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December 2012 Archives

Growing up graphic

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Montreal-based publishing company Drawn and Quarterly does something unusual -- perhaps even unique -- in the English-language publishing business.

They take graphic novels and comic books seriously. It's not just for kids, and it's worth paying for.

(Related: Listen to David Gutnick's documentary about D & Q, Graphic Chicken Soup for the Graphic Soul.)

Of course, things have long been different in French.

Thanks to a strong tradition of graphic novels in France and Belgium, many kids grew up wit handsome hardback albums like Asterix et Obelix, Tin Tin, and Lucky Luc.

Meanwhile, many people who grew up in North America were told comics and graphic novels weren't "real" books.

There were even some people who went as far to say that those who make graphic novels were "delinquent".

So how does someone end up being a comic book artist?

We invited two graphic artists to our show. One French, one English.  

For Max Douglas (aka Salgood Sam) and Simon Bossé, the key was artistic, open-minded parents.littlecomics 015.jpg

Max and Simon both write and illustrate graphics novels in Quebec.

Simon Bossé's new book Flaneurs was recently released by publisher L'oie de Cravan.

He also hand screenprints small artisinal comic books. (See photos on our Facebook page.)

Salgood Sam's most recent work is Dreamlife. It will come out in early 2013. He also publishes a quarterly personal anthology called Revolver.

Listen Jeanette's conversation with Max Douglas aka Salgood Sam and Simon Bossé.

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(Images: Top right: Self protrait by Salgood Sam. Bottom left: Simon Bossé.)

2012 Made-in-Quebec Playlist

We invited three music journalists to each bring us three songs that made an impact on them in the past year.

The result: The Cinq à Six 2012 Made-in-Quebec Playlist.

Nick Schofield

Nick is a musician (his group is called Saxsyndrum) and host of Underground Sounds on CKUT.

Here are his top three songs for 2012:

 

 

 

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Graphic Chicken Soup for the Graphic Soul

barryA.jpgDrawn and Quarterly started on a kitchen table in Montreal's Mile End neighbourhood. 

Now, it's one of the hottest publishers of graphic novels on the planet. 

Listen to David Gutnick's documentary. 
 
(Image: The Freddie Stories, by Lynda Barry)
 
 
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A playground for adults

trekfit.jpgWould it be easier to do sit-ups if you were doing it on a beautiful apparatus?

The designers of some outdoor fitness equipment are among the winners of the 2012 Quebec Grands Prix du Design.

Trekfit is already installed in a handful of Montreal-area parks.

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with creator Eric Tomeo and industrial designer Vincent Clarizio.

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French magazine dedicates an issue to les têtes carrées

languesmarinees.jpgA new edition of the magazine Urbania is making some waves.

The whole issue is dedicated to anglophones.

Among the articles: "25 reasons to befriend an anglo" and "Dating an anglo will change your life".

Listen to Jeanette's conversation with Catherine Perreault-Lessard, the editor of Urbania magaine and Philippe Lamarre, the publisher of Urbania. 

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The way forward for the Olympic Park

mtl-olympic-stadium-cp-tp.jpgWhat should we do with the Olympic Stadium and the surrounding area that's become something of a mish mash of form and functionality?

A special committee has been looking at possible solutions - and consulting with the public.

That process has been generating some pretty creative ideas, including right here on this show.

Now the report with recommendations is finally out.

Lise Bissonnette is in charge of the committee. She's the former editor of Le Devoir and the force behind the construction of the Bibliotheque nationale.

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(Photo: Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press) 

English CEGEP representing Quebec at prestigious French literary award

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Six students from Vanier College are in France right now, taking part in the debates to chose the winner of the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens

The Prix Goncourt des Lycéens is associated with the prestigious Prix Goncourt. While the main prize is chosen by the Académie Goncourt, the Prix des Lycéens is chosen by approximately 2,000 students. 

Vanier College is the only college from outside of France to participate this year's edition, and it is the first time an English CEGEP represents Quebec at this competition. 

The role of English CEGEPs is currently one of considerable public debate. The Parti Quebec government has proposed limiting access to English CEGEPS.  


Listen to Jeanette's interview with two of the students from Vanier:
 
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UPDATE:

We spoke to the girls after they got back from France. 

They told us about how the debate went, and also about the differences they noticed between the education systems in France and Quebec.
 
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(Photo: Cinq à Six producer Tanya Birkbeck, Cinq à Six host Jeanette Kelly, Ikram Mecheri, Margot Beauchemin-Daoust. Photo by Peter Durand, courtesy of Vanier College.)

Mani Soleymanlou is a man on the move

manisoleymanlou.jpgHe's was born in Iran, lived in Paris, Ottawa, Toronto, and now Montreal.

Mani Soleymanlou is typical of so many people in urban centres around the world these days: It's hard to say where he's really from; hard to say where his identity should lie.

His one-man play "Un" -- or "One" in English just finished a run at Theatre Lachapelle in Montreal, and he'll be taking it across Canada and to Europe in 2013.

It seems to have hit a cultural nerve-- maybe because the sense of rootlessness has become such a common feeling.  

Listen to his interview with Jeanette:

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An interactive Christmas card

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Joliette is starting a new holiday tradition with a giant, interactive greeting card in the centre of town.

It's called La Grande Carte Blanche.

Multimedia artist Emmanuel Sévigny of studio Playmind created a show that will be projected on to the large "card" -- a giant white screen.

The projection uses music by David Drury and historical photographs taken during long-ago holiday seasons in the Joliette area.

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Video game-like program allows citizens to "play" urban planner

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There are some big decisions to be made about the urban planning of Montreal in the coming years.

For example, what will replace the Champlain Bridge? And how will the Turcot Interchange be redeveloped?

These major projects require public input, and a program called Betaville could help do that.

Carl Skelton of the Brooklyn Experimental Media Centre and Martin Koplin of the M2C Institute for Media Technology and Culture in Bremen, Germany have developed the program.

Koplin says Betaville enables citizens to see their city as a "sculpture" in progress, and reminds them that they can have a hand in shaping that sculpture.

Carl Skelton and Martin Koplin visited Montreal this week to give a workshop and public lecture about Betaville.

Listen to their interview with Jeanette:

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Quebec industrial designers look to South Korea for inspiration

1_blogue_dikini_portrait.jpgEugénie Manseau and Philippe Carreau are partners at the industrial design studio Dikini.

They were recently awared 2012 Phyllis Lambert Design Montréal Grant. The $10,000 award will allow them to travel to Seoul, South Korea to study public space and urban furniture.

"Seoul is an digital city and that really interests us. We want to go there and see which technologies are really helping citizens," says Manseau.

For example, she says there are light posts and bus shelters that act as internet "hotspots".

A "data cloud" around a piece of public furniture has information about public transit scedules, weather, and local news. As well, members of the public can contibute to the data cloud.

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Beyond Gangnam Style

This week on the show, we talked to two industrial designers from Quebec who are heading to South Korea looking for inspiration when it comes to planning public space. We wanted to to play a song to go with the interview.

The huge YouTube hit "Gangnam Style" is perhaps the first Korean pop (a.k.a. K-Pop) song many Westerns have heard, but now there are few people who haven't heard that song. We aim to help our listeners discover other music, so we put out a call to some people in the know to suggest some other artists and songs from Korea.

It may not be surprising that we got an enthusiastic response from several K-Pop aficionadios. We could only play one song, and we liked the sound of this song called "Hello Hello" from a group called FT Island:

Here are the other suggestions we've received:

Artist: FT Island / Song: I Wish

Artist: CN Blue / Song: I'm a Loner

Artist: Super Junior / Song: Sorry Sorry

Artist: 2NE1 / Song: I am the Best

Artist: Brown Eyed Girls / Song: Abracadabra

Artist: Big Bang/ Song: Fantastic Baby

This is by no means an exhaustive list. We're sure you have some songs to add! You can comment below or on our Facebook page.