Rabagliati, Michel 1961-
Rabagliati, Michel 1961-
Born 1961, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; partner of Carole; children: Alice.
Home—Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Cartoonist. Worked previously as a graphic designer and illustrator, beginning 1982.
Harvey Award for Best New Talent, 2000; Bedelys Quebec, best graphic album of the year, 2003, for Paul Has a Summer Job; Bedelys Media Award, best album of the year, 2002, for Paul Has a Summer Job; Doug Wright Awards, best book of the year, 2006, for Paul Moves Out.
Paul à la Campagne, Les Éditions de la Pastèque (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1999, translation published as Paul in the Country, Drawn & Quarterly (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2000.
Paul a un travail d'été, Les Éditions de la Pastèque (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2002, translation published as Paul Has a Summer Job, Drawn & Quarterly (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2003.
Paul Moves Out, Drawn & Quarterly (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2005.
Michel Rabagliati was an avid reader of comic books as a child growing up in Quebec, and as an adult he has won praise for his own comic strips and full-length graphic novels. Though Rabagliati did write comics at a young age, he abandoned this pursuit for a career as a commercial illustrator and graphic designer. It was not until he was in his thirties that he once again took up drawing comics. His Paul à la Campagne, and Paul a un travail d'été, translated into English as Paul in the Country and Paul Has a Summer Job, feature quiet, reflective stories with a protagonist who seems to be Rabagliati's alter ego. Paul in the Country is "a treasure," made up of anecdotes that "are often as charming as they are heartbreaking, and always beautiful in their simplicity," noted a reviewer on the Broken Pencil Web site. The narrative alternates between Paul's memories of childhood days spent in the region and his current stay there with his family. "Through his use of intelligent perspective and point of view, Rabagliati is able to interchange the earnest views of the young Paul and his friends with the perspective of the grown-up Paul," reported Erik Sweet on the Tool a Magazine Web site. Sweet described Rabagliati as "an artist who understands … that the shadows and light before us must be examined, even in minute particulars."
In Paul Has a Summer Job, Paul quits school after being forbidden to work on a mural project because he has not maintained his academic standing. Sent to work at a summer camp, he is surly and unpleasant, but gradually his outlook is transformed by his work with the underprivileged campers and his love for a fellow counselor. Rabagliati does "a wonderful job of creating real characters," observed Andrew D. Arnold for Time Online Edition. He recommended Paul Has a Summer Job as "both funny and touching," and possessing "an authenticity sorely lacking in most forms of entertainment, not least of all comix. Exactly like a restorative trip to the woods, it reminds you of what you really enjoy literature for—the chance to connect to others and what's real—and get away from superficiality and irony."
In 2005 Rabagliati published Paul Moves Out, continuing the story of the title character. After enrolling in a Montreal art school, Paul meets his female counterpart, Lucie. They decide to move out of their parents' houses into an apartment together where they begin to experience life as adults. Writing in the Library Journal, Steve Raiteri wrote that "this warm-hearted book is recommended for all collections." Although Paul's experiences are semiautobiographical, a critic in Publishers Weekly stated that "Rabagliati is clearly in love with his own reminiscences," noting that "he doesn't really shape the material into any kind of dramatic tale." Gordon Flagg, writing in a Booklist review, noted that Rabagliati "makes life's small moments seem big, well conveying the excitement of discovering the wider world." Concluding a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Patriot News book review, Christopher Mautner simply stated: "This book is a real gem."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2003, Carlos Orellana, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 983; February 1, 2004, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 984; April 1, 2005, Gordon Flagg, review of Paul Moves Out, p. 1351.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 2004, Tami Oliphant, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 193; 2005, Tami Oliphant, review of Paul Moves Out, p. 93.
CM, September 2, 2005, Jane Bridle, review of Paul Has a Summer Job.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005, review of Paul Moves Out, p. 317.
Kliatt, July, 2006, review of Paul Moves Out, p. 4.
Library Journal, July, 2003, Steve Raiteri, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 68; July 1, 2005, Steve Raiteri, review of Paul Moves Out, pp. 61-62.
Montreal Mirror, January 6, 2005, Isa Tousignant, review of Paul Moves Out.
Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA), November 6, 2005, Christopher Mautner, review of Paul Moves Out, p. J3.
Publishers Weekly, April 25, 2005, review of Paul Moves Out, p. 41.
Quill & Quire, April, 2003, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 44.
School Library Journal, December, 2003, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 179; August, 2005, Steve Weiner, review of Paul Moves Out, p. 35.
Toronto Star, August 21, 2005, Suzanne Alyssa Andrew, review of Paul Moves Out, p. D6.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 2003, review of Paul Has a Summer Job, p. 318.
BD Quebec,http://www.bdquebec.qc.ca/ (December 26, 2006), author profile.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (August 19, 2003), Hilary Williamson, review of Paul Has a Summer Job.
Broken Pencil,http://www.brokenpencil.com/ (August 19, 2003), review of Paul in the Country.
Comic Book Galaxy,http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/ (December 26, 2006), Jason Marcy, review of Paul Moves Out.
Drawn & Quarterly Web site,http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/ (December 26, 2006), author profile.
iComics.com,http://www.icomics.com/ (August 19, 2003), Greg McElhatton, review of Paul Has a Summer Job.
PopMatters,http://www.popmatters.com/ (May 2, 2006), Stefan Robak, review of Paul Moves Out.
Time Online Edition,http://www.time.com/ (May 2, 2003), Andrew D. Arnold, review of Paul Has a Summer Job.
Tool a Magazine,http://www.toolamagazine.com/ (June, 2001), Erik Sweet, review of Paul in the Country. *