MCAF 2022: Danièle Archambault talks about making ‘Smiling Through The Mask’ and more

Poster Art by the Legendary Michel Rabagliati

In support of the 2022 Montreal Comic Arts Festival (MCAF), here’s my chat with Danièle Archambault about Smiling Through The Mask and more. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. And the podcast is also available on YouTube. Please like and subscribe to that video channel.

Danièle, with a Ph.D. in Linguistics, is an artist, author and researcher who is interested in visual storytelling as a way to document a society’s cultural, history and linguistic landscape. A tenured professor in the linguistics department at the University of Montreal until 1998, she now lives in Palo Alto, California. She published over nine comics and graphic novels: Stairway stories, Québec-California, La sobriété volontaire (A Year Without a Drink), Calendrier de l’Avent et du temps des Fêtes, Smiling through the mask/Rires sous masque, and more. She has had solo and group exhibitions (juried) in Canada and in the United States. She teaches the art of visual storytelling (comics, graphic novels, children books, and more) at the Palo Alto Art Center and other cultural and educational venues, from primary school to university level. A regular guest speaker on documenting culture and dialects through visual narratives, she is the co-founder of the Northern California educational program French language and culture through comics. Originally from Montréal, she now lives in Palo Alto, where she has been an artist-in-residence in the CASP program, City of Palo Alto (CA), since 2014.

For more than a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic brought us unexpected and difficult life challenges. Situations that would have seemed absurd before the pandemic became our new normal, and in that sometimes humor could be found. These situations provided Danièle with material for laughs during the pandemic months. As a result, she created a series of humorous cartoons shared them on various online platforms. Now these cartoons have been collected into one volume called Smiling Through The Mask.

You can discover about Danièle on Twitter at @danieleBD and on Instagram at @daniele_archambault and online at


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