White RapidsBook - 2007
The rise and fall of a Canadian town
Award-winning Quebecois cartoonist Pascal Blanchet's graphic novel is a compelling account of the rise and fall of the small northern town of White Rapids. In the first English translation of his work, Blanchet seamlessly blends fact and fiction as he weaves together the official history of the town and snapshots of the quotidian life of its residents. Founded in 1928 in an isolated region of Quebec forest, the town was conceived and constructed by the Shawinigan Water & Power Company to function as a fully equipped, self-contained living community for workers at the nearby dam and their families. Intended as an incentive to lure workers to the remote and inaccessible region, White Rapids provided its residents with all the luxuries of middle-class modern life in a pastoral setting--until the town was abruptly shut down in 1971, when the company changed hands.
Blanchet's unique, streamlined, retro-inspired aesthetic draws on art deco and fifties modernist design to vividly conjure up idyllic scenes of lazy summer days and crisp winter nights in White Rapids, transporting the reader back to a more innocent time.