All About Michel Rabagliati – In Toronto This Weekend

Paul Goes Fishing CoverThe Toronto event with Michel Rabagliati is coming up this weekend (Saturday March 15th at 5pm at the Lillian H. Smith Library). Rabagliati is the author of the ‘Paul’ series of graphic novels, the newest of which is Paul Goes Fishing published by Drawn + Quarterly (and it’s much more interesting than it sounds). In a lovely bit of confluence (which is to say the hard work of D+Q’s publicity director Jamie Quail) there are a couple of good articles on Rabagliati that have shown up in the past couple of days.

First up, Newsarama has an interview with Rabagliati, mostly just introducing the readership to the work of Rabagliati, although the discussion does bring to mind the recent publishing industry scandal about fake memoir in an interesting way:

NRAMA: When you started creating comics, what made you create a fictional alter-ego, Paul, through which to tell your stories rather than using real names?

MR: I did it to keep a certain distance. And Paul isn’t 100% autobiographical. The books are works of “auto-fiction” to various degrees. There’s plenty of fiction in them, but it’s fiction that draws on everyday life and isn’t necessarily visible to the reader. And so the reader thinks everything is true, when in fact what it is, is plausible.

Next up, The Toronto Star’s Raju Mudhar offers up an interview and profile of Rabagliati which touches on the artist’s move from illustration and graphic design to being a full-time graphic novelist.

“I kind of forgot about comics for about 25 years … I starting doing comics around when I turned 40 and stopped doing graphic design and illustration work. I’m that kind of guy and I do these kinds of moves in my life and they’re pretty hazardous sometimes. Now it’s paying off a little,” he says. “I’m 47 years old, I’m not supposed to do that. I’m supposed to have RRSPs at the bank, because I have a family and a house, it’s pretty perilous. It’s a career change you don’t usually do at that age.” – Michel Rabagliati

Edit: Thanks to for their little primer on Michel and their plug for the event this weekend!  

Closer to home, we sent out the official press release for the event and I’ve included behind the cut below.

See you at the event this weekend!

– Chris


The Beguiling is proud to present…

Discussing the life and work of the author of Paul Goes Fishing

Saturday, March 15th, 5pm
The Lillian H. Smith Library, Basement Auditorium
239 College St., Toronto * FREE

TORONTO, Ontario – The Beguiling, Canada’s premier comic book retailer, is happy to announce that Michel Rabagliati, author of the Paul series of graphic novels including the newly-released ‘Paul Goes Fishing’, will be participating in a moderated Q&A and book-signing session on Saturday, March 15th at 5pm, at The Lillian H. Smith Library in Toronto.

Rabagliati will be interviewed on his life and art by The Beguiling’s Peter Birkemoe. The interview will include an extensive visual presentation of his work. Rabagliati is well-known in Quebec for his gentle, wistful series of French graphic novels detailing the coming of age his lead character “Paul” (really a thinly-disguised version of Rabagliati himself) in 1960s and 1970s-era Montreal. With ‘Paul Goes Fishing’, the author moves the titular character into his adult years as he and his partner suffer the joy and heartache of child-birth, city-living, and fishing in the country-side.

“Michel Rabagliati is one of Canada’s great literary graphic novelists,” said Birkemoe. “I think that recognition and appreciation of his excellent graphic novels is long overdue in English.”

“His art is rendered in the “clear line” style,” explains Beguiling manager Christopher Butcher, “and his previous career as a designer and illustrator imbues his art with a strong focus on design, particularly in his depictions of Montreal neighborhoods and their architecture. This really gives a lot of texture to his cartooning… it’s wholly unique in Canadian graphic novels but still accessible to those who love the graphic novels of cartoonists like Seth or Chester Brown.”

The free event will take place in the Lillian H. Smith Library auditorium on Saturday March 15th at 5pm. Doors will open at approximately 4:30pm, and a signing with the author will follow the presentation. The Lillian H.  Smith Library is located at 239 College St., just east of Spadina Ave., and houses The Merril Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy, which includes the largest graphic novel collection in Canada.

The event is completely free and open to the public.

Books: Michel Rabagliati’s graphic novels ‘Paul Goes Fishing’, ‘Paul Moves Out’, ‘Paul Has A Summer Job’, and his comic book ‘Paul In The Country’ are currently in stock at The Beguiling (601 Markham Street, near Bathurst St. & Bloor St. W), and will all be available at the event.

The works of Michel Rabagliati are published in English by Montreal’s Drawn + Quarterly ( and are originally published in French by La Pasteque (

About the Author: Like many kids in North America, Michel Rabagliati grew up reading comic books, but since he was born in 1961 in Montreal, instead of reading The Hulk or Superman, he was immersed in all the major comic albums being published in Belgium and France: Tintin, Spirou, Gaston, and of course Asterix, among others. A professional graphic designer and commercial illustrator and his work has appeared in a diverse array of publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Utne Reader, and Maclean’s. He has won a comics industry Harvey Award for Best New Talent for his first comic, ‘Paul in the Country’, and his previous graphic novel ‘Paul Moves Out’ was awarded a prestigious Doug Wright Award for best graphic novel. Michel Rabagliati lives in Montreal with his partner and daughter.

MEDIA QUERIES: For event queries, please contact Peter Birkemoe, owner of The Beguiling, 416-533-9168 or via email at:

For author queries, please contact Jamie Quail, Studio & Publicity Coordinator for Drawn + Quarterly, 514.279.0691 or via email at:

This event is made possible with generous support of Drawn + Quarterly and The Toronto Public Library.

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