Michel Rabagliati is a graphic novelist born and based in Montreal.
He has written several semi-autobiographical comic books featuring the life and times of a fellow named Paul. In 1999, his first publication, Paul in the Country, earned him a Harvey Award for Best New Talent.
We feel this is pretty darn neat. And we think you should meet Michel.
Who are you?
A 49-year-old guy who has lived all his life in Montreal, and who has not traveled much beyond. I like to walk, ride my bicycle and sing in choirs.
What do you do?
I’m an author and graphic novelist.
Why do you choose Montreal?
It’s a city I know in depth. I love its people, and I appreciate the sweet life that we are able to live here.
Restaurant: Laloux – French Bistro corner of Avenue des Pins and Laval Street
Book Store: Planète BD on rue Saint-Denis (they specialize in graphic novels)
Bar/Lounge: Les Bobards on rue St-Laurent (world beat music)
Festival: Festiblues – a small August music festival in the Ahuntsic neighborhood
Museum: Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Place to spot an attractive local: Parc Lafontaine in the Plateau neighborhood
Your stories revolve around a fellow named Paul – who is this “Paul” character?
Paul could be your average Quebecer. He’s a fairly neutral fellow, with whom even women can identify. Paul’s not the strongest of personalities, but he’s fascinated by life and the events that are presented to him. He is a pleasant and positive person.
If I were walking around the city, where might I bump into Paul?
Probably on Saint-Denis Street between Sherbrooke and Saint-Joseph, or in Parc Lafontaine on a bicycle, or simply curled up on the grass, reading a novel.
Any thoughts of putting the “graphic” back in graphic novels by having Paul visit a famous Montreal strip-joint for a drug-fused orgy?
A porno-graphic novel of Paul? No, I honestly don’t think that will happen for Paul. But with another fictional character… I’m not saying no!
How important is Montreal as a setting or character in your work?
Montreal is almost a secondary character in my stories. You witness the city in the streets, the buildings and the public spaces, all of which I have used to establish an intimate relationship with the reader. I need to know what I’m speaking about, and Paul is exactly this: stories drawn from real events, and from places I’ve experienced.