Lyne St. Jules: I was born and raised in downtown Moncton, NB. Both of my parents are French, so I attended francophone schools and graduated from Mathieu-Martin in Dieppe, NB. I later attended college in Animation in Miramichi, NB. After years of bouncing around in Moncton, Miramichi, Ottawa, and Saint John, I’m back in my hometown.
1st: Are you an artist, a writer or both?
Lyne: I’m both, but I’m primarily an artist. I’ve always loved creative writing as a child. I’ve written numerous short stories and failed novels/comics in my early years. Now, I have a comic series called Megami Shiizun and I work on it solo. I enjoy doing the entire process and I think overall it has made me a better storyteller and artist. I’ve also participated in the National Novel Writing month a few times, so I now have two novels on the go as well.
1st: Who are some of your influences in comics?
Lyne: That’s a tough question. I had my hands on comics before I knew how to read. My grandfather had a massive collection of Franco-Belgian comics. Picking a series of names is not easy, because I think all of them has shaped me in some way. If I had to pick some names, I’d have to say, Hergé, Jim Davis, Albert Uderzo are influences of mine as a kid. As I got older, I got strongly influenced by Jeff Smith’s Bone and Naoko’s Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon.
1st: If you could hang out with any creators who would it be?
Lyne: Alive or dead? Alive, would be Naoko Takeuchi. The whole aspect of Sailor Moon has influenced me so much in my creative career; it would be amazing to sit with her and pick her brain.
Dead, would be George Prosper Remi, also known as Hergé. Not only would it be amazing to sit with the guy who created Tintin, a comic series that I’ve read more times than any other. I want to know what happens to hJoe, Zette and Jocko, I only own one volume of the series, but read it over 40 times.
Lyne: I’ve had some non-creative jobs here and there and I’ve noticed that some suffocated my creativity. I once had a job that had a toxic environment and where my day could be described as people screaming at me all day long. They saw my artistic career as dead and I wasn’t allowed to draw at any point during my day, not even during breaks or lunch. After a while, I felt trapped and depressed, I stopped creating entirely. The moment I quit that job for a graphic one, my world was back in rcolour and I picked up my pencil and haven’t put it down since. I realized that, although money is great and all, I need art in my life, one way or another. Without it, I die inside.
1st: Lyne, I have had the privilege to read your amazing comic Megami Shiizun The Beginning. What can you tell your fans about Megami Shiizun? Is it a webcomic only? Where is it available?
Lyne: It’s a full-colour fantasy/adventure/comedy/drama/mystery and so on. I like a lot of genres of music & tv/movies, which reflects in my writing. Initially, it had more of the essence of “magical girls” in the first draft, but as I aged and grew as a writer, it took on a lot more sustenance. I think it might be the reason I have such a wide range of readers, instead of just “magical girl” fans. The comic is currently available both online and in print. There are three stores around New Brunswick who have hard copies of the ongoing series, but you can find Megami Shiizun online on both Tapas and Webtoons. For those who prefer reading comics on Deviantart, it’s also available there.
Lyne: At the moment, New Brunswick is the only province that carries the series, there are 4 books out so far. It’s available at The Comic Hunter in Moncton, Heroes Beacon in Saint John and Glass Roots Art Gallery in Riverview. Keep in mind that if I attend any kind of art show/convention, I have the books available there too. If you follow me online, you’ll know where the books will be on sale.
1st: Once Megami Shiizun is finished, do you have any plans for other comic series?
Lyne: The joke is that I’ll be dead before I get to start a new series. Megami Shiizun is massive! I don’t work on it full-time, so I can get a chapter printed per year. However, if I ever manage to finish it and still have time to start sometimes new, I have something called “Marshmallows & Sledgehammers” and another called “Lost”. Lost was originally written as a novel, but would work better as a comic series.
Lyne: Haha! Thank you. Bunny Goes MOo is a series of illustration I started back in December 2005, it’s primarily created for greeting cards. However, I do have prints and sometimes calendars created with the illustrations. It stars a girl named Bunny who’s cute, but not the brightest crayon in the box. It mainly centers on life in the Maritimes with a lot of quirks. Most of my inspiration comes from real-life moments. Currently, Glass Roots Art Gallery in Riverview is the only store that sells it. I also sell it at craft festivals and sometimes conventions.
1st: Lyne, you have many amazing talents. One such talent is animation. You worked on the projects I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Space knights. What can you tell your fans about these animations? Where can we view them?
Lyne: I’m surprised that you’re asking about Space Knights instead of Three Delivery. Mostly because I only worked on the pilot; the series never got picked up by a network.
As for “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”, it’s a mini web series called “Spraychel for President” and it can be found on YouTube. It’s not very long, but it’s entertaining. Obviously, it’s to promote “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” butter spray, but it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m proud to say I animated a talking potato.
Lyne: Yes, I was given a contract to work a 3D virtual museum project when I graduated college. It was a partnership with NBCC-Miramichi, where I studied. I lived in Ottawa for three months and got to work from the Bytown Museum. The animation is a historical re-telling of the construction of the Rideau Canal in what is now known as Ottawa. I learned 3D Max in college, but when I got the job to work on this project, I had to learn Cinema 4D as well. The animation is available to watch on YouTube.
The project was done back in 2005, so like most 3D animations, it didn’t age well.
Lyne: Oh geez! I feel like I just opened a time capsule. I used to work for Black’s Photography in Dieppe and after I left they asked me to do a mural for them. It seems they had a company-wide contest to decorate around their billboard temporarily, but they wanted something permanent. I created a simple, landscape of a field with some cherry blossom trees. I spent 6 hours going up and down a stool to create a 6.3’ ft x 4.4’ ft acrylic mural. Unfortunately, when Black’s closed their stores, Telus took over the spot where they were and covered it up.
Lyne: I’m glad you enjoy them. Bunny Goes MOo is my greeting card line. They’re available year-round at Glass Roots Art Gallery in Riverview. They’ll also bring some of them over at the Saltscapes East Coast Expo in Nova Scotia on November 8-10, so you can get them there as well.
Lyne: Currently I’m not open to any freelance projects. I work in graphics, so there’s a lot that I can no longer offer to clients because of conflict of interest. My main focus outside of work is my comic Megami Shiizun and Bunny Goes MOo greeting cards. I don’t have time for much else, it keeps me very busy. The only service I offer is free and it’s for anybody who wants to attend a convention/festival as a vendor for the first time. I’ve been doing it for fourteen years and my first one was a disaster. So, I offer advice on how to attack your first one. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a private message on Facebook or Deviantart. I’ll be glad to help you out.
Lyne: You can follow me on any of these websites:
I’d like to give a quick shout out to Nicole Raymonde, who proofed my 4th issue of Megami Shiizun and Dieppe Imaging for their fantastic service with printing the comic books.
Lyne: Hmmm. Maybe just a little side note about the name Megami Shiizun, because readers have been wondering about that. It’s actually Japanese for “spectacle”, which in French is described as the sight of a group, which attracts attention.
It’s also the original name of the series, which I thought about changing because Megami Shiizun didn’t mean what I thought it did. However, after all the re-writes I did on the story, the name did work out in the end.