Luc Bossé was an art director in Montreal’s advertising industry before founding Pow Pow Press in 2010. At first, the press was just a way to market Bossé’s own comics, but he soon started publishing other people’s books, and his passion for championing Quebec comics took over.
“I got stuck in this process, but I love what I’m doing, so it’s not a problem,” he says. “I want my authors to sell more books, because I’m a fan of their work. If they sell more, they can create more and I’m happy.”
Pow Pow Press (known as Éditions Pow Pow in French), publishes work by Quebec comics authors in a variety of categories, including fictional humour and drama, autobiography and essays. Initially a French-only press, Pow Pow began publishing translations of its books for the English-Canadian market in 2015. There are 10 English editions now available, from authors such as Zviane (For as Long as It Rains), Sophie Bédard (Almost Summer 1), and Michel Hellman (Mile End, Nunavik), with plans to translate future catalogues. Last fall, Pow Pow also began selling its French titles in the European comics markets in Belgium, Switzerland, and France.
Bossé wanted Pow Pow titles to be recognizable on a bookstore shelf, so all the books are the same format and size. He credits his Quebec-based authors with shaping the vision and voice of the house, however. “What’s really special about us in the market for comics is we’re influenced by Europe, the U.S. and English Canada, and it results in a mix that’s unique,” says Bossé.