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Oui Prime Minister!
What is it about Canadian politicians? There was geeky-sexy Jack Layton and then there was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who - I realised while I was halfway through this comic - was actually Batman. Think about it: the fast cars, the formative experience in exotic war-torn lands, the deceased millionaire father who left a fortune and cast a long shadow, the penchant for wearing capes…
With all those things, you’d think it was hard to take PET seriously, but he was dead serious. Just watch early clips of him pontificating from a CBC lectern. Perhaps the most serious thing that he did was implementing the War Measures Act - the subject of the famous “Just Watch Me” interview. Scary words coming from any head of state, but I urge you to watch the entire interview to hear an exchange that never happens in politics any more.
The public persona of Pierre Trudeau is so outlandish that I felt I had to supply more notes than usual:
- Suzie is reading Citizen of the World by John English. If you read it you’ll realise that I’ve hardly made anything up.
- That’s Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier in panel 4. I didn’t do a good job of drawing Gérard, but you can check out the real-life Trois Colombes in the original Reservoir Dogs photo.
- Pierre is quoting Jean Cocteau in panel 5. Meanwhile, the bandit is saying, “You’re crazy!”
- I paraphrased Justin Trudeau’s eulogy for his father in panel 10. You can watch the moving tribute in its entirety here.
- Everybody knows who Tuxedo Kamen is, right?
- That’s Le Sanctuaire du Saint-Sacrement in panel 9, home to the Monastic Communities of Jerusalem on Avenue Mont-Royal.
- The incident in Panel 11 happened more than one year ago on Rue St-Denis but I have oversimplified it.