I am currently at work on a graphic novel recounting the siege of Quebec and the Battle of The Plains of Abraham in 1759. In revisiting this pivotal moment in Canadian history, my intention is not simply to present a didactic history lesson in visual form, but rather to create an emotionally engaging, character-driven narrative centered on the personal motivations and inner conflicts of the French, English and Indigenous participants. After about a year and a half spent doing background research and writing the script, I have finally begun putting pencil to paper. Below are the pencil versions of the first seven pages of the first sample section I am working on. In an effort to save time and achieve a greater sense of visual spontaneity, these pages were worked out directly on the final paper without any preliminary drawings. Later I will go back and ink and watercolour them.
In this section, the French commander at the siege of Quebec, General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, finally returns to his beloved chateau of Candiac, in Provence. To fully understand this scene, it is necessary to know that just before the beginning of the siege, Montcalm received the tragic news that one of his four daughters had died. Although Montcalm was not able to find out which one, he assumed it was his youngest, Mirète, who had long been sickly.