The best graphic novels from Quebec (no matter what your taste)

Who am I?

I’m an American-born cartoonist who’s been living and working in Montreal since 2015. My mother is from Quebec, and when I immigrated here I was looking to reconnect with my cultural roots. Reading graphic novels from here was a huge part of how I got to know my adopted community. I might be a bit biased, but I have to say Quebec has one of the world’s most vibrant comic arts scenes; a blend of American comic books mixed with Franco-Belgian bande dessinée. With more and more graphic novels from Quebec getting translated into English you’re sure to find something you’ll dig, whether you’re looking for slice-of-life or science fiction.


I wrote...

TITAN

By François Vigneault,

Book cover of TITAN

What is my book about?

Set 200 years in the future, TITAN is a science fiction graphic novel that follows João and Phoebe, a pair of star-crossed lovers from (literally) different worlds who find themselves caught up in a burgeoning worker revolution on the moon of Titan. Together, they must find a way to pull Homestead Station back from the brink of disaster… Or Titan might be the spark that sets the entire solar system ablaze.

A thought-provoking look at love in a time of war, TITAN has received numerous award nominations. Cory Doctorow called it “a gripping, knotty, epic tale of exploitation and solidarity” and the Toronto Star proclaimed “TITAN is one of the best examples of the stellar work being produced in the Montreal comics scene.”

The books I picked & why

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This Woman's Work

By Julie Delporte,

Book cover of This Woman's Work

Why this book?

This raw, experimental, poetic, and challenging graphic memoir began as an exploration of the work of artist/writer Tove Jannson (the creator of the Moomin novels and comics), but Julie Delporte goes well beyond the confines of criticism or biography to examine deep and difficult questions of gender and the challenge of creating a space to exist as a woman in a world haunted by the legacy of traumas past and present. Delporte’s colored pencil artwork is disarming in its beauty and simplicity, and her spare, intimate insights will stay with you for years to come. An essential read for our times.


Nuclear Winter Vol. 1

By Cab,

Book cover of Nuclear Winter Vol. 1

Why this book?

What’s worse than a Montreal winter? How about four straight years of Montreal winter! While a nuclear power plant melting down and blanketing the metropolis with irradiated snow might seem like a horrible situation, Cab plays this apocalypse for laughs. Gertrude, a superhumanly-strong, snowmobile-piloting delivery driver, has to face off against irradiated beasts, gargantuan snowflakes, and even the withering scorn of fashionable Mile End hipsters. Maniacally creative and drawn with a light touch.


The Pineapples of Wrath

By Cathon (illustrator),

Book cover of The Pineapples of Wrath

Why this book?

If, like the charming heroine of this laugh-out-loud comic, you are obsessed with murder mysteries and true-crime tales, you’re sure to be delighted by this winking pastiche of the detective novel. Set in the (very fictional and completely absurd) Hawaiian Quarter of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, The Pineapples of Wrath follows Marie-Plum Porter, bartender at a tiki lounge and intrepid amateur gumshoe, as she investigates the mysterious death of a local limbo champion. Not only is this book full to the brim with kitschy jokes and clever allusions, it also manages to be a totally satisfying mystery that kept me guessing all the way to the last page!


My New York Diary

By Julie Doucet,

Book cover of My New York Diary

Why this book?

This slim but dense book chronicles the ups and (mostly) downs of a young woman’s life in Montréal and New York in the 80s and early 90s, a scuzzy time capsule full of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Doucet’s maximalist, punk-inflected art packs each and every claustrophobic panel to bursting, a perfect fit for this tale of a suffocating, toxic relationship playing out in the shadow of the Cold War. It’s no exaggeration to say that Doucet, who recently won the Angouléme Festival's Grand Prix, is one of the most important figures in modern comics, she was one of the first women to break into the boys’ club of the alt comix scene and rewrote the rules of the medium. She remains not only a giant in the history of Quebec comics but of the entire graphic novel art form.


The Song of Roland

By Michel Rabagliati,

Book cover of The Song of Roland

Why this book?

No list of Quebecois graphic novels would be complete without an entry from Michel Rabagliati’s excellent Paul series, which is a beloved publishing phenomenon in the province. In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with any of his books, each volume in Rabagliati’s semi-autobiographical series offers a discrete tale of a different moment in his alter-ego Paul’s life, from light childhood adventures through very intense stories of middle age, so you can easily pick up any of them and go from there. This emotionally rich stand-alone volume (the basis of the 2015 film Paul à Québec) explores the life and death of the protagonist’s gruff father-in-law and is a deep exploration of family, history, and legacy that is truly moving.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in comics, Quebec, and Montreal?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about comics, Quebec, and Montreal.

Comics Explore 110 books about comics
Quebec Explore 18 books about Quebec
Montreal Explore 13 books about Montreal

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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