Cartoonists Respond To The Massacre At Charlie Hebdo
Wednesday's attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo left twelve people dead, including nine of the magazine's journalists. Five of those journalists were cartoonists. Though the manner of Charlie Hebdo's satire was often of a quality and tone that many would find distasteful, there can be no argument, no pretense, that violence and murder were an appropriate response. Cartoonists, satirists, and commentators have the right to free expression, and should be held accountable for their views in ways that do not threaten their lives or safety.
Cartooning has long been one of the most vibrant and incisive forms of public commentary, and that tradition should be celebrated. In that spirit, ComicsAlliance has compiled a collection of some of the responses to the Charlie Hebdo massacre by cartoonists and illustrators; cartoons that acknowledge the tragedy and represent defiance in the face of fear.
The victims of the massacre include Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier, 47, known as Charb; Jean Cabut, 76, known as Cabu; Georges Wolinski, 80; Philippe Honoré, 73; and Bernard Verlhac, 47, known as Tignous. All four were cartoonists. TCJ's Bart Beaty has written over at Slate about the important role that cartooning plays in French society, noting that comics have long been integrated into mainstream publishing in that country, and "cartoonists can be genuine cultural celebrities."
Writing at Hooded Utilitarian, Jacob Canfield notes that the positions advanced in the pages of Charlie Hebdo deserve to be challenged. "For us to truly honor the victims of a terrorist attack on free speech, we must not spread hateful racism blithely, and we should not take pride in extreme attacks on oppressed and marginalized peoples."
In the wake of this attack, it is vital to remember that the actions of violent extremists do not represent any religion, race, or people -- and that the freedoms we staunchly defend for ourselves extend to the right of others to define and determine themselves.
"Today, I am a cartoonist. Today, I am a journalist. Today, I draw for Charlie Hebdo."
"Ducks always fly higher than rifles."
"Why? Pump-action shotgun? Kalashnikov? Grenade?"
"The world has become so serious that humor is a profession at risk."
Cartoonists in Arab countries have also offered responses to the tragedy that demonstrate the same sense of outrage. These cartoons were collected by a user on Imgur; translations are provided by the source.