Robert Lassalvy - Gag cartoonist

You are here : Home > BIOGRAPHY > Biography


Robert Lassalvy is a French cartoonist born on April 22, 1932 in Cournonterral (Hérault). After briefly learning industrial design at the age of fifteen and completing four years of study at the School of Graphic Arts in Paris, he then dedicates himself to humorous drawing.

Keen observer of daily life and the world around him, Lassalvy stages familiar characters in unusual and comical situations. Thanks to his sparkling imagination, he caricatures with brio and playfulness the small flaws and little quirks of the mind of ordinary people, thus turning them into real popular heroes.

Through a gallery of picturesque portraits and gags, Lassalvy sheds light on a multitude of larger-than-life characters deeply rooted in their social environment and often planted in intimate settings. Aiming to provoke laughter by a burlesque effect, his cartoons are a parodic interpretation of human nature. Timeless and universal, they reveal a form of mocking spirit underlining the absurd, strange, comic or ridiculous aspects of reality.

Though known for his saucy humor and sexy pin-up girls, this colorful artist nevertheless started his career by publishing his first cartoons in the Catholic magazine Le Pélerin in 1950, then Le Rire in 1952. This year also began his relationship with the newspaper Ici Paris for which he created the character of Caline as well as his famous Choutes chéries whose success will last over 40 years.

Then, other titles will follow : France Soir, Nous Deux, La presse, Marius, Le hérisson, France Dimanche, L’équipe, Le Parisien libéré, France football, Le journal du dimanche, Paris jour, Noir et Blanc … (see press section).

In 1958 and 1959, Lassalvy appears in the journal Cœurs vaillants which remained famous for having been the first to publish The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé in France in 1946. In 1959 and 1960, his cartoons are shown in Pilote, great journal illustrated with comics founded by François Clauteaux, Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny. From 1955 to 1965, he collaborates with the weekly Bayard and the monthly Record, two other journals dedicated to young readers and comic strips. Lastly, in 1966, Marcel Dassault who noticed his cartoons in Ici Paris asks him to work for Jours de France.

By the late ‘60s, following the evolution of morals and society, Lassalvy decides to portray the small flaws of his contemporaries in a naughtier fashion. As a result, he begins to imagine gags related to the intimacy of romantic relationships and married life. That’s how he will later create his famous busty starlets widely displayed in charm magazines. His racy cartoons released in Lui (1964-1989) and Playboy (1977-1996) remain today the most emblematic of his work.

Published in the United States by Playboy Press in the magazine Oui, as well as in Brazil in the humorous monthly Status Humor, this tireless chronicler also met a large success in Japan with a cartoon entitled : « Lassalvy, c’est la vie ! » printed daily in a Tokyo newspaper.

Jack-of-all-trades, he also contributes in 1973 with Mose, Roger Sam and Rik Cursat to the illustration of a booklet called Conorama by San-Antonio based on the novel « Les con » by Frederic Dard. A few years later, the French novelist writes to him : « Dear Lassalvy, every time I see your work, it’s as though I was looking at mine in a mirror. We will have to meet someday. I love you and kiss you ».

Lastly, in 1983, he receives from the hands of Alain Poher, President of the Senate, the first prize of medical humor at the 6th Annual Press Cartoonists Festival.

From Ici Paris to Playboy, from Lui to La Vie Catholique, Lassalvy has been published in the french and international press for 50 years. He was made Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters on November 30, 1999.

Until his passing on March 31, 2001, he will continue to work for some foreign publications and dedicate the rest of his time to painting, his second passion.

On January 12, 2020, the municipality of Cournonterral will pay him a vibrant tribute by inaugurating with his name the old covered market located at the Town Hall.


Robert Lassalvy - Gag cartoonist © 2013 - 2024
Site Map | Log in | Legal notice | Contact |