'Indelibles': the joyous story of Charlie Hebdo before the massacre

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The shooting massacre carried out by jihadist terrorists in their attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 left 12 people dead, including most of the satirical magazine’s cartoonists. Luz was one of those who escaped the attack, by chance because he arrived late for an editorial meeting. After producing an illustrated book about the events, he has published a cartoon work, Indélébiles (Indelibles), in which he pays tribute to his dead colleagues by celebrating, across more than 300 pages of sketches, their lives and work together. In this first of a series in which members of Mediapart’s editorial team recommend their choice reading for the summer, Dan Israel sets out how Luz has succeeded in producing a lively, joyous, radiant and moving homage to his indelible friends.            

 

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It was in the early 1990s when Renald Luzier, a student from the Loire Valley town of Tours, travelled up to Paris hoping to meet his idols, the cartoonists at the French investigative and satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné. Hanging around the printing works where the weekly was rolling off the presses, he managed to collar one of them, Jean Cabut, better known under his pen name Cabu, who was one of France’s most prominent caricaturists.