xxxxxxxxxA CR Hall of Fame Article

By Graham Jones
CyclingRevealed Historian



Rene 'Pellos' Pellarin








Homage to Pellos

A collection of Pellos cartoon is HERE

In the 1930's and 1970's French cycling magazines were blessed with the contributions of René Pellarin who was better known under his pseudonym Pellos. Born in 1900, his prolific career lasted well into his later years when he passed away in 1998. Pellos is universally recognized as one of the greatest sports illustrators and cartoonists of his era.

At the tender age of sixteen he was already working as an illustrator for a Swiss humor magazine called Le Gugusse. By 1930 he had settled in Paris where his talent was well recognized and he became a sports illustrator for various magazines as well as a cartoonist for several journals and weeklies.

is most famous cartoon series was 'Les Pieds Nickelés' which he took over from its creator Louis Forton in 1948. ‘Les Pieds' which roughly translates into ‘nickel feet' was about three lovable scoundrels always on the make with all sorts of crazy schemes which, like them, never really amounted to much. However their good natured optimism and crazy schemes obviously struck a cord with a wide audience. From the adventures of the female heroin ‘Durga Rani' to the science fiction series ‘Futurpolis' it was clear that Pellos had a rich imagination and a very deep repertoire in terms of subject matter.

Pellos Cartoons: For many years Pellos was an illustrator for the most popular cartoons in France . "Les Pieds" (L) was the most popular of all but "Durga Rani" (C) shown here also had a huge following as did "Futurpolis". [See more Pellos Illustrations]

In the world of sports Pellos is particularly remembered for his illustrations related to rugby and cycling. His powers of observation were translated into wonderful caricatures that often captured the essence of the personality better than a photograph could. An obvious deep knowledge of the sports enabled Pellos to tell an entire story in one picture which would be populated with his caricatures. Satire and commentary were combined with a story line in such a way that three weeks of the Tour de France would be told in one illustration.

Pellos Caricatures: (L) TdF 1963, (M) French National team 1961, (R) French National RR 1965 [See more Pellos Illustrations]

His sharp eye and ability to capture the true essence of sports events led to many commissions to produce posters and magazine front cover designs. Today his works provide a wonderful insight into not only the sporting world of nearly fifty years ago but also into the popular cartoon culture of the era.

On our front cover this month we show two caricatures of riders that Pellos obviously admired; Tom Simpson as a 1960's beatnik from England on the left; Jacques Anquetil the aristocratic lover of the good life perched on a bottle of Champagne on the right.


A collection of Pellos works is HERE


Return to ToC >>>



All materials are property of CyclingRevealed and Copyright © 2005-2018
unless otherwise noted

Home | Contact Us