Serge Chapleau, political cartoonist (b at Montréal 5 Dec 1945). The youngest in a family of 7 children, Serge Chapleau grew up in a blue collar neighbourhood in Montréal, where his childhood kingdom was the back alley of rue Drolet. Humour and self-derision quickly became his defence mechanisms, giving rise to the biting personality of the one who would become known simply as "Chapleau." In 1969, he received his diploma from the École des Beaux-Arts in Montréal, and in 1972, he produced a cartoon of singer Gilles Vigneault for the magazine Perspectives that immediately and very successfully launched his career.
In 1985, Chapleau joined the daily Le Devoir, and every day with rather bold pencil strokes, he drew the highlights and leading personalities in the news. These daily cartoons clinched his success, and his caustic popularity earned him a privileged place in media circles. At the same time, Chapleau created the puppet Gérard D. Laflaque. Somewhat his alter ego, this colourful character allowed Chapleau to comment on political discourse more vividly through short vignettes on Radio-Canada's Minute et quart. In 2004, to the great delight of audiences, Gérard D. Laflaque reappeared on Radio-Canada in the weekly broadcast Et Dieu créa...Laflaque, presented in 3D. It was an undeniable success, winning the award for best comedy at the prestigious Banff International Television Festival in 2005.
In 1993, the first collection of Chapleau's cartoons of the year, L'année Chapleau, appeared and would continue to be published on a yearly basis. On 6 April 1996, Chapleau took over from the celebrated Girerd and joined the daily La Presse. Every day for more than 20 years, the news felt Chapleau's punch through his pencil strokes and particular vision. Some of his caricatures are classics, notably that of former Montréal mayor Jean DRAPEAU, politician Louise BEAUDOIN, and former Liberal Party leader Stéphane DION. Chapleau was also a pioneer in his artistic field, using the computer to rework his drawings. In 1997, the McCord Museum organised an exhibition of his works along with one by Terry Mosher (Aislin), cartoonist for Montréal's The Gazette.
In 1997, Serge Chapleau received the Canadian National Newspaper Award for Editorial Cartooning, an achievement he repeated in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003.