Born 20 January 1874, in Montréal.
He attended l’Ecole des Beaux Arts (Montréal), then in 1895 went to Academie Julian in Paris France. Back in Montréal in 1901, He developed a series of cartoons entitled “En Roulant Ma Boule” based on the character Père Ladébauche, created in 1879 by journalist and cartoonist Hector Berthelot.
His interest in cartoon strips took him to New York in 1903 where he changed his name to Raoul Barry. There he worked with Pat Sullivan, creator of “Felix The Cat”. Even though he lived in New York, Raoul continued contribute to Québec newspapers. On 26 June 1906, “Le Contes du père Rheault” appeared in La Patrie, alternating with “ Les aventures de Timothée“. It ended by 1909.
With Charles Bowers he opened one of the earliest animation studios, and worked on many of the “Mutt & Jeff” features. He was responsible for a major technical innovation in animation: the peg system whereby drawing paper is mechanically perforated and held in place registering the position of the successive drawings and eliminating jiggling images. He also introduced “flights of fancy” the technique of comically morphing cartoon characters.
André Martin an animator historian has called the infinite transformations of Barrés’ characters “logically structured nonsense.”
He died 22 May 1932.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1979: 228.
Inks: Cartoon & Comic Arts Studies, 4-2, May 1997: “An Introduction to the Canadian Newspaper Comic.” Writ., Kenneth Barker: 18-25.
Shift, July 1997: “The Great Animation Conspiracy”: 42.
Archived Newspaper Strips of the 20th Century – Québecois.” Library & Archives Canada/Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/comics. Accessed 3 October 2017.