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A significant chapter of québécoise BD history closed today with the death of Albert Chartier, the creator of Onésime. Mr. Chartier died in the Centre hospitalier de Lanaudièr around 19:30 Saturday 21 February at 91 years old.
Born in Montreal on June 16, 1912, he attended le Mont St-Louis and refined his graphic techniques at the Barnes School de Montréal and, via correspondence, at the Meyer Both Institute of Chicago.
His first comic, “Bouboule“, was published in La Patrie in 1937.
In 1939, then living in New York, Chartier and its wife decide to return to Canada after the attack on Pearl Harbour. He worked for the “Bureau d’Information en Temps de guerre”, as well as in advertising and illustration for Anglophone and French-speaking publications.
In Quebec, his talent was recognised by all generations of bedeists and in the world Dictionary of the Comic strip (Gaumer, P. and Moliterni, C; éd. Larousse) one can read “Vis-a-vis the hegemony of comic books the come from the United States, he appears as a true leader, and defender a comic strips typically popular québécoise”.
There’s a nice little site dedicated to Albert and Onésime here. It includes a section on Al with a short bit of film from an interview, as well as photos of the man and his work.
In print, Drawn & Quarterly Volume 5 includes a substantial retrospective of his work including full color reprproductions of his B&W artwork.
other sources of info online