Réal Godbout (1951-)
Réal Godbout was born in Montreal in 1951 and is a self-taught artist who began his career in the 1970s eventually becoming the artist and co-writer of the series Michel Risque and Red Ketchup. He soon became one of the main Quebec comic creators of his generation and a leader of the medium’s “rebirth” in the effervescent period often called “Spring of the BDQ” working for magazines like Quartier Latin and BD. He also worked for the humor magazine L’Illustré, where he created his ‘Bill Bélisle’ character. He was present for a while in the daily press with the ‘Les Terriens’ comic strip and he created one of his most famous characters, ‘Michel Risque’, in the collective comic book ‘La Bande Dessinée Kébécoise’ in 1975 and the series continued in the Mainmise magazine. From 1979 to 1995, he worked for the satirical monthly magazine Croc, where he and writer Pierre Fournier continued the ‘Michel Risque’ series. When Jacques Hurtubise (Zyx) launched the Titanic magazine in 1983, Godbout and Fournier started the ‘Red Ketchup’ series, based on a secondary character from ‘Michel Risque’. However, Titanic didn’t last long and ‘Red Ketchup’, a favorite with many readers, moved over to the magazine Croc where his adventures alternated with those of Michel Risque.
Over the years his work has been published in such diverse places as L’Hydrocéphale; The Year of Comics 85-86; Safarir and the journal 100% Paper, amongst others. These days Réal Godbout works primarily in illustration and has also produced a great deal of storyboard material for animation. Réal also created a series of educational comic strips on famous Canadian scientists for “Les Débrouillards” magazine and since 1999 he has taught comic art in the fine arts program at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. To the joy of his many fans his most famous creations, Michel Risque and Red Ketchup, are currently being collected and re-released by Éditions de la Pastèque and the latest BD production he’s busily working on is a graphic novel entitled “L’Amérique ou Le Disparu” based on Franz Kafka’s “Amerika”.