Montreal Artist Proves Comic Books Aren’t Just for Kids

By Mary Montserrat-Howlett

MONTREAL(RushPRnews)12/12/2008—Next time you tell your kid to stop doodling, maybe you should think again. At 31 years young, founder of AXAR Productions and co-creator of graphic novel, “Le Regard Des Autres”, Martin Balcer, won’t let anyone tell him he can’t make comic books for a living. The Montreal-born, comic lover, has made his entrance into the comic book/graphic novel industry, earning wide recognition around the province and only at the very beginning of a successful-looking career.

With the hopes of achieving recognition on a worldwide level, AXAR is a project that remains true to Balcer’s heart. “The focus of AXAR is to create comics/graphic novels that will compete on an international level and keep our very talented artists working in Québec,” he says.

Last month, Balcer had his first book launch for “Le Regard Des Autres”. The event attracted over one hundred people that had the chance to see a wide variety of the artists’ work. Books and sketches were being sold and people had the chance to get their copies signed.

The novel is already being sold at major book and music stores like Archambault and Renaud Bray and of course, through the author’s company, AXAR. “I really didn’t expect such a strong response. It’s like a tsunami of emotions,” Balcer says.

Balcer’s girlfriend, Myriam Labbé, was very glad others got the chance to celebrate the seven years of work he’s put in to this project. “It’s not easy to do what Martin is doing in Quebec” she says. “Martin took the plunge and went with it right till the end. He never gave up; even when things got hard; he always believed in his art.”

AXAR Productions has been an ever-growing concept that Balcer has worked on for many years. Developing the company with the aim of creating and producing quality comics, AXAR has been a vehicle enabling Martin to make the most of his talent and the talent of others.

Balcer was offered the initial story concept for “Le Regard Des Autres” by his university professor, Edmond Beaudoin, and he “jumped on the chance to take it.”

“Le Regard Des Autres” is a story about, a humanitarian photographer named Stephan Martel. Stephan finds out, after the death of his mother, that at a young age, the operation he had on his eyes was actually an organ exchange. Wanting to make things right, Stephan sets out to find the person who has lived without sight for over 22 years. But events turn troublesome when he finds himself surrounded by guards, in a dark cell in Rio. And they want to know why he’s looking for Anor J. Raconda.

Balcer gets much of his inspiration from one of his comic hero’s, artist/writer Alan Davis. According to Martin, “He taught me how to tell a story; the idea of mastering your craft to the point that the reader forgets that she/he is actually reading.”

“My favourite hero is the writer,” Balcer says. “She/he will make me forget I’m on the bus in rush hour; that I’m in a plane that’s about to crash.”
Eager for what’s in store, Balcer couldn’t be any happier doing what he loves.

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