Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Hommage to Cabu.

with 2 comments

Cabu was a Light against Darkness.

The Independent explains who he was,

Jean Cabut, who was killed in Paris last Wednesday aged 76, was better known as Cabu, a cartoonist who earned the wrath of Muslim fundamentalists with a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed, which became the subject of a court case in 2007; the film-maker Jean-Luc Godard once called him “the best journalist in France”.

Conscripted into the French Army for two years during the war in Algeria, Cabu produced cartoons for the army magazine and also for Paris Match. But his experiences in Algeria turned him into a virulent anti-militarist and he remained a relentless campaigner for non-violence and critic of the French political establishment. In 1960 he became one of the founders of Hara-Kiri, a satirical magazine which, after it was banned by president Charles de Gaulle in 1970, simply changed its name to Charlie Hebdo and appeared with the same cover the following week. Cabu also produced political cartoons for its rival Le Canard enchaîné and other magazines.

His best known characters was Mon Beauf (My brother-in-law), an incarnation of bovine French provincial complacency. On one occasion the notorious Gaullist mayor of Nice, Jacques Médecin (to whom the character bore a physical resemblance), sued Cabu for libel. (Médecin was later tried and convicted for corruption.)

Cabu (Jean Cabut)  was deeply loved by millions (Dispa­ri­tion de Cabu : l’hom­mage poignant de Doro­thée et Corbier).

Andrew Hussey in the New Statesman (print edition) says that Cabu was like a “member of the family”.

His cartoons cheered me up when I was down, and made me happier when I was happy.

He was witty, cutting, fine, graceful and warm.

He was a true comrade – there for all the fights, anti-militarist, green, for the left, for secularism and freedom.

This is from the very first serious article I had published in English – circa 1984 while living in Paris – after the Front National made its first electoral breakthrough (European elections).


Cabu,  on t’a tellement aimé!


Written by Andrew Coates

January 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm

2 Responses

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  1. The Telegraph had a very positive obituary the day he was killed: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11330890/Cabu-obituary.html


    January 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

  2. Thanks Metherton.

    I imagine the Telegraph would not have appreciated him much if he’d been drawing cartoons in English!

    Andrew Coates

    January 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

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