Emmanuel Poiré, the grandson of a Napoleontine officer stationed in Russia, was born in Moscow. In 1877, he moved to France and became a military officer. He published his first drawings in Le Chronique Parisienne in 1880, specializing in military caricatures. He used the pseudonym Caran d'Ache, which comes from karandash, the Russian word for pencil.
He worked for Chat Noir, Figaro, Fliegende Blätter and Le Rire. In 1898, he founded the magazine Pssst...! His album 'Carnet de Chèques' was directed against the scandal in Panama. In 1902, he dedicated a whole edition of L'Assiette au Beurre to the Legion d'Honneur. His graphic novel 'Maestro' remained unpublished until 1999.