zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

365 Days: A Diary by Julie Doucet

via Feminist Review by Feminist Review on 3/12/08
By Julie Doucet
Drawn and Quarterly

Nearly nine years after Julie Doucet's official break up with comics in 1998 through the release of the last issue of Dirty Plotte, the two worked out their issues and 365 Days was released. Reuniting has never felt so good.

Doucet works with a multitude of mediums, and comics are only a fraction (but an amazing fraction) of her artistic talents, which are portrayed in 365 Days. The illustrated diary chronicles Doucet's everyday life as a working artist from the end of 2002 through 2003. It begins in her hometown of Montreal and follows her through a brief stint in Paris and back to Canada. She ascends the traditional panel of comic books by combining collage and non-linear storytelling. This experimentation is visually heavy; whitespace never stood a chance. That doesn't make it a burden to read, but rather keeps the reader on his or her toes, and engrossed in its content.

The intense visuals also make up for the lack of plot. The first couple of pages into it, I sort of forgot that this was a personal diary about her life. Although there is no storyline compelling you to turn the page, that doesn't make the book any less enjoyable, and sometimes life isn't all that exciting when you document every day of an entire year.

It's rare you get to peek inside the life of an artist that you appreciate, especially when they are living a life that is the opposite of a grueling 9 to 5 existence. Doucet doesn't distance herself from her work. She embraces what she is going through during this period with raw and honest emotion. She addresses the creation of this book, in all of its painstaking translation (her first language is French). Doucet fans will appreciate 365 Days for its experimentation and it's reminiscence of her comic days.

Review by Cynthia Schemmer

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