Noah's Ark, by VARB

Vital Achille Raoul Barré is one of the godfathers of Quebec comics. He was a painter, caricaturist, illustrator, as well as a pioneer in advertising films and the American animation scene. Coming from a family of twelve, he was the only one with artistic ambitions. He went to France to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. During this period, he cooperated on several humorous magazines. He was a critic of the unjust trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, and he drew various hard cartoons on the subject.

He returned to Quebec, where he laid the foundation for the French Canadian comic strip. His pantomime comic 'Pour un Dîner de Noël', published in La Presse in December 1902, is considered the first Quebecan comic strip. Soon, artists like Albéric Bourgeois, Joseph Charlebois and Th. Busnel joined the field with their comics work. Barré pursued his series 'Les Contes du Père Rheault', that appeared in alternance with Busnel's 'Les Aventures de Timothée' in La Patrie. 'Père Rheault' appeared until 1909.

Barré lived in New York since 1903. There, he worked as a commercial illustrator, and he participated in several expositions of Canadian painters. In 1912, he used the pseudonym VARB (his initials) and began the animal series 'Noah's Ark' for the McLure Newspaper Syndicate. He also pursued a career in the animation field, and founded the Studio Barré-Nolan with his associate William C. Nolan. He assigned several young animators, among which Pat Sullivan, the future creator of 'Felix the Cat'. After years in the animation field, Barré turned ill and returned to Montréal in 1920. There, he continued to paint and went into politics. He died in 1932, at the age of 58.

Pour un Diner de Noël, by Raoul Barré

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