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Julie Doucet

Biography

( back )

Julie's website.

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 than 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 than one child who reached for her brightly coloured covers. "Plotte" is French for cunt; Dirty Plotte is a frank, funny, and sometimes shocking melange of dreams, diaries and stories that Entertainment Weekly called "id with an ink bottle."

The series started as a mini comic in 1987, something Julie was inspired to do on the side while at art school in Montreal. She had begun reading comics again while studying, something she hadn't done since childhood. Now she was reading French cartoonist F'murr and "pirated" R. Crumb. By 1989 Julie appeared for the first time in the American anthology Heck! Comic Art of the Late 1980's 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; her work has been stopped by Customs more than once.)

For Julie, the 1990s were characterized 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 My 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, deciding to concentrate on different art forms. From these experiments emerged the breathtaking collection of engravings and prints, Long Time Relationship, published by D+Q in 2001. Among the pages is 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 comics format when she produced a strip, for a Montreal weekly paper, called The Madame Paul Affair: a hilarious 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.

In 2006, D+Q published a reworked version of her dream journals in a new edition of My Most Secret Desire. The following year, her visual journal chronicling her life from November 2002 to November 2003 was painstakingly translated to English, re-lettered, and published as 365 Days.

Julie is active in the local arts community of Montreal and a visitor is just as likely to find her work hanging in a community gallery as in any of the international exhibitions she has taken part in around the world. Her post-comics artwork includes linocuts, collage and papier-m�ch� sculpture.


"Julie Doucet is a conceptual artist trapped in a cartoonist's body... finding fresh ways to channel her creative eruptions onto paper." --The Village Voice

"Like many of her alt-comics contemporaries, Doucet eradicates any uppity delineation between art and comics." --Bust Magazine

"Entertaining lessons from the dark side of the brain."--Artforum

"Doucet's artwork bursts with a passion for life...the dense, twisting art has a dreamlike innocence that is almost hypnotic." --LA Weekly

"Unsettling, funny, and on the cutting edge." --Entertainment Weekly

"A widely admired young cartoonist." --The New York Times

"Doucet has sweetness and daring, and a self-destructive melancholy no male cartoonist has come close to capturing." --The Village Voice

"Julie Doucet sketches ferocious female sexuality in Dirty Plotte." --LA New Times

"...spunky and smart, Doucet stands out for her engaging combination of a cartoonish style and frank realism." --Kirkus Reviews

"Full of their author's most intimate and painful moments, Doucet's comics bring a depth of humanity and a deadpan humor to a succession of personal tragedies." --Publishers Weekly

"...a dramatic roller-coaster ride...My New York Diary lures you in like a cut in the mouth." --Chicago New City

"A dense, evocative landscape of dreams, fantasies and memories that hits like a tidal wave. See it to believe it." --Philadelphia Weekly

"A very funny mix of reminiscences and dreams, written in exuberant, slightly dented French-inflected English." --Ms Magazine

"For Doucet, the language and logic of dreams serve her purpose, which is to peel away the skin of the stories we like to tell ourselves and uncover the jumble of secrets underneath." --Utne Reader


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