cover image Melody


Sylvie Rancourt. Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-77046-200-7

Rancourt finds grace in unlikely places in this charming volume, originally self-published in the 1980s. Melody is an exotic dancer with a deadbeat husband, a promiscuous nature, and far too many bills to pay. But despite these less than ideal circumstances, she keeps smiling—a quality that sees her through everything from a police raid to drug troubles. Melody’s life—based on Rancourt’s own—is rocky, but never to the point of complete collapse; likewise, Melody herself is buoyant, but never a Pollyanna. The book finds wonderful balance in blending these elements, making the mundane details of Melody’s life a delight to engage with. Rancourt’s art is undeniably simple, but in wearing its punky, self-published origins on its sleeve, it becomes a fascinating artifact of history as well as a heartfelt reflection. This is an unvarnished look at exotic dancing, a tribute to fortitude and optimism, and a sincere reflection on a colorful life. (June)