Les Adventures de Timothée

Albéric Bourgeois is credited with creating the first continuing comic strip to use word balloons in Canada (and arguably the first in the francophone world).

Born in Montreal, Bourgeois moved to Boston to study art in 1900. For the Boston Post he created The Education of Annie, a daily comic strip about a bumbling middle-class couple and their misadventures raising their precocious child Annie. Returning to Montreal, Bourgeois went to work for the daily newspaper, Le Patrie. There he created editorial cartoons, illustrations, and comic strips. Les Adventures de Timothée debuted in January, 1904. Timothée was a huge-nosed little man, well-intentioned but brutally misunderstood. At the end of each day’s disaster he uttered his immortal catch-phrase, “Au contraire!”

Timothée was popular in Quebec and his adventures were collected in book form. Bourgeois enjoyed success with other strips, including La Famille Citrouillard, and created his alter-ego, Pere Ladébauche, the pipe-smoking Quebec peasant, who starred in single panel cartoons in La Presse newspaper. As an editorial cartoonist and caricaturist, his career continued for a variety of papers until his retirement in 1954.

“Albéric Bourgeois, caricaturiste”. Leon-A. Robidoux. Preface by Normand Hudon and Robert Lapalme. Published by VLB Editeur,1978.

“La Bande-dessinee au Quebec”. Mira Felardeau. Published by Boreal, 1994.

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