Le soufflet, c'est...euh...une petite tape sur la joue.
This last story has to do with the tradition of the slap on the face during the ceremony of Confirmation. In the 1950s, children were given the sacrament of Confirmation very soon after their First Communion. For Doudou and Danny, it took place one week after their First Communion. In those days, besides Â the laying on of hands and the anointment with holy oil called chrism, the bishop (the cardinal for Doudou and Danny) also gave children a little slap on the cheek. This slap was a reminder that the person being confirmed becomes a soldier of Christ and Â has to be ready to suffer for his faith. It’s Doudou’s beloved school teacher who has the unpleasant task to prepare the children for the slap in the face they will get from their cardinal. This story also is based on one of my childhood memories. Here are two black and white panels from a three-page story.
In Montreal, in the 1950s, French public schools were Catholic. Religious holidays punctuated the school calendar. Â Easter, the most important religious holiday, marked the end of a long winter and the beginning of spring. However, the most important, most anticipated, and most expected event of the first year of school was the First Communion. The ceremony was orchestrated by the school under the supervision of the neighborhood church and followed by big celebrations in the children’s homes. Because this event took place in May, it usually coincided with the first warm, sunny days of spring. Here’s the first panel of a series of stories about First Communion. To emphasize Doudou’s joy, I set the story outside, in the midst of the colors and light of one of those beautiful days of May.
I’m working on the last pages of the second Stairway Stories. I have only done the first pencilling for this page below. I still need to refine the drawing and add the words. I’m wondering what story you can imagine by looking at the page without the words? Certainly not the one I wrote. But, just for fun, can you imagine a title for this silent page?
Aujourd’hui, chez moi, petit aprÃ¨s-midi de dessin dans mon studio et souper en famille. Juste notre petite famille. Bon Jour de l’An tout le monde!
A beautiful snowy day to start the new year! Children can play outside and…shovel de stairway for you! Start the year on the right foot. This is the first panel of a story that I will probably call “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” The panel needs more work, though. Doudou says something like: “What a snowfall! ” and Danny answers: “Well, we’re gonna shovel!That’s great!”
Today, a quiet day of drawing in my studio followed by a nice family dinner. Just the four of us! Happy New Year’s Day to all of you!