It’s not every day junior high students get a visit from a professional artist, so it made for some memorable moments when Alex Couture stopped by a Grade 7 class at Branton School in northwest Calgary.
“It’s super cool,” student Haya Sleiman said.
Couture, who writes and draws his comic books under the name “Alex A,” started creating them while he was still in elementary school.
Once he started putting the book together, he never looked back.
“I always continued to try to draw and make new stories,” Couture said.
The Montreal artist is best known for his comics featuring super spy Jon Le Bon, a character he created when he was 11 years old.
“I had a big passion for James Bond, so I really wanted to have my own secret agent character,” Couture said.
“At the time it was a moose, but now it’s more like a stag or something like that.”
Ten of the Jon Le Bon comic books have been published, and are now on the shelves in several countries in Europe and North America.
“It just became so big and we sold like, one million books,” Couture said. “Just so crazy!”
Some of the students at Branton School are big fans.
Couture’s visit with the Grade 7 class also included him doing some drawing demonstrations.
“It’s really inspirational because some kids have trouble believing that they can draw, so they stop trying after a while,” student Raena Dyble said. “But after seeing a guy like him, they’d be like, ‘Yeah, I really want to draw now.'”
Courture also coached the students, giving them tips as they drew their own characters.
“Just relax and try not to judge yourself,” Couture said. “It’s normal to not be that good at the beginning.”
The fact that Couture has enjoyed such success with a character he created when he was 11 resonated with the class.
“He’s been working on it since he was really, really young,” student Fynlee Yohemas said. “So it doesn’t matter what your passion is — you can keep going.”