FACTORY SUMMERS — by Guy DelisleDrawn & Quarterly
Text & illustrations: Guy Delisle
Editor: Drawn & Quarterly
Published in June 2021
Size: 22 x 16 cm
Pages: 156 pages
For three summers beginning when he was 16, cartoonist Guy Delisle worked at a pulp and paper factory in Quebec City. Factory Summers chronicles the daily rhythms of life in the mill, and the twelve-hour shifts he spent in a hot, noisy building filled with arcane machinery. Delisle takes his noted outsider perspective and applies it domestically, this time as a boy amongst men through the universal rite of passage of the summer job. Even as a teenager, Delisle’s keen eye for hypocrisy highlights the tensions of class and the rampant sexism an all-male workplace permits.
As the paper industry slowly began to move overseas, Guy worked the floor doing physically strenuous tasks. He was one of the few young people on site, and furthermore got the job because of his father’s connections, a fact which rightfully earned him disdain from the lifers. Guy’s father spent his whole working life in the white-collar offices above the fray of the machinery, scheduled from 9 to 5 instead of the rigorous 12-hour shifts of the unionized labor. Guy and his dad aren’t close, and Guy’s witnessing of the workplace politics and toxic masculinity leaves him reconciling whether the job was the reason for his dad’s unhappiness.