The comics community is still in shock after the attacks on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo resulting in the deaths, the murder, of at least one editor and four cartoonists, twelve total individuals (including two police officers), as well as the injury to many more.
Tom Spurgeon summed it up best:
This is awful beyond words, and monstrous beyond imagining.
Below you’ll see the reaction by many in the comics community to the horrific news. The short version, this is an attack on free speech and expression, violence is never a proper response to satire and free speech, and our thoughts to the friends and families of those lost and affected.
Gunmen attacked the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killing at least 12 including an editor and cartoonists. Ten others were injured in the attack, some critically. According to police, three hooded men stormed the building using Kalashnikov rifles and a rocket launcher, though more may have been involved in the attack. The terrorists escaped in a getaway car, and remain at large as of this posting. They did exchange fire with police in their escape.
Charlie Hebdo has been the center of controversy on many occassions for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Their offices were firebombed in 2011 over a caricature of Mohammed on the magazine cover. Recently the magazine Tweeted a cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported leader of ISIS. It’s unknown if that has anything to do with the attack. The magazine has been under police protection for years due to threats.
This week’s issue features a cover story on French author Michel Houellebecq whose latest book has been called anti-Islam. It is being reported that Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, Charlie Hebdo‘s editor-in-chief and the cartoonist who drew the Mohammed cartoons who was named Al Qaeda’s most wanted in 2013, was among those killed. Also killed was Jean “Cabu” Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.
According to eye witnesses the attack lasted five minutes and the assailants claimed to be from Al-Qaeda.
Video has surfaced of the gunmen running through the streets shooting their weapons shouting “Allahu Akbar.” You can watch the video here, but some may find it distressing.
Paris has raised its terror alert to the highest setting after the attack.
Our thoughts are with the employees of Charlie Hebdo and to the families and friends of those lost.