Written (en français), drawn and self-published by Rancourt in 1985 & 1986, the seven issues collected here in this 352 page softcover edition were originally released in Quebec as Mélody, Danseuse Nue. An autobiographical tale of her days as a nude dancer five years before, they were created, at least in part, to help her gain both perspective and distance from the events depicted. The comics both sold respectably on the Quebecois newsstands and garnered positive responses form members of the comics cognoscenti on both sides of the Atlantic, abetted by a mini-comics edition of an English language translation by Jaques Boivin, which led to a subsequent collaboration between Boivin and Rancourt on an English language Melody series published by Kitchen Sink from 1988 to 1995. Now, at last, for the first time the entire original Melody series has been translated into English (by the widely esteemed Helge Dascher) and is available throughout North America, courtesy of Montreal-based Drawn Quarterly. Chris Ware introduces this volume with a thoroughly engaging essay that is simultaneously heartfelt and analytical; guiding readers to excellent vantage points from which to view Rancourt’s work in historical, sociological and artistic contexts. Melody is both an affecting memoir and unique resource, one that serves as a counterpoint to Chester Brown’s Paying for It, also from D & Q. It won’t be long before we’ll see this pair of works being employed in a university setting; the only question is where: gender studies? urban studies? sociology? all of the above?