January 10th, 2015

cartoons: seeing hope in charlie hebdo

When I heard about the killings of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, I didn't know exactly what to think. I just felt sad. These were people like me, who sit by themselves at a desk most of the time and have family who probably think they work a little bit too hard, and friends who love them. I drew this picture in response and posted it on Twitter.

When I looked at other cartoons on Twitter, I saw a lot of people who were sharing the black and white 'JE SUIS CHARLIE' poster:

Created by Joachim Roncin, art director at 'Stylist' magazine

I liked that but I wanted more, I wanted drawings that would speak to me about the situation. A lot of the cartoons I saw were pictures of people brandishing pens and pencils, some bloodied and some stuck up people's backsides in an intentionally offensive way, showing people weren't afraid to exercise their freedom of speech. A few were a bit more thoughtful, but I didn't really see anything that reflected my own feelings. Almost all of them were drawn by men. Hardly any of them seemed very funny, despite the fact they were shouting for the right to be funny in an offensive way.

The first drawing I had made reminded me of Marjane Satrapi's comic book, Persepolis, about her family and experiences of the revolution in Iran, which she could only really make because she moved to France. There, she had the freedom to make it and the interest of a comics-loving population, who are willing to spend their money in support of the medium of comics.

From 'Persepolis' by Marjane Satrapi

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