Cartoonists unite in support of Charlie Hebdo

Cartoonists from around the world have united to produce images in tribute to “cartooning colleagues, their families and loved ones” affected by the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

Up and coming 18-year-old Northern Ireland cartoonist Michael McBride has produced this striking image:

Charlie Hebdo

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  • Korhomme

    Satire, it was pointed out in many Tweets referring to what happened today, began in the 18th century, the scourge of bigots and tyrants. Jonathan Swift was one of the earliest and finest activists.

  • RUARAI 12 powerful political cartoons responding to the Charlie Hebdo attack

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My wife’s first reaction to seeing photos of the murdered journalists was “Ah, two of them look like you.” I used to work in film in London (and other places) principally in animation, during the 1970/80/early90s. One animation studio was just above the Private Eye offices, but the animation/cartoon world in Soho was a something of a village, and everyone knew each other, bumping into each other in the street and at lunch, or at bars, clubs and parties. While I did not know any of those murdered yesterday personally, I still know enough people like them to feel that someone was walking over my grave too. “Je suis Charlie” has a very serious, very personal edge for me.

    Something about violence. Someone working in my own film studio had gone to school with Aire Neave’s daughter and was a good friend of the family. I was in the studio with her when the news came through and she collapsed in grief. I did not know that Ronnie Bunting was involved at the time, but my grandfather had been in the forces with Ronnie’s father, and I remembered seeing Ronnie as a boy when news came through of his own death. My uncle had told me that my own involvement in the PD and NICRA had been mentioned to him by Ronnie as a thread in his decision to turn entirely from his father’s Loyalism. There are others, friends I remember from the late 1960s who lost their lives, or sometimes their sanity, in our own violence. Some of them were really creative people, and I’m all too aware how politics of any kind, but especially violent politics, chews up creativity and the arts and throws out something very different when it is through with it.

    I should also mention that the act of creating a cartoon, as with so much art, is quite technical. You are trying to get a drawing right, that will accurately present an idea. We would all characature one another in studios, (I remember a particularly fun afternoon drawing Gerry Scarfe with whom I was working on Pink Floyd, I drew him “in the manner of Gerry Scarfe”). No one on the inside would usually see this activity as malicious, although outsiders would frequently ask, “were they not really insulted when they saw it?” But insult was far away from our thinking as we strived to simply draw something we saw in our imagination. It was the sheer delight of making something that in a few lines spoke in some hilarious manner about someone you knew, and then their reaction, and their friends reaction. When I comment on Slugger, something of this habit of seeing the absurdity in most things enters almost everything I write.

    But I grieve for my fellow artists, broken by something without that sense of unifying delight in creativity. “Je suis Charlie…….”

  • Zeno

    Bullets for your brain today
    But we’ll forget it all again
    Monuments put from pen to paper
    Turns me into a gutless wonder

    And if you tolerate this
    Then your children will be next

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thanks for “Manic Street Preachers” Zeno!

    Back in the 1960s I was listening to the Fugs. Tuli Kuferberg had some lines:

    “Beware a man who is not moved by sound,
    He’ll drive you to the Ground man,
    He’ll drive you to the ground”

    Tuli said he’d got the lines from Plato. I think there’s something recent on YouTube.

  • Abucs

    Satire began well before the 18th century.

    For example – the Jewish satirical story in the book of Genesis reqarding the origin of the Ammonites and Moabites as the illegitimate, inbred bastards of the Jewish man Lot. Genesis 19:30-40.

    Also during the state rejections of Catholicism in the 16th century.

  • Abucs

    Satire has been both the scourge and weapon of bigots and tyrants.

    Check out the Nazi cartoons at the 7 minute mark.

  • Korhomme

    I was reporting what Twitter said. The ancient Greeks, as usual, ,got there first. I guess that many people were thinking of satire in its modern incarnation.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Swift was one of the earliest “Irish” writers in English to write satire, but it has been suggested that he was in part drawing on a very ancient satiric tradition in Irish language literature. The hilarious satire on the aping of planter manners by some of the pale Irish that is found in Pairliment Chloinne Tomáis and the poetry of Dáibhí Ó Bruadair and Brian Mac Giolla Phádraig would have offered some seventeenth century examples of this tradition.

  • Korhomme

    Another famous proponent of satire was François-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire. My problem with him is that I’m never quite sure when he’s being satirical and when he’s being straight.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Voltaire, I always think Korhomme, is being both serious and ironic all at once, usually. I think that no matter how deeply he believed something, he could always empathise with the exact opposite case and with every position between, which is exactly why he is so very, very good! As an example, when he was living in England, he was followed in the street by urchins jeering him as a “funny Frenchy”. “How can you so mock me, ever sundered from that true felicity of having been born an Englishman?” he pleaded! He admired England for its liberalism and political freedoms, but could not resist the sheer delight of treating these wee proto-spide thugs as representatives of that very same Englishness too, therein mocking the idea that any virtue to be found in any people was at all absolute.

    For me all real satire feeds on contradiction and wide breath of imagination, which is exactly why the Irish language is the most perfect medium for satire. Some of Ó Bruadair was translated into English (an almost impossible task) by the poet James Stephens in his 1919 book, “Reincarnations”:

    One verse from “The Gang”:
    “And if it come that any man shall hang
    This neck will go unchoked, that nose unslit,
    For, be things wry and crooked and to guess,
    Those twisters are at home in twistiness.
    We know now what their plottings were about,
    And how they planned, and what they meant to win ;
    ‘Twas God, not us, that took their tangles out.
    For no sleek eel inside an oily skin
    Could slip with more address from harm than they
    Can slip from punishment and get away.”

    Ó Bruadair’s original is even better as there are internal “meanings” within the Irish, but I like to think of pretty much everyone at Stormont when I read the whole poem…….