Born in Abitibi, Frédéric Gauthier studied film production at Concordia University in Montreal. While doing so he was working in a specialised bookstore aimed at graphic novels called La Mouette Rieuse. In 1998 he co-created La Pastèque with Martin Brault. Publishing books for nearly 20 years, La Pastèque has won many prestigious awards and some of their books are translated in over 20 different countries. They now publish graphic novels and picture books for kids, with a catalog of over 250 titles.
La Pastèque has been a hugely influential publisher of bandes dessinées (comic books, or literal translation, drawn strips). Gaining significant recognition in 2010, La Pastèque won the Joe Shuster Outstanding Comic Book Publisher Award. According to a Quill & Quire article, “Frédéric Gauthier believes the availability of international titles has encouraged young Montrealers’ dreams of pursuing artistic careers. ‘When young kids see European and French books and comic books, the possibilities seem that you can work in Quebec, or in the U.S., or in France,’ he says.” Read more about Gauthier, Isabelle Arsenault and the Montreal scene in Quill and Quire.