I’ve gotten to know the French political cartoonists through two groups, Cartooning for Peace, which is a great organization run by France’s star cartoonist, Plantu, who draws for the Le Monde (the World) newspaper – and the Salon International de la Caricature, du Design de Presse et d’humous, the annual editorial cartoonists convention in the little village of St. Just le Martel.
I’ve written here before about the convention, and winning the cow, their grand prize. Three of the four cartoonists who were murdered at the Charlie Hebdo offices also did posters for St Just (I didn’t meet the fourth killed, cartoonist/editor/publisher Charb) but I knew the other three, and here are their posters …
This first poster is by Coco, a charming cartoonist I’ve met at a number of functions over the years. She survived the attack with injuries and was released from the hospital. She was at the offices with her young daughter and was described as a receptionist in initial reports. Coco is great fun and a great talent. My thoughts and prayers are with her at this difficult time.
Many French cartoonists, and cartoonists around the world, choose to draw under a single pen name – a single name like Cher, Beyonce, Maverick, Superman, Flipper, Lassie – its just a thing they do. They call me “Cagle” and call each other by their one name, so I’m going with that here. The next two posters are by Tignous, a cartoonist that I met at a number of events and I had a lot of time to chat with him. He was a great guy, and he leaves four kids behind. Very sad. He was charming, brave and witty – he bashed Muslim extremists mercilessly in his edgy work … and he drew lots of bare breasts, something that makes life worthwhile.
The next two are by Cabu, who I only met briefly. He had a major exhibition of his work at St. Just in 2013 and was a popular guy.
The next one is by Georges Wolinski, who looked and acted much younger than his 80 years; I had lots of opportunities to chat with him in recent years at conventions. He was charming and was a gentleman who drew in a loose, swishy and wordy style (French cartoonists can be quite wordy). Here’s Wolinski’s poster. He drew lots of bawdy, sexy stuff, more common to the French cartoonists, who think we Americans are prudish.
The winner of the Humor Vache cow is expected to draw the poster for the St. Just Salon the following year, here’s my poster.
These are dark days, but the French cartoonists are talented and principled. I have no doubt that they will bounce back, more acerbic than ever.