Culture

Charlie Hebdo Cover Cartoonist: 'We tried to do an issue without playing victims'

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He's a cartoonist. |||

The new Charlie Hebdo cover was drawn by the longtime CH cartoonist "Luz(Renald Luzier), who survived the attack in part because January 7 was his birthday and he was running late for the editorial meeting.

Earlier today, just prior to the cover being finalized, he gave an interview with the lefty French daily Liberation, which is housing Charlie Hebdo temporarily under heavy police guard. Here are some excerpts as quickly translated by Emmanuelle Richard (who is my wife):  

Everything is moving forward by micro detail of trait, because that's what a Charlie Hebdo cover is about: drawings, details, each ass hair.

We tried to stick close to the news (laughs). Today is wrap day, and we're trying to do our best. Our best is doing a bit better, in fact—we have good news: [CH cartoonist] Riss [who was injured in the attack] is back at drawing. He sent a strip, he's sending drawings. It means that someone else has joined in, meaning that we're all hanging in there, including those still in the hospital.

It was complicated, very complicated, that's why we kicked out all the journalists and didn't want to answer questions, because we needed to be among ourselves. […]

 I don't know if some people are being teased more than others in this issue. We tried to do an issue without playing victims. We mocked ourselves, we tried to find positives and negatives in this kind of shitty situation. I don't know if anyone gets slammed in this issue.

What we really would like is for our next readers to follow us for the right reasons. We'll make the Charlie, the cover, for the right reasons. Voila. We will try to be as radical as possible so that people can understand why they buy Charlie, why some people will never buy it, and why we've been around for so many years.

The French rock mag Les Inrockuptibles interviewed Luz a few days ago and translated it into English; it's a bracing read. Also, Michael Moynihan alerted me to this terrific site that you should recommend to any friends making snap judgments about a publication they hadn't heard of seven days ago: Understanding Charlie Hebdo.