Episode 69

Weir Era feat. Chris Oliveros


October 6th, 2023

42 mins 33 secs

Season 1

Your Host

About this Episode

About Chris Oliveros:
Chris Oliveros was born in 1966 in Montreal and grew up in the nearby suburb of Chomedey, Laval. He founded Drawn & Quarterly in 1989 and was the publisher for the following twenty-five years. Oliveros stepped down from D+Q in 2015 to work on Are You Willing to Die for the Cause?

About Are You Willing to Die for the Cause?
A deep dive into a contentious and dramatic period in Canadian history—the rise of a militant separatist group whose effects still reverberate today.

It started in 1963, when a dozen mailboxes in a wealthy Montreal neighborhood were blown to bits by handmade bombs. By the following year, a guerrilla army camp was set up deep in the woods, with would-be soldiers training for armed revolt. Then, in 1966, two high-school students dropped off bombs at factories, causing fatalities. What was behind these concerted, often bungled acts of terrorism, and how did they last for nearly eight years?

In Are You Willing to Die for the Cause?, Quebec-born cartoonist Chris Oliveros sets out to dispel common misconceptions about the birth and early years of a movement that, while now defunct, still holds a tight grip on the hearts and minds of Quebec citizenry and Canadian politics. There are no initials more volatile in Quebec history than FLQ—the Front de libération du Québec (or, in English, the Quebec Liberation Front). The original goal of this socialist movement was to fight for workers' rights of the French majority who found their rights trampled on by English bosses. The goal became ridding the province of its English oppression by means of violent revolution.

Using dozens of obscure and long-forgotten sources, Oliveros skillfully weaves a comics oral history where the activists, employers, politicians, and secretaries piece together the sequence of events. At times humorous, other times dramatic, and always informative, Are You Willing to Die for the Cause? shines a light on just how little it takes to organize dissent and who people trust to overthrow the government.