The story of Charlie Hebdo


The massacre of 11 people at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this month, in a series of terrorist attacks that also saw the murders of four Jewish hostages in a Paris kosher store and the executions of two police officers, has brought worldwide attention to a publication hitherto little-known outside of France. But the history of the magazine and its outstanding cartoonists remains obscure to many in the Anglophone world. Dan Israel presents here (cartoons included) the five-decade, two-generation story of an eclectic gang of irreverent, anarchic and unapologetic artists who made up the cream of post-war French cartoonists, and questions what will be their legacy.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

In their shooting attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7th, in which 11 people were murdered, brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi wiped out two generations of artists who made up the cream of French cartoonists: Georges Wolinski, 80, Cabu - who would have turned 77 six days later – Honoré, 73, Charb, 47, and Tignous, 58.