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A Year in Comics - January 7th - extra edition

French cartoonists Charb, Tignous and Wolinski in their own style.

On Wednesday, January 7th 2015, two armed gunmen attacked the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly newspaper in Paris, France.  Identifying themselves as members of the Yemeni branch of Al-Qaeda, they then went on to shoot all present in the offices of the newspaper, where the weekly editorial meeting was going on.  By the time the gunmen left, eleven people lay dead in the newspaper's offices - 8 newspaper staff including 5 cartoonists; one visitor to the newspaper officers; a security guard; and a building maintenance worker who was shot as the assailants entered the building.  Three other newspaper staff were shot but survived, while numerous others managed to escape the hail of bullets.

Soon after fleeing, the gunmen ran into a police patrol, and went on to shoot the policemen, executing one of them at point blanc in front of witnesses.

The massacre triggered a nation-wide manhunt in France; eventually, on January 9th, both gunmen were traced and pursued into an industrial estate, where they took hostages, before eventually being shot and killed as they tried to break through the police cordon surrounding them.


Charlie Hebdo had originally been founded in 1970 as a satiric newspaper and successor to Hara-Kiri Hebdo (1960-1970), which had been banned by French authorities for 'insults towards the French President'.  The original newspaper folded in 1981, but was revived in 1992 by most of its original staff.

Known for its provocative humor, Charlie Hebdo was often subject of controverse, but never more so than after the February 9th 2006 issue, which reprinted the infamous 'Muhammed' cartoons, originally published by the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper on September 30th 2005.  While the cartoons and the issue as a whole were an attack on fundamentalists and terrorists using religion as a feeble excuse, the issue led to protests by those insulted by the depiction of Muhammed.  However, it also led to the fundamentalist and terrorist organisations targeted by the cartoons to call for attacks on Charlie Hebdo, with the aim to silence the publication for good.

A first attack in 2011 saw the offices of the newspaper fire-bombed; the second attack in 2015 saw the terrorists claim that they had 'murdered' Charlie Hebdo.  Nothing could be further from the truth - barely one week after the attack, Charlie Hebdo, which had a usual weekly print run of 60.000 issues, issued a 'survivors' edition' published by the survivors of the massacre and other contributors, which had a print run of 7.95 million, a quantity unheard of in French press.

Two years on from the deadly attacks, Charlie Hebdo still lashes out with its own brand of satirical, cynical and provocative humor.

Disclaimer: I do not agree with some of the opinions expressed by Charlie Hebdo.  But I certainly do not agree with extremism, fundamentalism, terrorism, or killing anybody just because they have another opinion than your own.

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8th entry out of ?

January 6th - Gustave Dore by kanyiko <- Back to January 6th ----- January 7th alternative entry  January 7th - The Addams Family by kanyiko ----- Forward to January 8th ->  January 8th - Ferd'nand by kanyiko
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