MAGAZINE. They have been a couple since graduating from high school. For six years they worked together and created characters, one stroke at a time. Welcome to the sparkling and whimsical world of cartoonist Félix Laflamme and screenwriter Claude DesRosiers.
Félix Laflamme and Claude DesRosiers, who have lived in Drummondville for many years, pooled their talents in 2016 to found Flaflam Studio, an imaginative young company dedicated to creating comic books. In their home, which invites good humor, they have created a workspace where, side by side, they bring to life dazzling characters, the fruit of their unlimited imagination.
If life fills them today, their journey to arrive right at their “X” proved to be a twisty one, they say. Particularly at the beginning of his career, Félix had to decide to put aside his passion for comics and focus on illustration and tattooing, a matter of putting bread on the table and milk in the fridge.
“In the years 1998 to 2000, there were very few comic book authors in Quebec. I would have loved to start from scratch, but it was impossible to live off it, said Félix Laflamme, 41 years old. So I went to illustration. I was drawing all the time and posted my drawings on the website My space† Music groups started writing to me. It snowed and I started illustrating album covers for Quebec artists such as Mononc’Serge, as well as Gun’s & Roses, Michael Jackson and The Ramones. I got contracts for touring t-shirts as a result. Concert dates were written on the back; in front of my drawings. It was gratifying.” His wife, for his part, studied accounting and worked in this field for ten years before collaborating with him and writing the screenplays.
Félix Laflamme, son of an accomplished artist, but claimed to have learned his art self-taught, returned to its essence in 2006. Admittedly, he had to retouch his style and say goodbye to the dark images of the medium. heavy metalbut he did and brilliantly.
“I wanted to create my own characters and let them have many adventures. At that time, our children were still young and we often went to the library to get comics. We soon realized that there were more and more creators from Quebec. We thought that there might now be an opening. We took the ball with great strides. We went to several book fairs to meet authors. And finally we came into contact with a publisher. And we quickly got the green light,” says the cartoonist, who agreed with Presses Aventure.
It was then that they created their first comic strip. At the same time, the pair began collaborating with youth magazines, Les Explorateurs, Les Débrouillards and Curium, in addition to offering online training in the comic book art to groups of students across the province. If the pages of their diary are now well filled, their creativity is not lacking in momentum. She breaks out day after day.
“Initially, we gave ourselves two years to see if it would work. Finally, six months later, we already had a project in hand and it never stopped,” says Claude DesRosiers, who also takes care of the coloring of the works and the management of the company.
Maddox and company
Flaflam Studio celebrated the comic month in Quebec in May and in 2018 created its flagship, Maddox, a little boy like everyone else who lacks self-confidence. During his adventures he makes many encounters in a constantly renewed fantasy world. Two comic book parts Maddox Mega Adventures, targeting children ages 9 and older, were released at the same time that year. Moments later, the Maddox and Aurore collection was launched.
“We’ve done a lot of book fairs to make ourselves known. We like it a lot, because we meet young people and get feedback. It makes for great conversations. I’m happy to see young people being drawn by our stories,” said Mr Laflamme, who said that the 6e volume was published last November.
In 2020, the couple rejuvenated their audience and published a series of booklets, Maddox and Aurore, for preschoolers. A new one also appeared at the beginning of the year. In total, the Laflamme-Desrosiers couple has published ten books since 2018.
Regardless of the target audience, each drawn page requires at least one day’s work. “Our creative process is special because we are always together. We talk about it all the time. Once we have the first idea, Claude writes the skeleton of the story. Then we discuss it and then production starts, starting with the cutting,” explains Mr. Laflamme, who indicates that he does everything on the computer. A very stimulating job.
Over the coming months, Félix Laflamme and Claude DesRosier plan to bring Maddox’s adventures to life one last time to work on new characters that will bring new emotions to young Quebecers. “We hope that our stories will arouse a beautiful nostalgia in young people. That’s what we work for: to mark childhood’, concludes de Drummondvilloise.
Comics are booming in Quebec. There is something for every taste. In addition to Tristan Demers, who has been drawing for centuries, others have stood out in recent years such as Alex A who notably offers the popular series, Maxim Cyr who created The DragouillesAlain Bergeron, a prolific author from Victoriaville who collaborates with Sampar, who notably offers the collection Did you know?as well as Freg and Makina who offer: The Smokee Band† “Demand is still there, despite mobile phones and tablets. Unlike when I was young, schools do a lot of promotion related to reading. Comics are a great way to convince people to love reading,” says Félix Laflamme.