White Rapids by Pascal Blanchet
translated by Helge Dascher
Drawn & Quarterly,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
White Rapids is graphic novel that tells the story of the tiny, company-built town of Rapide Blanc. Conceived and designed in 1928 by the Shawinigan Water & Power Company, who were building a hydro power dam in the far northern woods of Quebec, the town attracted engineers and workers needed to run the power station. Accessible only by railroad, it was a self-contained community, with churches, a school, a co-op and all kinds of modern amenities. Blanchet’s retro-inspired art work, inked in browns and oranges, captures the feeling of the time, the belief that anything was possible with science and technology.
Blanchet tells the story clearly, with few words. It is a testament to the time and the the people who built and lived in Rapide Blanc. It is lovingly dedicated to his father. I really enjoyed this book and think would be a perfect introduction to the graphic novel genre.