Charlie Hebdo: cartoonists react

Je Suis Charlie - Charlie Hebdo's website after the murderous attack on its Paris office

Je Suis Charlie – Charlie Hebdo’s website after the murderous attack on its Paris office

After putting up a post on the murders at Charlie Hebdo this morning, I passed a Standard news-seller holding up copies of the London paper shouting ‘Paris killings. Read about it. In your Standard.’ It was like stepping back 30 years. This was real news, not the puffed-up, pre-prepared variety that is now the daily fare of most newspapers, from the Standard to the Guardian.

But it was dreadful news and I watched through the day as details of the killings emerged. Cartoonists reacted quickly to the murders of two policemen and 10 staff on the magazine. While there is little doubt that Charlie Hebdo set out to irritate and wind people up, it did this to all its targets – which led to it being banned for comments about de Gaulle for example – but that is no reason to pull a gun.

Three masked gunmen killed 12 people in the attack, including the editor, Stéphane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier, and three cartoonists, Jean Cabu, Bernard ‘Tignous’ Verlhac and Georges Wolinski, who was 80 years old. The attack took place during a morning editorial meeting and Bernard Maris, a contributor and economost was another victim. As well as drawing for Charlie, the victims contributed to Paris Match, Le Nouvel Observateur, Marianne, Fluide Glacial and Paris-Presse, amongst others. Wolinski had also been the editor-in-chief of the monthly Charlie Mensuel.

People gathered in both Place de la Republique in Paris and Trafalgar Square – London has been described as France’s second city – but, surprisingly, some satirical magazines have been slow to comment. 

The Telegraph ran a slideshow of cartoonists’ reactions, and at the paper’s website, Adams came up with this brilliant riposte to those who would silence the cartoonists:

Brilliant reaction to Charlie Hebdo killings by Adams at the Telegraph

Brilliant reaction to Charlie Hebdo killings by Adams at the Telegraph

 Dutch illustrator Ruben Oppenheimer also made his mark: 

Ruben Oppenheimer reminded us where the 'war on terror' began

Ruben Oppenheimer reminded us where the ‘war on terror’ began

 Yet, in France, Le Canard Enchainé, a rival satirical weekly founded in 1915, had made no comment by 8pm, just publishing its usual edition in the morning.

Le Canard Enchainé, a rival satirical weekly, had made no comment by 8pm, just publishing its usual edition in the morning

Le Canard Enchainé, a rival satirical weekly, had made no comment by 8pm, just publishing its usual edition in the morning

It was also quiet at Private Eye:

Private Eye ran no comment on the Charlie shootings

Private Eye ran no comment on the Charlie shootings

Private Eye‘s editor Ian Hislop did turn up on the Daily Mail website saying the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting had ‘paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty’.

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop quoted in the Daily Mail

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop quoted in the Daily Mail

However, The Spectator ran two big stories during the day on its website.

The Spectator ran comment pieces of the Paris killings

The Spectator ran comment pieces of the Paris killings

There was a similar reaction at the US literary magazine, the New Yorker:

The New Yorker's reaction to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices

The New Yorker’s reaction to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices

The Daily Mash website put up a cover of ‘le journal irresponsable’: 

The Daily Mash marks the Paris attack

The Daily Mash marks the Paris attack

 Magculture hinted at the range of victims of Charlie Hedbo’s vicious pens:

Magculture home page on Charlie Hebdo murders

Magculture home page on Charlie Hebdo murders

Charlie Hebdo itself ran a powerful, simple image on its website – ‘Je Suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) that reminded me of the Time Out cover after the 7/7 London bombings. The page linked to a PDF of the words translated into other languages, including Arabic. People held up printouts of the home page image at protests around the world this afternoon.

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