Comics Critic and Scholar of Quebec Bande Dessinee

by BK Munn
Richard Langlois, a pioneering historian and scholar of French-language comics, died July 19 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, after suffering from cancer. Langlois introduced the teaching of comics at the college and university levels in Quebec and was responsible for several historical comics-themed exhibits and publications over the last 40 years, as well as working as a comics journalist and critic.
Born in Montreal, Langlois graduated university with an MA in literature and took up a teaching position at the CEGEP de Sherbrooke in 1970. It was there he created an introductory course on comics that became the first to be approved by the Ministry of Education in 1973. He also taught comics at the university level and lectured extensively both in Quebec and abroad.
Langlois helped organize an exhibition of Quebec comics that toured France in 1982 and curated an exhibit of the work of the Belgian comics master Edgar Pierre Jacobs in Sherbrooke the same year. He was also responsible for a retrospective on the career of beloved Quebec cartoonist Albert Chartier in 1998.
Langlois maintained a long-time correspondence with many cartoonists, most notably Herge, creator of Tintin, whose work always took a central part in his teaching and critical practice. He was also a mentor figure to many younger scholars and cartoonists, including Marc Delaf, co-creator of the popular Les Nombrils series of albums.
In later years, Langlois, often known by the psuedonym Richard Lee or Lee Richard, participated in the email newsletter La Bedenaute with Denis Gergere, was a researcher and participant in the long-running “Au Pays des bulles” comics news and interview show on CINQ-FM, and was a contributor to the actuaBD website. Langlois’ knowledge of and insight into a vast array of U.S., Franco-Belgian, and Quebec comics was by many accounts very deep and deeply appreciated by his readers and several generations of students.
Langlois is survived by his wife Louise, daughters Christine et Nathalie, and several grandchildren.
Links to some other notices of his passing
Décès de Richard Langlois, pionnier de l’enseignement de la BD au Québec.
Un pionnier de la bédé n’est plus