HernĂ¡n Cortez y las Indias, by Lucas Nine

Bouleau was a cartoonist for the French communist press of the 1940s and 1950s. In L'Avant-Garde, he was the second artist to draw cartoons, illustrations and comic strips with the paper's mascot 'Gavroche' (1945-1946).

Not much is known about the artist behind the signature "Bouleau". In the 1944-1946 period, he was house cartoonist of L'Avant-Garde, the newspaper of the Union of the Republican Youth of France (L'Union de la Jeunesse Républicaine de France). The paper aimed at young workers, and took a stand in defending their interests. L'Avant-Garde's mascot was the young worker Gavroche, whose name refers to the French expression for a street urchin or mischievous child (originating from a character in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel 'Les Misérables').

Gavroche appeared throughout L'Avant-Garde's pages, either in editorials like 'Les Échos de Gavroche' by editor Jacques Denis, or in cartoons and a comic strip, of which Roz was the original artist. Bouleau took over in September 1945, and continued the feature until July 1946. Both Roz and Bouleau applied a naïve drawing style, revealing that both were possibly amateur cartoonists. By July 1946, the strip got a professional boost when the Spanish refugee cartoonist José Cabrero Arnal took over. Arnal gave Gavroche a reporter sidekick, and continued the feature under the title 'Gavroche et G. Latine' (1946-1950). In 1950, Roger Mas took over, and the strip was transferred to the monthly AG Sélection.

Further career
Unlike his predecessor Roz, Bouleau's name continued to appear in communist newspapers well into the 1960s. He subsequently contributed political drawings to France Nouvelle (1946-1955, 1957-1959), L'Humanité Dimanche (1949-1952, 1960-1963) and L'Humanité (1950).

Cartoon for France Nouvelle (1950). In 1950, physicist Frédéric Joliot-Curie was dismissed from his post of High Commissioner for Atomic Energy. He was the first signatory of the Stockholm Appeal against atomic weapons.

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