Muslim extremists have, of course, made death threats against cartoonists in Denmark and elsewhere. Politicians like Turkey’s Erdogan have been disappointingly thin-skinned. But it still came as a surprise when some young men in Paris actually murdered cartoonists in a satirical magazine. After all, cartoonists are the class clowns, the jesters. They are protected by their humour and the expectation that they’ll be scallywags. No?
When Raymond Huber asked me for a drawing of ‘Tank Man’ — the brave Beijing shopper who blocked a column of tanks on their way to Tiananmen Square — I thought he needed a cover illustration for his new book. In actual fact, he was just after a sketch for a chapter heading.
Sometimes misunderstandings lead to happy outcomes, and the sketch has become the cover illustration I’d imagined.
Raymond’s book is Peace Warriors, and it’s published by Mākaro Press in New Zealand.