In 1980, Sylvie Rancourt and her boyfriend moved to Montreal from rural Northern Quebec.
With limited formal education or training, they had a hard time finding employment, so Sylvie began dancing in strip clubs.
These experiences formed the backbone of the first Canadian autobiographical comic book, Melody, which Rancourt wrote, drew, and distributed, starting in 1985.
Later, Rancourt collaborated with artist Jacques Boivin, who translated and drew a new series of Melody comics for the American market - the comics were an instant cult classic.
The Rancourt drawn-and-written comics have never before seen English publication.
These stories are compelling without ever being voyeuristic or self-pitying, and her drawings are formally innovative while maintaining a refreshingly frank and engaging clarity.
Whether she's divulging her first experiences dancing for an audience or sharing moments from her life at home, her storytelling is straightforward and never sensationalized.
With a knowing wink at the reader, Rancourt shares a world that, in someone else's writing, might be scandalous or seedy, but in hers is fully realized, real, and often funny. The Drawn and Quarterly edition of Melody, featuring an introduction from Chris Ware (Building Stories), will place this masterpiece of early autobiographical comics in its rightful place at the heart of the comics canon.