When Montreal illustrator Julie Delporte saw the nominee list for this year's Grand Prix D'Angoulême — one of the most prestigious lifetime achievement awards in the comic book world — she was incredulous. The previous year's list was short on female nominees, so Delporte had hoped the prize, which will be announced Wed., Jan 27, would take the opportunity to be more inclusive. She was wrong. This year's list was exclusively male.
Freedom of speech in the Arab Region can come at a very high price, particularly for cartoonists. Even as far back as 1987 when the Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim Al-Ali, creator of the iconic cartoon Handala, was shot and killed in London by an unidentified assassin, the dangers of biting socio-political criticism in the region have been clear.And since the so-called Arab Spring of 2011, these risks have only increased.
With a flourish of his pencil, cartoonist Maung Maung Aung skewers a pampered politician in a sketch, an image that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable.
The illustrator is among an increasingly brazen band of satirists that has emerged in a nation where recent elections tipped the balance of power from authoritarian military rulers for the first time in generations.
When the Angoulême International Comics Festival announced 30 nominees for The Grand Prix, its lifetime achievement award, not one woman appeared on the list.
After the announcement of the nominees, European advocacy group BD Égalité called for a boycott of the 2016 event and twelve* of the men nominated for the award have subsequently withdrawn their names in support of the boycott.
French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo will mark a year since an attack on its offices with a cover featuring a bearded man representing God with a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder, accompanied by the text: “One year on: the assassin is still out there.”
I WAS that kid who drew all the time. There’s one in every school, almost every classroom. At some point, around the age of eight, I started saying I wanted to be a cartoonist. Unlike my ever-patient and indulgent parents, my teachers were not enthusiastic. I remember being told time and again that there was no worthwhile career in it. After some 20 years of work as a cartoonist, much of that spent in the company of a doubly patient and indulgent wife, it’s safe the say their arguments failed to dissuade me.
The anniversary of the 7 January attack on Charlie Hebdo is coming up. Whether you feel that Charlie is a symbol of freedom of expression or a scabrous hate sheet, you are about to be deluged in a giant vat of stuff.
Some will be positive, some negative but an oxen-stunning proportion of it will be written by people who do not speak French. The result will be divination and portent, written by people more likely to read tea leaves than Charlie Hebdo.