The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The Paris terror attacks: How cartoonists are responding with resonance through art

AMID tragedy, sometimes there is particular power in simplicity. The direct helping hand. The concise word of comfort. The simple gesture.

And sometimes that gesture is the inspired motion of the hand.

The London-based French graphic designer Jean Jullien, 32, put brush to paper to express himself in the immediate wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris — and his gesture soon traveled across the globe.

“I thought we needed a message for peace,” Jullien told CNN of his real-time inspiration: the Eiffel Tower standing as the center standard in the peace logo.

He posted on his social-media accounts the very evening of the attacks — in what he called “a heartfelt reaction” — and the simple and emotionally direct image went viral, generating comments by the thousands as it crossed different social-media platforms.

Here are some other illustrations that responded with resonance to the attacks in a gallery that will update on an ongoing basis:

STEVE BENSON (Arizona Republic):

DARRIN BELL (Washington Post Writers Group):

STUART CARLSON (Universal Uclick):

REBECCA HENDIN (Buzzfeed & Universal Uclick):


PATRICK CHAPPATTE (International Herald Tribune):

GLENN McCOY (Universal Uclick):



COCO (Charlie Hebdo):

Well, this time around, Charlie Hebdo didn’t draw Muhammad — staying true to its announced intentions. Instead, 10 months after a dozen people (including five of its cartoonists) were killed by extremists in an attack on Hebdo’s Paris offices, the satirical publication has responded to Friday’s terrorist attacks with a cover (by Coco, the nom-de-toon of artist Corinne Rey) true to the paper’s history of visual defiance. The image: A man riddled with bullet holes in stock cartoon fashion. The in-your-face caption: “Ils ont les armes. On les emmerde, on a le champagne!” (or: “They have weapons. F—k them. We have champagne!”).

[Cartoonists react through art to the Charlie Hebdo massacre]

CLAY BENNETT (Chattanooga Times Free Press):

NICK ANDERSON (Houston Chronicle):

As with Charlie Hebdo, cartoonists’ reactions are moving beyond the imagery created in the immediate aftermath to strong opinions weighed over days:


JACK OHMAN (Sacramento Bee):