I (heart) Chapleau




There are few cartoonists in the world who could get away with drawing three white people in blackface a mere three days after the election of Barack Obama and a) not come off as a raging bigot; and b) be funny as hell. Serge Chapleau is one of them.


I (heart) Chapleau

  1. Martin,

    I’m a big fan of political cartoons, but am not familiar with Chapleau (I’m unilingual, you see). Can you explain why Chapleau could get away with this type of thing when others wouldn’t?

  2. Simple: He’s funny and there isn’t an ounce of hate in what he’s portraying. Race is a toughy to portray, even if a cartoonist means well. I don’t know of many who could pull off blackface.
    Also, there is context in this case. Here, Chapleau’s poking fun at Dumont’s invoking of Barack Obama during the opening days of Quebec’s election. (Dumont suggested an ADQ government would bring Obama-like hope to the province.)
    Marois said that, as the first female Premier of Quebec, she would be like Obama in her own right.
    As far as I know, Charest hasn’t yet invoked the U.S. President-elect. But the campaign is still young…

  3. Martin,

    I see – you meant that few would have the talent to be able to pull off blackface. I thought you meant because of his reputation, he gets away with it, or something like that. Thanks, I get it now.

  4. Also, I was just browsing through some of Chapleau’s stuff at the McCord museum website. Although I could only comprehend bits and pieces of the text, his artistic ability alone is remarkable.

  5. And here I thought he was lampooning the ears !

  6. I thought he was lampooning Ted Danson.

  7. One of my co-workers is from Quebec, and during this past election he loaned me a book of Chapleau’s cartoons because I was asking him about how certain politicians are viewed in Quebec. I must say the man is pretty hilarious. I especially enjoy his constant depictions of Duceppe with that infamous hair net. Dion as a rat is definitely good for a laugh, too.

  8. I was uncomfortable with Dion being depicted as a rat.

    It was the same rat you would picture in the Mafia – a turncoat, sleazy, no integrity.

    People in Québec attacked Stéphane Dion for being a federalist and for standing up for Canada. For this, people viewed him as a sell-out, a rat and many other things.

    Chapleau contributed to this image. It served the cartoonist’s career well, but for that, and that alone, I lost a lot of the respect I had for him.

  9. I love Chapleau too… gateway to the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve (largest game preserve in the world, people!), home of an incorrectly engineered bridge that goes over the rail tracks, close to the amazing Missiniaibi Provincial Park, home base of the Racine Lake Bear Study, and it’s almost completely bi-demi-lingual!*

    *bi-demi-lingual is where a person knows half of one language, and half of another, but neither fluently and is subsequently forced to switch back-and-forth mid-sentance and continue in that language until they run into a word they’re unfamiliar with, switch back to the other language, etc.

  10. Wassim,

    Stephane Dion woke up one day after an hangover and decided to be a federalist. Then he proceeded to attack and bully sovereignists using every word trick and sophisme on the book that a philosopher like him usually does. People are right to view him as sell-out and a rat.

    Chapleau was right on the money with his depiction of Stephane Dion.

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