Aylmer author and illustrator publishes new desert adventure comic inspired by ancient mythology
Local author and illustrator, Patrick Archambault, recently published a 200-page comic book that explores the themes of hope and friendship in times of difficulty. The book, titled Murid, contains no dialogue and is instead filled with rich full-page illustrations that tell the story of a group of friends travelling through an expanse of desert ruins and underground worlds in their quest for water.
Born in Regina, Saskchewan, Archambault grew up in Aylmer and went to Grand-Rivière High School where his English teacher, Alain David, inspired him to become an avid reader. He then studied anthropology at the University of Ottawa before switching to comic book design at Université du Québec en Outaouais.
Archambault said that Murid draws inspiration from Middle Eastern mythology which he spent time researching before starting the three-year project. He explained that he wanted to draw attention to the richness of this culture and history in the book’s illustrations, “There is a lot of focus on Greek and Western mythology in school, but the history of the East is underrepresented. I found it to be a treasure trove of inspiration.”
Since the book has no dialogue, the narrative is told through the vibrant colours and the movements of the characters as they journey throughout the vast landscapes. When asked about the book’s themes Archambault noted that friendship, cooperation and keeping hope in times of difficulty were among the messages he wanted to convey, “A key idea I wanted to communicate in the book is the notion that when you are with friends you are never alone even in the darkest of places. We often see stories of the lone hero but, if you are not doing it together, well… it is very lonely on the top of a mountain.”
In creating the storyline for Murid Archambault also wanted move beyond the often violent and adversarial culture that is found in many comic books today, “There are a lot of comics that are hyperviolent, and this desensitizes us over time. I wanted to leave that culture behind and make something suitable for all ages”. A particularly noticeable difference from many adventure narratives is that the story contains no conflict between “good” and “bad” characters, but instead highlights the power of cooperation against a shared difficulty. “We have enough of ‘us-versus-them’ stories out there, we need more ‘us’ especially after recent events,” said Archambault.
Archambault launched Murid at the Montreal Comic Arts Festival in May of this year and said that a sequel for Murid is already in the works. When asked about his long-term plans, he explained that he finds a lot of purpose and enjoyment in producing comic books and plans to continue his work as an author and illustrator, “I’m in the comic scene and I’m here to stay.”
Murid is published by Éditions Trip and can be ordered from Librairie Planète BD by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (514) 759 9800. The book can also be ordered from Librairie le Port de Tete by emailing email@example.com or calling (514) 678 9566.
For more information about Patrick Archambault and his work as well as to contact Patrick visit www.pkarchie.com.