My Most Secret Desire

Overview

“One of the most promising of the younger graphic novelists.” —Charles McGrath, The New York Times Magazine

Considered by many to be the most influential female cartoonist ever, Julie Doucet created an iconic body of work in the ten short years she solely devoted herself to her trailblazing comic-book series Dirty Plotte. Her comics are densely inked and detailed with a pulsating neurosis from a decidedly female point of view that set the comic-book world on its head when the ...

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Overview

“One of the most promising of the younger graphic novelists.” —Charles McGrath, The New York Times Magazine

Considered by many to be the most influential female cartoonist ever, Julie Doucet created an iconic body of work in the ten short years she solely devoted herself to her trailblazing comic-book series Dirty Plotte. Her comics are densely inked and detailed with a pulsating neurosis from a decidedly female point of view that set the comic-book world on its head when the series debuted. Doucet returns to comics after a five-year hiatus with a reworked edition of her dream journal My Most Secret Desire, complete with never-before-published material.

My Most Secret Desire is considered to be Doucet ’s most innovative work, exploring the longings, pressures, and exploits of the feminine subconscious. Nightmarish tales of pregnancy, menstruation, sex changes, and boyfriends haunt Doucet’s nocturnal psyche with a feverish and surreal pitch.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Julie Doucet:

“A very funny mix of reminiscences and dreams, written in exuberant, slightly dented French-inflected English.” —Ms. Magazine

“Julie Doucet is the female [R.] Crumb.” —Joy Press, The Village Voice

“The honesty is unsettling, but funny too . . . It’s on the cutting edge.” —Entertainment Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Originally published in her comic book Dirty Plotte, then collected in 1995 (and slightly expanded for this edition), Doucet's adaptations of her dreams are some of her weirdest, strongest and funniest work. The French-Canadian artist writes in hilariously crumpled English (one story is called "An Happy Ending Nigthmare" [sic]) and draws herself as an abject, bedheaded mess ambling through a world littered with garbage. She doesn't seem to hold anything back from her subconscious-sexual fantasies, genital mutilations, messy apartments-they're all represented. One section is devoted to dreams in which she turns into a man; another long piece presents a series of dreams about having a baby (who variously has a tail or is a small cat or "wants to go back in"). Doucet's sense of humor is intimately tied to her cluttered but striking visual style: one of the book's funniest strips is a one-pager in which she imagines what it would be like to shave if she were a man, mimicking the facial contortions (and bloody nicks) of men looking into a mirror with a razor and concluding with an ear-to-ear grin as she yells, "Haaaaaaaaaaaa!!!" The more screwed-up her fantasies are, the more entertaining they get, and almost every panel is a scribbly, quirky delight. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A dirty mind proves creatively liberating and socially subversive, as this Montreal native finds catharsis for her deepest fears, desires and neuroses through these drawings of her dreams. Graphic narratives don't get much more graphic than the comix of Doucet (My New York Diary, 1999). Within this journal of dreams, one strip that she titles "If I Was a Man" shows in explicit detail how she'd have sex with a woman, one who would have to have huge breasts, because Doucet would have such a large penis. Penis envy (or at least obsession) informs a number of the other dreams, as one of them allows the artist with her surprising new appendage to have a different kind of fun with her girlfriends (and attract a very interested Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees). Many of the strips transverse or dissolve the boundary between dreams and Doucet's conscious state, with some of them showing her awakening to the discovery of what a weird dream she'd been having, while others reflect dreams within dreams. She crams her drawings with obsessive detail, to humorous and occasionally claustrophobic effect. From menstruation to masturbation to motherhood (she births and nurses a cat), she proceeds in fearless fashion, as if she has never experienced an impulse that she feels is forbidden to illustrate and share. All of the dreams and drawings are dated, mainly from the late 1980s and early 90s (when Doucet was in her early-to-mid-20s). Over the passage of years, the panels become larger and lighter, with a little more breathing room, as if the pressures on the artistic subconscious have eased a little. As with Harvey Pekar's early collaborations with Robert Crumb, she presents the work as straightforwardconfessions from a mundane existence, never romanticizing herself or belaboring the humor. Even the reader who hasn't experienced such fantasies will likely know just how Doucet feels. Doucet's dreamscape is an intriguing place to visit, though it might be a little scary to live there.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781896597959
  • Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
  • Publication date: 6/13/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 10.47 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Doucet lives in Montreal. Her critically acclaimed comic-book series
Dirty Plotte has been collected into the graphic novels My New York Diary and Lift Your Leg, My Fish Is Dead. She also has published two art books, Long Time Relationship and Lady Pep.

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