365 DAYS in The Hartford Advocate

Truly Julie

The Hartford Advocate    |    Alan Bisbort    |    January 28, 2008

Hey, Lynda Barry! You hear those footsteps? It’s Julie Doucet. She’s catching up with you for the “Most Lovably Eccentric and Bizarrely Confessional (or Confessionally Bizarre) Woman Cartoonist of the New Millennium” Award. The award is given out every thousand years by Imogene Coca’s ghost.

With 365 Days: A Diary (Drawn & Quarterly), the younger Julie Doucet has made giant strides toward your throne, Lynda. And I never thought any other woman cartoonist could touch you, Lynda?Of course, Julie D. is probably on steroids, but there is no oversight panel in the cartoon world. Besides, she lives in Montreal, so it would be hard to extradite her here (though her graphic novel My New York Diary totally captured the American urban vibe).

Like Lynda Barry, Julie Doucet fills every teensy corner of every page with oddities—squiggles, cut out letters (like a kidnapper’s ransom note), marginal doodles, provocative collages, fortune cookie fortunes—and yet recreates her own highly personalized world. And, like Lynda B., Julie D.’s profusely personal perspective has strong elements of the universal in it. She may be soul-bearing but she’s not self-absorbed. She’s humane and never needlessly cruel to or about other people. Or animals.

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