A couple cool cartoon finds to report from my recent sidetrip to Montreal. The first was my discovery of cartoonist La Palme. In one of Montreal’s many excellent used bookstores, I stumbled across a book from 1950 called LA PALME: THE FIRST 20 YEARS OF THE CANADIAN CARICATURIST. According to the bookseller, Robert La Palme is fairly well known in Canada (granted, as well as any cartoonist can be known) and this book is the only significant catalogue of his early work. In addition to being packed with caricatures, which are executed in a highly stylized Covarrubias/Garretto vein, the book also has examples of his painting, graphic design work, and political cartoons (the book says he drew over 2500 of them for the Montreal paper LA CANADA between 1943 and 1950). The political cartoons are also quite stylized, but here he employs a beautiful wavy bold brush line rather than the geometric abstractions of his caricatures. The book was published in a numbered edition of 5000 and I highly recommend searching it out to anybody interested in cartoons and caricature. There is an online obit about La Palme which says that he continued political cartooning until 1963 and that he was also the artistic director of Expo ’67: Montreal World’s Fair.
I also had a chance to visit the Cinémathèque québécoise which is a stellar organization devoted to film and animation. I’d heard of the organization before, but only had a vague idea of what they actually did. The organization was founded in 1963 by a group of filmmakers and film enthusiasts with the goal of documenting, conserving and promoting cinema in all its many forms. They have monthly screenings on a broad range of cartoon subjects, with shows this month dedicated to animators Paul Grimault and Raimund Krumme. They also house a wonderful research facility where I managed to put in a couple hours of work that resulted in the discovery of some important documents needed for my latest BOOK. If this place existed in LA, I would assuredly be spending a good deal of time there.