blue-dragonThis visually stunning collaboration between Robert Lepage, artistic director of Ex Machina (a Canadian multidisciplinary theatrical production company), actor Marie Michaud, and illustrator Fred Jourdain brings the stage production of the same name alive on the printed page. The story, set in contemporary Shanghai, entangles the three protagonists in an emotional web that offers three possible outcomes to the reader. Pierre, a Quebecois art dealer living in Shanghai, is visited by his ex-wife, Claire, who is in the process of adopting a Chinese baby. The third member of the triangle, Xiao Ling, is an artist who is befriended by Claire but has also been having an affair with Pierre and is pregnant with his child.

The story, brought to life with dramatic and, in many instances raw, brushstrokes on oversize pages and panels in mostly sepia tones interspersed with splashes of colour, is cinematic in approach and scope. The human characters are realistic in their appearance, dialogue, and emotional responses while the city, another major character, is equally vibrant and alive. The themes of cultural confusion, creativity– artistic and reproductive, and aging are effectively explored by both the writing and the illustrations, melding into a very satisfying read that offers the reader a conclusion that fits their needs.

The Blue Dragon
by Robert Lepage, Marie Michaud
Art by Fred Jourdain
ISBN: 9781770890374
Anansi, 2011

  • Gail

    | She/Her Professor, Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta


    In addition to teaching at the School of Library and Information Studies (University of Alberta) where she is an adjunct professor, Gail tells stories and conducts workshops on a wide variety of topics across Canada and the United States. Each year she teaches the following courses for the University of Alberta. All of her courses are delivered online: Storytelling, Comic Books and Graphic Novels in School and Public Libraries, Canadian Children’s Literature for School and Public Libraries and Young Adult Literature. She also teaches a course on Indigenous Literature for the ATEP program (Aboriginal Teacher Education Program) at the University of Alberta. Gail is the award-winning author of nine books on storytelling and folklore in popular culture.

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