Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Léo Taxil, French Comic Gallery 4

1 [1890] La Bible Amusante by Frid’Rick & Taxil, poster.
“Like most disciples of Cagliostro, his career was a checkered one. In 1885, at the age of thirty-one, he was engaged in his magnum opus, having already appeared as a violent radical in politics — he is a product of France — a rabid anti-clerical, and the author of a libelous pamphlet on the Secret amours of Pious IX.” — ‘Belief and Credulity,’ Joseph Jastrow, 1902
    It was quite a surprise to me to discover that the notorious hoaxer Léo Taxil (1854-1907), author of the iconic occult fraud Le Mystères de la Franc-Maçonnerie Dévoilés (1897), published anti-Catholic comics in his weekly publication Les Romans Pour Rire beginning with No. 1 on August 15, 1897. That very same day No. 1 of another comic anti-clerical publication, the weekly La Calotte, was published. Both periodicals ran until at least 1912. I was to discover that images 2 and 3 below were reprints from an earlier publication of Taxil’s, L’Anti-Clérical, and were originally published in January, 1882. La Calotte was another publication of Taxil’s although his name only appeared in back-page advertisements of his prolific life-works. The article from the periodical Sept, below, claims La Calotte had a circulation of 130,000 copies. Both publications used some very well-drawn cartoons and comics by Édouard Guillaume (1842-1927), using the pen-name Pépin, and by other artists like Frid’Rick, Satánas, Lange Gabriel, Saintourien and Claude.
    Taxil supplied the text to Pépin’s comic strips. Pépin & Taxil’s most prominent effort was the satirical comic strip ‘La Vie de Jésus’ (The Life of Jesus), serially published in 1882. Followed in 1890 by the similar ‘La Bible Amusante’ (The Amusing Bible) by Frid’Rick & Taxil.

2 [1897] Les Romans Pour Rire No. 3, Pépin & Taxil, August 29.
3 [1897] Les Romans Pour Rire No. 8, Pépin & Taxil, October 3.
4 [1897] Les Romans Pour Rire No. 6, by Claude. 
5 [1897] Les Romans Pour Rire No. 1 (subtitle: ‘Paraissant tous les Samedis’), August 15.
6 [1882] Ad  for La Vie de Jésus, January 11.
7 [1882] One more ad in L’Anti-Clérical, January 14.
8 [1909] La Calotte, drawn by Saintourien, January 29.
9 [1910] La Calotte, drawn by Lange Gabriel, September 16.
10 [1912] La Calotte, drawn by Asmodée, July 5.
11 [c.1897] L’Album Anti-Clérical – ‘Comical drawings by Pépin, text by Léo Taxil.’ 
12 [1911] La Calotte, No. 260, September 1.
13 [1934] Sept, No. 31, September 28.
14 [1890] La Vie de Jésus by Pépin & Taxil, poster.
15 [1880-81] La Religion du crimeillustrated by Frid’Rick.
16 [1896] Les Mystères de la Franc-Maçonnerie Dévoilés by Léo Taxil, poster.
17 [c.1896] Poster for Taxil’s La Prostitution Contemporaine.
18 [1912] La Calotte No. 310 (subtitle: ‘Parait chaque Vendredi’), August 16.

Images courtesy Gallica


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