London Institute in Paris catriona.macleod@ulip.lon.ac.uk
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In comparison to the U.S. market, the trend for autobiographical sequential art arrived late within the history of the francophone bande dessinée. Its rising popularity throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium coincided, and to an extent connected, with another belated development in the French-language industry however: that of the growing presence of the female artist. This article considers the strong presence of life narratives in bandes dessinées created by women, before presenting a case-study examining the manipulation of the medium to an autobiographical end in Québécoise artist Julie Doucet's 1998 Changements d'adresses ['Changes of Addresses']. It considers how, in this coming-of-age narrative set first in Montreal and then New York, Doucet utilises the formal specificity of the bande dessinée to emphasise both the fragmentation and then reintegration of her hybrid enunciating instances. It further examines Doucet's usage of the life-narrative bande dessinée to oppose her representation from that of the disruptive male figures in her life, whose sexual presence in her personal evolution is often connected to images of dysfunction and death, finally suggesting via this examination of Julie Doucet and Changements d'adresses the particular suitability of female-created life narratives to feminist reappropriations of the francophone bande dessinée.

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