'J'Aime les Filles' (2014).

Diane Obomsawin - pen name Obom - is a comic strip artist, animation filmmaker and illustrator from Quebec. During the 1980s, she was part of the first wave of Quebec underground comics, publishing in fanzines like Iceberg. Publishers like L'Oie de Cravan (French) and Drawn & Quarterly (English) later released her comics biography 'Kaspar' (2007) and 'On Loving Women' (2014), a story collection about coming out, first love, and sexual identity. Since the 1990s, she has produced several award-winning animated shorts, often based on her comic strips. Her work is characterized by its naïve, minimalist style and her distinctive creations: human characters with animal heads.

Early life
Diane Obomsawin was born in 1959 in Montreal. Of Abenaki descent, she emigrated to France with her mother and brother when she was one year old. She was educated in Nice, then worked as a graphic designer in Paris. In 1983, she returned to Montreal and began publishing in fanzines, notably with collages, then comic strips.

'À Chier' (1991).

Underground comics
During the mid-1980s, Obomsawin shared a studio space with several underground authors, including Henriette Valium, with whom she participated in the fanzine Iceberg. At the time, she used pen names like Ringo la Balafre and Dumaurier Régulier, but later she settled on "Obom", derived from her last name. In Iceberg, she published the comic 'Les Aventures de Rosebif' as well as the inserted mini-comic 'À Chier' (1991), a parody of the American Archie comic books by Dan DeCarlo. Both in and out of the world of comics, Obom remained discreet, but published illustrations regularly, appearing in magazines like MTL, L'Actualité, Châtelaine, La Presse and Le Devoir. She also made appearances in comic/humor magazines like Croc and Anormal.

During the 1990s, publisher Benoît Chaput of L'Oie de Cravan spotted Obom's comics on placemats made for a hamburger restaurant. Shortly afterwards, she released her first distributed album with them, the dream story 'Plus tard' (1997). Most of her further comics appeared with this publisher, which otherwise specialized in poetry, but also put out art titles by Julie Doucet, Michel Hellman and Gigi Perron. Obom continued with other dream stories ('Pink Mimi Drink', 2007) and a biography of the mysterious German 19th-century abandoned child Kaspar Hauser ('Kaspar', 2007), which was also published in English by Drawn & Quarterly. Back at L'Oie de Cravan, she released the story collection 'J'Aime Les Filles' (2014), which features portraits of women recounting their discovery of their lesbianism, including her own experiences. Drawn & Quarterly subsequently published it in English as 'On Loving Women'. In addition, Obom has published other short stories - often with autobiographical elements - with publishing imprints like Mille Putois ('Rey Rogors', 2014), La Mauvaise Tête ('À Chier tome 2' [2016], 'Les Nuits Agitées' [2017]) or, in English, Conundrum Press.


In 1995, Obom began studying animation at the Montreal-based Concordia University. Since then, she has directed over ten short films, several of which received awards, and were shown on festivals in Canada and abroad. With help from the National Film Board of Canada, Obom notably produced the shorts 'The Worm' (1999), 'The Coat' (1999), 'Distances/Elbow Room' (2002) and 'Ici Par Ici' (2007). The latter told with humor the several stages of her childhood, spent between Montreal and France. It received the prize for "Best Narrative Film" at the Ottawa International Film Festival and was nominated for the Prix Jutra for "Best Animated Film" and the Genie Award for "Best Animated Short Film". Several of her films were adapted from her comic strips, for instance the shorts 'Kaspar' (2012) and 'J'Aime des Filles' (2016), which won the Nelvana Grand Prize for "Best Independent Narrative Short Film" at the International Animated Film Festival in Ottawa.

In an interview, Canadian cartoonist Julie Doucet explained that Obom's work inspired her, as she was the only woman of her generation already doing comics in Quebec before her, but that their paths never crossed because they were both too shy. For Doucet, Obom's work is "fantastic, exquisite, hilarious all at once." Diane Obomsawin has also been praised for her storytelling and framing, through which she depicts humanity in a profoundly perceptive and earnest way.

For her 'Kasper' comic, Obom received the Grand Prize of the city of Quebec and the "Best French Book" award at Montreal's Expozine in 2008. 'J'Aime les Filles' was awarded the "jury prize" of the Prix Bédélys awards during the 2015 Montreal Comics Festival. Obom's only children's book, 'Le Petit Livre pour les Géants' ("The Little Book for Giants"), won the 2021 Montreal Children's Book Prize.

'Pink Mimi Martini' (2010).

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