PO Box 274, Succ. Place du Parc, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 2N8
liliane minicomic started for the same reason every comic begins: “for the reading pleasure of my heart throb, the Butchy Door-Dyke” explains Leanne Franson, the creator and real life counterpart to liliane. That was 1992 and the first issue had a print run of 24. Franson has sold hundreds (thousands?) of comics since — she’s presently working on her 30th issue.
Franson, a Regina native living in Montreal for the past 12 years, occupies interesting, boisterous middle ground with liliane; both her and her character are bilingual, bisexual, politically strong yet forgiving.
“Perhaps,” she says, “I represent the opinionated fence-sitter in all of us who thinks about things but doesn’t necessarily go off her rocker or fight society’s demons.”
Instead she slices off bits of everyday life and infuses them with her trade-mark ‘what the hell’ nonchalance and humour. In a true-life episode like the one where one of the women discussing the new Lesbian Avengers t-shirts suggests the logo be tiny so no one will notice that they are Lesbian Avenger t-shirts, liliane is at her best — ironic, funny and honest.
And they are episodes; each strip generally has six panels and both tells a short anecdote and fits together another piece of the liliane/Leanne puzzle.
“I like a real storyline” says Franson, “I have no patience for dramatic piss and vomit drawings, beer and stoned stories, boy sex and violence with symbolist drawings and weird art for the sake of weird art. There seems to be a lot of that out there.” But there’s plenty of stuff she does like. “It’s great to find another zine I really like. It makes me feel in touch with a real person slaving away for the heck of it at home, in the copy-centre, hands on.” Her favourites include Desert Peach (Donna Barr), Palookaville (Seth), and anything by Dianne Dimassa, Roberta Gregory and Alison Bechdel.
Mostly self-distributed, liliane sells in Canada, the U.S. and England and supports itself. If pressed on the issue, Leanne admits that sometimes she feels like a voice for bi and lesbian women because her work has a large readership in the straight world, but mostly she creates lilliane for that great and true indie publishing reason: “I write about what interests me and hope others enjoy it.”
Liliane meets Leanne