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Cartoonist Decries Charlie Hebdo Killings With Defiance

Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star drew this cartoon in response to the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. (Gary Varvel/Indianapolis Star)
Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star drew this cartoon in response to the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. (Gary Varvel/Indianapolis Star)

Political cartoonist Gary Varvel of The Indianapolis Star is one of many who are responding to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices with their pen and brush.

Varvel told Here & Now’s Robin Young about his illustration and why he will not allow the attack to stop him from exercising his right to freedom of speech.

“I’m not walking in fear today; I came into the office. It was just like a normal day,” he said. “I don’t plan on changing anything that I’m doing.”

Interview Highlights

On how cartoonists should respond to these attacks

“They cut down some of us but now more of us need to rise up and take a stand. I personally am not trying to provoke people, but at the same time, if they’re attacking our freedom of speech, the worst thing that we can do is to stop doing what we do… because that just encourages more people to make those kinds of threats.”

On supporting Charlie Hebdo’s mission over its content

“European standards are a lot different. They publish stuff over there and their language and imagery is a lot coarser than what any mainstream newspaper would print… I saw one that was drawn about Jesus Christ that as a Christian I was personally offended by. But there again, I’m not gonna say they can’t print that because if I start dictating to other people about what they can print and what they can’t, then it’s gonna come back on me as well. At some point, people are going to say, ‘Okay, you can’t do this either.'”

14 Cartoons In Response To The Attack On Charlie Hebdo

Break one, thousand will rise #CharlieHebdo #JeSuisCharlie #raiseyourpencilforfreedom pic.twitter.com/3n5fOEmrwJ

— Lucille Clerc (@LucilleClerc) January 7, 2015

Washington Post cartoonist @AnnTelnaes on #CharlieHebdo. http://t.co/kwtvbInWJC pic.twitter.com/Ipk9Q6y0RA

— Anup Kaphle (@AnupKaphle) January 7, 2015

Still mortified about our fallen cartoonist colleagues, but free speech will always win. #CharlieHebdo #JeSuisCharlie pic.twitter.com/GHejOEXHwG

— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) January 7, 2015

If you think violence can stop artistic expression and freedom of speech, you just got it all wrong #JeSuisCharlie pic.twitter.com/lYUthadfV2

— Karl Camilleri (@Makhami) January 7, 2015

Here in #France, it’s cover of @Independent that’s deemed most to be in the spirit of #JeSuisCharlie @amolrajan pic.twitter.com/bu8qJetfiL

— Bonnie Greer (@Bonn1eGreer) January 8, 2015

#CharlieHebdo pic.twitter.com/15O4YC2KWg

— Ruben L. Oppenheimer (@RLOppenheimer) January 7, 2015

Can’t sleep tonight, thoughts with my French cartooning colleagues, their families and loved ones #CharlieHebdo pic.twitter.com/LqIMRCHPgK

— David Pope (@davpope) January 7, 2015

“Oh no… not them…”

#CharlieHebdo pic.twitter.com/GNh2ZAEArf

— Tommy dessine (@Tommydessine) January 7, 2015

“This is a tragedy for France…”

C’est un drame pour la France… #CharlieHebdo pic.twitter.com/lGfNUHfQIZ

— Cyprien (@MonsieurDream) January 7, 2015

Charlie Hebdo. Nooit opzij. pic.twitter.com/MJwGKPQ8jU

— Joep Bertrams (@joepbertrams) January 7, 2015

#JeSuisCharlie pic.twitter.com/FPYIswn625

— MacLeodCartoons (@MacLtoons) January 7, 2015

#CharlieHebdo #JeSuisCharlie pic.twitter.com/GPCQK2EbbF

— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 7, 2015

“I am Charlie”

I am devastated by what just happened in France. #CharlieHebdo pic.twitter.com/IxEbScqYFh

— jean jullien (@jean_jullien) January 7, 2015

“Wholeheartedly with Charlie Hebdo.”

De tout coeur avec Charlie Hebdo. pic.twitter.com/8KwTipn3Wp

— PLANTU (@plantu) January 7, 2015

Guest

More cartoons in reaction to the attack in Paris:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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