Emile Mercier was the son of French parents. Emile came to Sydney at the age of 21, took a job in a flour-milling firm as an office boy and started to teach himself English. Showing an early talent in black-and-white drawing, he attended Julian Ashton’s Sydney Art School. Mercier sold his first cartoon to Smith’s Weekly in February 1923. He also began to draw for the diggers’ magazine Aussie, the Sydney Bulletin, the Melbourne Punch, the Melbourne Herald, the Sydney Sportsman and the ABC Weekly. Mercier worked on Truth and then Sydney’s Daily Mirror as a cartoonist during the Second World War. After retirement he continued to produce cartoons for the Sun.