Julie Doucet’s Dirty Plotte has come to be seen as one of the truly great comics to emerge from the 1990s alternative movement, and Doucet is widely considered the most important female cartoonist of the 20th century.
Praise for Julie Doucet
“[Julie Doucet is] creating some of the edgiest work about young women's lives in any medium.” Peggy Orenstein, The New York Times Magazine
“Full of their author's most intimate and painful moments, Doucet's comics bring a depth of humanity and a deadpan humor to a succession of personal calamities.” Publishers Weekly
“Doucet's artwork bursts with a passion for life...the dense, twisting art has a dreamlike innocence that is almost hypnotic.” LA Weekly
"Doucet is central to our understanding of comics as a particularly vibrant platform for telling and showcasing women's stories. Her work in the 1990s ushered in an era of comics as a feminist art form―a shift we can note throughout the past twenty years..." Hillary Chute, Artforum
“A very funny mix of reminiscences and dreams, written in exuberant, slightly dented French-inflected English.” Ms. Magazine
“The honesty is unsettling, but funny too…It's on the cutting edge.” Entertainment Weekly
"These were the things that Dirty Plotte was about: the isolation of being a driven female creative; the jealousy in personal relationships that come out of that; the ever-present push from the outside to be maternal and nurturing, but the absolute interior knowledge that that is not your way; and the incredibly shifting sense of gender that a strong, smart woman must feel in order to move about in the world." Anne Elizabeth Moore, Bitch Media
“...ferocious female sexuality.” Los Angeles New Times
“A dramatic roller-coaster ride...[it] lures you in like a cut in the mouth.” New City Chicago
“Among the younger generation of alternative comix artists, Doucet (best known for her comic book, Dirty Plotte) stands out for her engaging combination of a cartoonish style and frank realism; her postfeminist autobiographical tales are tough and self-effacing, bitchy and sweet…spunky and smart, Doucet is the true voice of grrrrl power.” Kirkus Reviews
“One of the most promising of the younger graphic novelists.” Charles McGrath, The New York Times Magazine
“Like many of her alt-comics contemporaries, Doucet eradicates any uppity delineation between art and comics.” Bust
“Julie Doucet is the female [R.] Crumb...Few artists or writers deal with the hassles and ironies of being female in such novel and bittersweet ways...[She] is a conceptual artist trapped in a cartoonist's body...finding fresh ways to channel her creative eruptions onto paper. " Joy Press, The Village Voice
Julie Doucet Biography
Julie Doucet was born on the very last day of the year in 1965, which means she was the youngest girl in all of her classes at the all-girl Catholic high school she attended in the Montreal suburb of St. Lambert. Maybe it was being a Catholic schoolgirl that gave her a rebellious streak. Her comic book series Dirty Plotte changed the landscape of alternative cartooning, offering a frank, funny, and sometimes shocking melange of dreams, diaries, and stories that Entertainment Weekly has called "id with an ink bottle." The series started as a mini comic in 1988, something Doucet was inspired to do while attending art school in Montreal. By 1989 Doucet's work had appeared in the anthology Heck! Comic Art of the Late 1980's and the next year Doucet began publishing Dirty Plotte as a regular comic book series with Drawn & Quarterly. In 1991, she won the Harvey Award for Best New Talent.
For Julie Doucet, the 1990s were characterized by a series of moves around the world that marked new changes and directions in her development. In 1991 she moved to New York City and captured the unsettling and difficult period in her Firecracker Award-winning graphic novel My New York Diary (serialized through Dirty Plotte, and collected in 1999). The next year she moved to Seattle, and her first collection of strips was published by Drawn & Quarterly as Lift Your Leg, My Fish Is Dead! In 1995, Doucet left Seattle for Berlin while D+Q published her second strip collection, My Most Secret Desire.
In 1998, Doucet moved back to Montreal, where she concluded Dirty Plotte and created a strip about urban life for a Montreal alt-weekly. D+Q published the collected graphic novella of this work, entitled The Madame Paul Affair, in 2000, after which Doucet announced that she was quitting comics to concentrate on other art forms. From these experiments emerged the breathtaking collection of engravings and prints Long Time Relationship, published by D+Q in 2001. In 2006, D+Q published a new, reworked edition of My Most Secret Desire. The following year, Doucet's visual journal chronicling her life from November 2002 to November 2003 was translated to English, re-lettered, and published by D+Q as 365 Days: A Diary.
Julie Doucet is active in the local arts community of Montreal and a visitor is just as likely to find her work hanging in a community gallery as in any of the international exhibitions she has taken part in around the world. Her post-comics artwork includes silkscreened artist's books and text-based collages, and the collection Elle-Humour was published by PictureBox in 2006. A DVD of her animated short My New New York Diary, a collaboration with filmmaker Michel Gondry, was released along with an accompanying book by PictureBox in 2010. Doucet's most recent book, Carpet Sweeper Tales, a masterful collection of collaged photo comics, was published by D+Q in 2016 to wide acclaim. The complete Dirty Plotte will be published in fall 2018.
Biography adapted from information on the website of Doucet's publisher, Drawn & Quarterly.