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Julien Dallaire Charest

devotes himself full-time to illustration, comics and rock'n'roll. He produces comic book interviews for the record store Knock-Out and designs covers for children's novels (L'abomination du Lac Crystal). Active both in collectives and in self-publishing (Copinet Copinot, Serge, Pogneurs de spectres), he is currently working on a solo comic album while engaging actively in the cultural scene of Quebec City.

Julien Dallaire Charest© Julien Dallaire Charest
Julien Dallaire Charest: Reconciliation© Julien Dallaire Charest

English Translation

What I see today is strong people fighting every day to preserve their identities and legacies.
 
I’m from the Côte-de-Beaupré.
 
One of our main attractions is the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Every summer is the “Novena,” the feast of Saint Anne.
 
Many pilgrims visit to bear witness to their faith.
 
Many are members of aboriginal nations, including the Innu.
 
In history classes, we talked about “residential schools.”
 
That’s when I started to understand the whole journey that these people and their ancestors went through.
 
It soon becomes clear that, for the most part, all we know about aboriginal Canadians are long-held stereotypes.
 
And that deep down we don’t know anything about their history – our history.
 
These stereotypes are rarely very flattering; I just have to think about what people around me used to say about the “Indians at the Sainte-Anne campground.”
 
I always found it curious that these people came to celebrate a Catholic idol.
 
I didn’t quite understand it, but I’d never researched it.
 
Hopefully, we’ll continue to move in the right direction, consulting all parties involved and, above all, talking to each other, which we haven’t done for too long.

A Lot Of Problems Come From Misunderstanding

Could you tell us what you wanted to convey in your work? Which ideas and inspirations became leading in creating the work?

The theme of reconciliation immediately brought me to the general lack of knowledge about Canada’s first nation that is quite common among other citizens. In my comic book work, I am very much into fiction. Now, I wanted to try to talk a little about my childhood experiences on the Côte-de-Beaupré and the special bond we had with the visitors during the Novena.

Why is the topic of reconciliation important to you?

I think a lot of problems come from misunderstanding. Human beings are sociable creatures, but we sometimes express ourselves badly or do not invest enough energy to listen properly to our counterpart.
In my personal life, it is very important for me to really take the means at hand and try to make everyone get along well with each other, so reconciliation in the broader sense is all the more important. If we've done some unpleasant things, it's on us to equip ourselves and make the effort to repair or at least mitigate our wrongs.

What was the creative process in creating this work of art like? (Do you rather plan a lot in advance, and what is created first - the text or the illustration? What media and methods did you use?)

I've worked a little bit in reverse from my usual method. I had the idea of putting a large Basilica of Saint Anne all over, and then the rest of my composition was formed somewhat according to the elements I wanted to present. I looked at a lot of photo references to help me with the drawing. Then I wrote my text, placed the boxes and adjusted my pictures so that everything can be read well. This project was done completely digitally with my graphic tablet.

To Learn More About Juliens Work

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