Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

As a comic creator, I offer my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of all those murdered in Paris earlier today in a barbaric attack by persons as yet unknown, on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

 To echo others: France has a long tradition of radical satire, going back to the French Revolution. Dissent is important. Religious extremism must not be allowed to crush freedom.

The offices were attacked by gunmen, who have killed 12 people at its Paris offices, which were previously fire bombed in November 2011 when it published a cartoon of Muhammad.

Stephane Charbonnier (“Charb”), the magazine’s 47-year-old editor-in-chief was killed in the attack. He had received death threats in the past and was living under police protection.

Three cartoonists have been killed, named by AFP as Jean Cabut (“Cabu”), aged 76, Bernard Verlhac (“Tignous”), 58, and Georges Wolinski (“Wolinski”), 80. Also killed was economist Bernard Maris, who worked under the pseudonym “Uncle Bernard” for the magazine.

Several of the wounded remain in a critical condition.

One of the latest tweets on Charlie Hebdo’s feed was a cartoon of the Islamic State militant group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

BBC News reports French President Francois Hollande says there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has released a statement on Facebook condemning the attack and calling for a march on Thursday through Paris’s Republic Square at 6.00pm.

Commenting on Twitter, newspaper columnist Mustafa Akyolin said: “As a Muslim, I condemn the cruel attack on CharlieHebdo & offer condolences to the French people. The “Islam” of the murderers is not mine.”

Please don’t forget that it is only a tiny minority of extremists that would agree with what has happened today in Paris. Do not be carried along by hatred by the foul attack and help terrorists succeed in dividing us further.  


The Victims

 (Added 8th January)  

• Charlie Hebdo editor and cartoonist Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, 47
• Cartoonist Jean “Cabu” Cabut, 76
• Cartoonist Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, 57
• Cartoonist Georges Wolinski, 80
• Philippe Honore, 73 Economist and regular magazine columnist
• Bernard Maris, 68, known to readers as Uncle Bernard
• Mustapha Ourrad, proof-reader Elsa Cayat, psychoanalyst and columnist
• Michel Renaud, who was visiting from the city of Clermont-Ferrand
• Frederic Boisseau, 42, caretaker
• Police officers Franck Brinsolaro, who acted as Charb’s bodyguard, and Ahmed Merabet, 42


  Web Links

(Some added as updates)    

BBC News 7-1-2015: Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12
BBC News 7-1-2015: Charlie Hebdo and its place in French journalism
BBC Profile 7-1-2015: Defiant Charlie Hebdo editor ‘Charb’
Linternaute 7-1-15: Mort de Cabu et Charb : Jean Cabut et Stéphane Charbonnier tués de sang froid
Reason.com 7-1-2015: ‘Je suis Charlie’? No, You’re Not, or Else You Might Be Dead
The Guardian 7-1-2015: Charlie Hebdo: We cannot let the Paris murderers define Islam by Ed Husain
Los Angeles Times 7-1-2015 | Ted Rail: Special to The Los Angeles Times: Political Cartooning is Almost Worth Dying For
Informed Comment 7-1-2015 | Juan Cole: Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
BBC Viewpoint 8-1-2015:  The roots of the battle for free speech by Tom Holland
• The Beat 8-1-2015: The cartooning world — and the rest of the world — reacts to the Charlie Hebdo attack
The Guardian 9-1-2015: Joe Sacco: On Satire – a response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks  
• The Observer 10-1-2015: Legendary Cartoonist Robert Crumb on the Massacre in Paris
Daily Kos 11-1-2015:  On not understanding “Charlie:” Why many smart people are getting it wrongDaily Kos 11-1-2-15: The Charlie Hebdo cartoons no one is showing you


Tweets and Comments by Other Comic Creators

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, Featured

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2 replies

  1. There should be a campaign to give extremists a sense of humour. Extremism stems from a perverse usage of the Koran. The Koran is not sacred anymore than the Bible, life is. Muslim cartoonists should lead the way. It would be so sad if their deaths were in vain.

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