Cartoonists Around The World Respond To The Attack On ‘Charlie Hebdo’

The pen is mightier than the sword.

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By now you will have no doubt heard about the attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Overnight, several masked men entered their office in Paris and killed 12 people before escaping by car. 11 additional people were wounded with four still in a serious condition. Of the 12 shot dead, eight were journalists including four well-known controversial cartoonists, one was working at reception, one was a visitor, and two were police officers who had been called to the scene. It’s believed that the men saw the attack as retribution for the publication’s portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

Since this news was initially reported you’ve probably read a number of articles, scrolled through a couple of updated live blogs of the developing story — the police hunt for the men is still underway — and you may have even watched a highly inadvisable Youtube clip of the gunmen’s shootout with French police.

The team at Charlie Hebdo were fearless satirists who regularly attracted threats from extremist groups. In no way does this justify or validate the violence they suffered, but it does give us some insight into their values and beliefs.

In 2012, the editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier (known affectionately as Charb) was quoted re-appropriating a great maxim of the libertarian movement. “I am not afraid of reprisals. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a wife, I don’t have a car, I don’t have credit,” he said. “This may sound a bit pompous but I would prefer to die standing than to live on my knees.”

To continue this legacy, thousands have gathered in Paris declaring ‘Je Suis Charlie‘ in solidarity with the victims, but the most moving tributes come from the cartoonists around the world continuing their good work.

David Pope – The Canberra Times.

Ann Telnaes – The Washington Post.

Max Haes – French cartoonist.

James MacLeod – The Evansville Courier.

Glen Le Lievre – The Sydney Morning Herald.

Eugene Lee Yang – Buzzfeed.

Rob Tornoe – Philly Inquirer.

Dave Brown – The Independent

Ruben L. Oppenheimer – Dutch freelance cartoonist.

Jean Jullien – French graphic designer.

Francisco J. Olea – Spanish political cartoonist.

Joep Bertrams – Dutch political cartoonist.

Banksy Lucille Clerc*

* UPDATE: January 9 – Although widely attributed as a work by Banksy, a spokesperson for the artist has confirmed it is not by him. The Independent is attributing the piece to illustrator Lucille Clerc: