My latest comic book: Québec-California. The wild life.
California wildlife is quite different from that of Québec. The first year I lived her, I went from one discovery to the next. It seemed to me that every day brought a new challenge. And when I went back home to Québec, I always seemed to have a story about an encounter with one animal or another. And my feelings seemed to sit somewhere between fascination and terror.
Now, looking back, I mainly see the humor, which is why, I thought it could be fun to make a comic book about these stories. Most of them come from real events in our life. Sometimes, I changed some details, usually unimportant ones, for the sake of storytelling. For this reason, the book is not truly autobiographical.
This book constitutes a small sample of my many adventures and misadventures with the local wildlife. I am not talking about the hummingbirds in my backyard, at once fascinating and terrible because they are so territorial; or about the eight raccoons which once prevented my neighbor from parking her car in front of her garage; or about the Canadian geese unable to fly back to Canada; or the race my daughter once had with a snake; or about the menacing praying mantis who decided one day that my backyard table was now hers. I have too many stories. I’ll tell them some other time.
Family Morning Jogging in Northern California.
While taking my morning walk, I often see this little family. Mom, grand-mother, grand-daughter and the little dog. Because of the yoga mat (or Pilates?) on the top of the stroller, I imagine that this little family is walking the mom to her exercises class. But why a jogging stroller? Not for the grand-mother on her way back home? Or do I have this story wrong? Maybe the yoga mat is for the grand-mother and it’s the mother who will jog on her way back home? But why is the dog inside the stroller? Doesn’t he need exercises too?
However I like looking at them. The combination of colors is always amazing! An array of colors in a quite cold morning. 29 F this morning!
Autumn in Northern California
Contrary to what many of my friends believe, there are seasons in California. However, Californians do not experience them the way we do. Fashion, for example, often surprises tourists and new-comers.
Example # 1: Shorts…for all seasons!
Shorts in Northern California can be worn in all seasons. Whether in the middle of summer or in the heart of winter, you will always be able to see somebody in shorts…This morning was a beautiful fall day in Palo Alto. It was 46 F (7 Celsius for the rest of the world). A little bit nippy. Although, I have been here quite a while, I’m still a real Québécoise. So, I leave for my early morning walk well- dressed: long pants, long-sleeve t-shirt and a fleece. I reserve hats and gloves for temperature closer to the freezing point. Fifteen minutes into my walk, I start regretting having left my gloves behind but…I can put my hands in my pockets. This is when I meet one of my neighbors, doing her morning jog. “Hi”! she says. “Quite cold this morning! We need to dress warmly!” Quite so…Here’s my neighbor, dressed warmly…
Spiders and spiders, oh my!
The spider story goes on…
The next one will be also features insects but then, I will talk about something else. Schools, maybe. They, I’ll come back to animals. I have so many stories about them!
No mosquitoes in the spiderweb!
I started working again on this series this week. This time, I did the colors in Photoshop.
The ideas for the comics in this series come from my own life. However, it’s still fiction. I changed the characters, the houses, the names and, of course, the stories, in order to produce something that, I hope, is most of the time funny.
When we first moved to California, it seemed to me that everyday brought a new challenge. Many of those came from discovering that California’s wildlife was quite different from the one in Quebec. The story in the following page is also based on something that really happened to us. The bush belonged to my neighbor. However, she does not have blond hair and her name isn’t Lisa. That’s the fiction part.
Shorts and Sandals, indeed!
This drawing, like the other ones in this series, were created in the first Graphic Novel class, in the fall of 2009. I did the pencilling, inking and coloring (with markers) all on the same page, which means that I don’t have a black and white copy anymore. I am planning to redo those drawings and to continue this series when I come back to Palo Alto.
It is really cold sometimes in California. People inQuebec find it hard to believe. Actually, mornings are cold and it gets warmer in the afternoon. Californians understand the system…
I started this series in the previous class. I worked some more on the drawings and I tried to find a way to add color. Not an easy task! Here I used markers. Our biggest shock when we arrived in Northern California has been to discover that the weather is not that warm. My husband, who loves this climate, tried relentlessly to prove to us wrong. My daughter, in particular, was always cold.
Moving or not moving?
Years ago, I moved from Québec to Palo Alto, California with my family. This drawing is the first of a series on my life in California. This is also the only page, I managed to ink and colored in this series. The original is in English. I am still working on the other ones…
Since I moved to Northern California, I often complain that I miss speaking French. However, that particular day, there was French all around me. This page is another example of “journaling”. I used the same character in all my journals. I quite like her.