The webcomics blog about webcomics

In Which I Quote At Length To Save You Some Clicks

Thanks to M. Lebeaupin also for providing the idea for this image.

A number of things would have been covered yesterday, but were delayed because of a god-damned disgrace¹. Let’s point out some things have come to light regarding the Charlie Hebdo incident, then we’ll play catch-up. If this is all too depressing for you, there will be a regular post up in a little while.

  • Via Brigid Alverson, news that a fifth cartoonist, Philippe Honoré, died of his wounds after the attack. I couldn’t find a photo of Honoré that’s freely usable, so let me direct you to this page at The Guardian that features him in a composite of some of the victims.
  • In fact, stay at The Guardian for a moment longer, because they are the first place I’ve found that lists all the dead, which I’m going to quote from at length:

    The 12 victims of the attack have been identified. They are: Charb — whose real name was Stéphane Charbonnier, 47, artist and publisher of Charlie Hebdo; Cabu — whose real name was Jean Cabut, 76, Charlie Hebdo’s lead cartoonist, who was honoured with the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest civil decoration, in 2005; Georges Wolinski — Tunisian-born artist, 80, who had been drawing cartoons since the 1960s, and worked for Hara-Kiri, a satirical magazine considered a forerunner to Charlie Hebdo; Tignous — whose real name was Bernard Verlhac, 57, was a member of a group of artists called Cartoonists for Peace; Bernard Maris — known as “Uncle Bernard”, 68, was an economist and wrote a regular column for Charlie Hebdo; Philippe Honoré, AKA Honoré, 73, a cartoonist who had worked for Charlie Hebdo since 1992 and drew the last cartoon tweeted by the weekly only moments before the massacre; Michel Renaud — a former journalist and political staffer who founded a cultural festival, who was visiting the Charlie Hebdo offices from Clermont-Ferrard; Mustapha Ourrad — a copy editor for Charlie Hebdo of Algerian descent; Elsa Cayat — Charlie Hebdo analyst and columnist; Frederic Boisseau — building maintenance worker; Franck Brinsolaro — 49-year-old police officer appointed to head security for Charb and father of a one-year-old girl; Ahmed Merabet — 42, a French Muslim police officer and member of the 11th arrondissement brigade.

    Since yesterday, I’ve read a number of pieces that verge on saying some variation of Well, they provoked it/deserved it/were terrible people; everybody getting on a high horse and declaring that they aren’t going to mourn for racists, sexists, or whichever -ists it is for you, be so kind in your calculus of who is worthy and who isn’t to consider that this was a varied group of individuals. Thank you.

  • In fact, anybody that has formed an opinion of what Charlie Hebdo is or who these people were based on something you’ve seen that was copied from something else, which was based on something somebody heard, please acknowledge that you’re reacting from a place of emotion and — and I use this word precisely — ignorance.

    I didn’t comment on the content of Charlie Hebdo and the motivations of those who published and contributed not because I agreed with it, or disagreed with it, or am afraid to do so, but because I didn’t read it (my French is nowhere near good enough, nor my sense of Continental irony) and I’m fundamentally unfamiliar with the nuances.

    Fortunately, Pierre Lebeaupin was kind enough to provide some of that context in a comment on yesterday’s post, which I found extremely valuable and am reproducing here in its entirety:

    Since you decided to focus on the cartoonists who died today, let me expand on them a bit.

    Cabu! Oh my God Cabu. Where to start? By the fact he coined a word (beauf, meaning a narrow-minded average French) which is now in all French language dictionaries? By his extensive career stretching back at least 50 years? By his prowess at both caricature and comics (Le Grand Duduche, in particular)? He is, basically, a fundamental French cultural reference. Period.

    Wolinski was the reference for political cartooning in the French communist movement, long officiating at l’Humanité, the official paper of the French communist party. Among his many accomplishments, he once received the Grand Prix in Angoulème. One of his most famous cartoons read:

    Well-off Father (crying): Our daughter engaged to a one-eyed, lame negro jew!
    Well-off Mother (crying): Jesus Mary Joseph!
    Daughter: Be kind, dear, don’t tell them right away you are communist.

    Charb was pretty much the soul of Charlie Hebdo, illustrating the covers most of the time, to the best of my knowledge, as well as contributing many of the interior cartoons (as far as I know, I did not buy Charlie Hebdo) and serving as the magazine’s editor. He did work for other publications, but his recent career is pretty much synonymous with Charlie Hebdo itself.

    I am not familiar with Tignous and his work, most unfortunately.

    Lastly, among the names released as being among the dead is economist, contributing the Charlie Hebdo as such, Bernard Maris, who also officiated in various other media, such as France Inter (France generalist public radio channel).

    For Fleen, this was French correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin reporting from Paris; to you Gary.

    Nous vous remercions de votre rapport, Pierre.

  • That’s all. Try to be good to each other.

¹ My recollection is that Jerry Holkins used this descriptor to describe the events of 11 September 2001, and the economy of his phrasing has always stayed with me; however, the Penny Arcade text posts don’t go back that far so maybe I’m making it all up.

Video feed returns to Paris…

Well Gary, it’s interesting that Google Translate would suggest redneck as a translation for beauf, because to me it’s not right: it’s okay for the racist, reactionary aspects, but there is an implication of rurality in redneck that there just isn’t in beauf. My Hachette & Oxford suggests boor, which looks closer, depending on the meaning one wants to insist on.

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