Once upon a time, somewhere between the lakes and the forests of the Province of Quebec, there was a small village community as there are so many others in the world: a few families, a handful of men and women working tirelessly to build themselves a future… This is how “Magasin Général”, literally “General Store” starts out. It is a moving fresco of nine comic books, which surprises the reader not only with its kind message but also with the original way in which it has been produced.

This adventure in graphic art, born from Régis Loisel and Jean-Louis Tripp’s wish to collaborate and to tell the story of the happy lives of ‘ordinary people’, is a product of work performed by four exceptional hands. For the very first time, two artists have united their individual script-writing and story-telling talent, each contributing in their own style. The typical scenes and dialogues, which have been inspired by traditional and rural Quebec, evoke the country’s soul and heart with tenderness.

Loisel and Tripp are both French, but they have been living in Montreal for more than 15 years and are deeply attached to their adoptive country. Strengthened by their friendship and fully committed to the task, the artists take great pleasure in unfolding their characters’ development in what they refer to as a graphic novel with separate volumes, which can be read one after the other like a novel. This fable celebrating tolerance and friendship, tells the story of people learning to live a life of happiness and freedom. With this exhibition, the Belgian Comics Art Museum takes pleasure in honouring the talent of these two great authors and in sharing their profoundly humanist work.