The Great Terry Mosher, by Linda Leith

Terry Mosher, who publishes under the name Aislin, has published cartoons on many national and international topics, but he is best known and best loved for his work about Quebec in countless moments of crisis, consternation, and joy.

These have made him one of the most familiar voices of English Quebec. They have created a comic sense of the look of the English-speaking Quebecer – whether in full protective gear or in the guise of a mouse on a kitchen floor – and of our speech and obsessions. In so doing, they have allowed the world inside Quebec and beyond its borders to see an English-speaking Quebec that is brimming with life and vitality.

Mosher’s characters include everyone from the politician, the corporate executive, the medical professional, and the hipster to the garbage collector, the jock, the couch potato, and the barroom habitué. These are just a few of the thousands of recognizable characters Mosher has lived among – and brought to life in his work. And he has done this not only with great artistry, but also with a sense of humour that few others can rival.

Part of what makes his cartoons so effective is Mosher’s full awareness of prevailing stereotypes of English-speaking Quebecers. There are different ways that a member of a minority can react to being stereotyped, most of them ineffective. Mosher doesn’t rail against the stereotypes, and he doesn’t get angry. Instead, he plays with these stereotypes in ways that make us all think again, in ways that make us laugh at ourselves – and in ways that bring us all together. Who has not laughed at an Aislin cartoon? And who has not shared it with another and got them to laugh, too?

As a cartoonist who has flourished over a long period of profound change in Quebec, Terry Mosher has complicated and enriched the ways in which English-speaking Quebecers are seen and understood, and he has done so with glee. It is a great accomplishment.

 

© 2017, Linda Leith

Linda Leith, LLP and LLÉ publisher, is the author most recently of Writing in The Time of Nationalism (Signature, 2010; translated into French as Écrire au temps du nationalisme, Leméac 2014) and the Introduction to Mavis Gallant's play What Is To Be Done? (LLP 2017)

 

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

More articles

Carlos Fuentes: In The Best Company, by Ingrid Bejerman

Ingrid Bejerman, former director of the renowned Julio Cortázar Latin American Chair, writes about her relationship with the recently deceased Mexican writer and some of the stories his friends remember him by.

Photo: Dulce Ma. Zuniga  

Nepveu, Mavrikakis, Leblanc: Quebec’s impressive fall literary season

While the Miron biography is a considerable assessment of the one of the great figures of nationalist Quebec, the publication this month of a new novel by Catherine Mavrikakis is an event, too, and one of the surest signs of vitality among a younger generation of Quebec writers.

And then there's Perrine Leblanc, aged 31.


Catherine Mavrikakis

Kidnapped Motherhood, by Cristina Montescu

Marie-Soleil, a woman approaching forty, wants to have a baby. She has no partner and no opportunity of finding a donor whose identity she knows in her host country, Canada. Furthermore, most of her family and friends have stopped understanding her desire to be a mother. Facing the failure of her numerous fertility treatments alone, Marie-Soleil tries anger, humour, and walking. Can she escape her maternal instincts unscathed?

Translation by Jonathan Kaplansky of an excerpt from Cristina Montescu's unpublished novel A Hole in the Belly.


[Illustration: Catalin N. Ruxandu. All rights reserved.]

** La version originale de ce texte se trouve ici. **

Launch of $50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize

Asked to comment on the audacity of launching a global English poetry prize in Montreal, Epp says, “It’s not necessarily audacious. It’s certainly interesting. We think it’s a great thing for Montreal, not just for the English-speaking community.

8-Logos-bottom