Support for those most impacted by the Charlie Hebdo attack continue to comes in all forms. Recently, a piece of original artwork from the popular French cartoon Asterix brought in £106,782 (approx. $157,000) at a Christie’s auction — proceeds of which will go to the families of the fallen staff.
Since the attack, Albert Uderzo, co-creator and illustrator of Asterix, has been very vocal in the cartoonist community, showing his support and solidarity for those who lost their lives and standing up for the fundamental right to free speech.
Standing besides numerous other cartoonists, Uderzo came out of retirement specifically to draw two cartoons as tributes to the victims at the time of the attack — one cartoon depicting the beloved characters Asterix and Obelix in solumn solidarity and one showing them in vocal and active support. In a conversation with the French newspaper Le Figaro, which published the two cartoons, Uderzo commented:
I am not changing my work, I simply want to express my affection for the cartoonists that paid for their work with their lives… How can anyone do something so appalling? How can people claiming to be human beings murder people they have never met but have said something wrong so from that moment, must be killed? This is insanity!
Asterix itself has been the target of threats for its controversial depictions of Muhammad over the years, but it is with the above sentiment that the 1971 Asterix and the Laurel Wreath storyboard went up for auction along with a special dedication from Uderzo. The funds raised by sale of the piece benefit the families of the victims of the attack and act as yet another indication of how strongly freedom of speech and expression are held dear by the global community.
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Contributing Editor Caitlin McCabe is an independent comics scholar who loves a good pre-code horror comic and the opportunity to spread her knowledge of the industry to those looking for a great story!