Four of France's top cartoonists killed in satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo attack
A file photo taken on April 23, 1991, shows French cartoonist of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo Georges Wolinski in Paris. The French cartoonist Wolinsky is among the deadly victims of the attack led by armed gunmen who stormed the current offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, that left 12 dead. AFP PHOTO /STAFF.
A file photo taken on Mars 15, 2006 in Paris shows French cartoonist of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo
Jean Cabut aka Cabu posing in his appartment. The French cartoonist Cabu is among the deadly victims
of the attack led by armed gunmen who stormed the current offices of French satirical weekly Charlie
Hebdo on January 7, 2015, that left 12 dead. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET.
PARIS (AFP).- Four of France's most famous cartoonists were among the dozen people murdered
Wednesday when gunmen attacked the Paris offices of their satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo,
French prosecutors said.
They included the editor-in-chief of the publication, Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb.
The other three were: Jean Cabut, known across France as Cabu; Georges Wolinski; and Bernard
Verlhac, better known as Tignous.
The killings shocked France, all the more so because the cartoonists had for decades filled the
public imagination with drawings that gave bite to current events.
Also shot dead was popular economist Bernard Maris, 68, not a cartoonist but well-known
for his Charlie Hebdo editorials and national radio commentaries.
Here are some details on each of the cartoonists:
Charb: Stephane Charbonnier, 47Charb took over the running of Charlie Hebdo in 2009 after
joining its staff in 1992. His irreverent caricatures of politicians and other figures mostly
appeared in the publication, but also popped up in many other leftwing outlets and outright comics.
He had been living under police protection after receiving death threats for Charlie Hebdo's run
of a Mohammed cartoon in 2011, which also saw the newspaper firebombed and its website hacked.
Cabu: Jean Cabut, 76Cabu traced the times he lived in for nearly six decades, sparing no-one
and nothing: not presidents, not the military, not religion. In that, he carried on a tradition
of French pamphleteers.
Cabu's most enduring creation was the "Beaufs", caricaturing the worst of French complainers,
racists and jingoists.
But it was cartoons he did of the Prophet Mohammed for Charlie Hebdo, among his most caustic
work, that brought ceaseless death threats upon him and the newspaper's staff.
"Cartoonists live on stupidities and that will never be turned back," he once said.
Wolinski: Georges Wolinski, 80Wolinski was a legend in French cartooning, with work
stretching back to well before Charlie Hebdo's beginning in 1970.
Born in Tunisia in 1934 to a Polish father murdered when he was just two years old, and to
an Italian mother from Tuscany, Georgie, as he was called by his grandmother, discovered comic
books from US soldiers deployed to North Africa.
Arriving in Paris at the end of World War II, he started illustrating his high school newspaper
and then moved on in 1961 to a publication called Hara Kiri. When that paper was ordered
closed by officials, he moved on with its staff to start Charlie Hebdo.
"We used cartoons to talk about the times we lived in, about society, about women," he said.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Wolinski struck out on his own to work for several of France's
leftist mainstream newspapers and magazines. In 1992 he returned to Charlie Hebdo while
also publishing his own comic book work separately.
Tignous: Bernard Verlhac, 57Less well-known than the others, but still very much appreciated
in the industry for his corrosive touch and energy, Verlhac had been a cartoonist for the French
press since the 1980s. He worked for several other outlets at the same time as for Charlie Hebdo.
"A newspaper cartoon is extremely difficult to get right because you have to get everything into
just one frame. It's the opposite of comics," he once said.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse