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Julie Doucet

Born: 31-Dec-1965
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Cartoonist

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Dirty Plotte

Julie Doucet is chief among the scant handful of distinguished female cartoonists the world has ever produced. She started her career by self-publishing Dirty Plotte, a series of autobiographical cut-and-paste minicomics. The word "plotte" is French-Canadian slang blanketing a wide variety of topics, including: (a) a girl who is sexy, (b) a girl who dresses like a prostitute, (c) a girl who has sexual relations with lots of men, (d) a timid male, or (e) female genitalia.

Doucet's panels are darkly inked and densely filled, with claustrophobic dialog block-lettered in easily understood French-tinted English. Her stories are largely true: she chronicles her move to New York and her various failed attempts to set up a life. Doucet can be observed for months at a time, cramped in a cluttered apartment trying to draw, at times taking so many drugs she begins to have regular epileptic seizures. Her room appears filled with nothing but dangerous instruments: scissors, knives, sharp pens and pencils, broken wine bottles, angry pets and wire frame brassieres. Exacerbating her ability to create art is a never-ending revolving door of childish, retarded boyfriends who lash out with violence, jealousy, and possessiveness whenever Doucet starts to receive praise or attention from admirers.

In 1990, Doucet got her big break: Montreal's Drawn & Quarterly publishing house picked up her comics and made them available to a worldwide audience. Since that time, some of the most striking connections she's managed to make with readers involve the comical renderings of her dreams and nightmares, mostly involving grotesque female anxiety. Willing herself to float across the room so she can change a tampon, waking up one morning with a penis, tearing her breasts off, and stomping all over New York with blood gushing from her vagina are but a few examples.

Doucet has since stopped Dirty Plotte: "because it's quite a lot of work, and not that much money. I went to a newspaper to propose a comic strip because I only had to draw a small page and it would be out the next week. For once it was regular pay and good money." The bulk of her work is now available in anthology compilations.

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