The University of Louisiana Press will launch the book Tout Bec Doux: The Complete Cajun Comics of Ken Meaux and Earl Comeaux. today, Wednesday, October 19, in the The Kaplan Museum, Kaplan, Louisiana.  Not only is Bec Doux important historically as the first Cajun comic strip, but also as one of the earliest attempts to record the Cajun and Creole dialects of South Louisiana in print.

The Bec Doux et ses amis series constitutes a rare example of weekly newspaper comics written in Cajun French and dedicated to the self-representation of an often overlooked and stereotyped ethnic minority. Co-written by two Cajun authors, Ken Meaux (art) and Earl Comeaux (text), it was published for the first time in The Kaplan Herald in August 1969 and ran on a weekly basis for over twenty years until July 1992, appearing in other southwestern Louisiana newspapers as well. It depicts, in the style of caricature, daily situations of Cajun life, staging the (mis)adventures and social commentary of the main character, Bec Doux, and his sidekick, Zirable, with regular appearances from a cast of other Cajun protagonists, including Chère (Bec Doux’s overweight and combative wife), Pas Belle (Zirable’s unattractive wife), and their many children.

Tout Bec Doux is the first complete collection of the comics and includes critical introductions by Fabrice Leroy and Barry Ancelet, two of Ken Meaux’s pre-Bec Doux graphic stories—Louisiana Folklore and The Cajuns—and an unseen Bec Doux et ses amis comic strip that publishers refused to print.

The reception will take place from 6:00pm - 8:00pm.

To read Fabrice Leroy's comments on Bec Doux, click here.

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