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"Charming, innocent and empathetic... Rancourt passes the reader a gift: the ability to experience and see a venal adult life through the forgiving, blameless and easily-wounded eyes of a child."-Chris Ware, from his introduction
In 1980, Sylvie Rancourt and her boyfriend moved to Montreal from rural Northern Quebec. With limited formal education or training, they had a hard time finding employment, so Rancourt began dancing in strip clubs. These experiences formed the backbone of the first Canadian autobiographical comic book, Melody, which Rancourt wrote, drew, and distributed, starting in 1985. Later, she collaborated with the artist Jacques Boivin, who translated and drew a new series of Melody comics for the American market-the comics were an instant cult classic.
Until now, the Rancourt drawn-and-written comics have never been published in English. These stories are compelling without ever being voyeuristic or self-pitying, and her drawings are formally innovative while maintaining a refreshingly frank and engaging clarity. Whether she's divulging her first experiences dancing for an audience or sharing moments from her life at home, her storytelling is straightforward and never sensationalized. With a knowing wink at the reader, Rancourt shares a world that, in someone else's hands, might be scandalous or seedy, but in hers is fully realized, real, and often funny.
The Drawn & Quarterly edition of Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer, featuring an introduction by Chris Ware (Building Stories), places this masterpiece of early autobiographical comics in its rightful place at the heart of the comics canon.