Philippe Honoré, a French cartoonist best known professionally by his last name, was shot and killed in the attack on the Paris offices of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, along with eleven other people, including fellow cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, Jean Cabut and Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac. He was 73.
Born in Vichy on November 25, 1941, Honoré taught himself how to draw, and at the age of sixteen his work appeared in the magazine Sud-Ouest. Through the years, he also contributed prolific work to periodicals such as Hara-Kiri, Libération, Le Monde, Les Inrockuptibles, La Vie ouvrière, Charlie Mensuel, Le Matin and Expressen. Common themes in his work were concern for ecology, and indictments of organized religion and conservative politics, particularly institutional austerity measures.
When Charlie Hebdo reappeared in 1992 after being out of circulation for more than a decade, Honoré joined the staff, contributing to the magazine until the tragedy on January 7. In addition to his cartoons, he designed literary puzzles for the magazine. “My greatest happiness is to cause an intellectual pleasure to people looking for solutions,” he said in November 2012. “And a visual delight, as I try to make up a true picture that says it all on its own without text.”
Honoré wrote and illustrated the anthologies Un bon dessin vaut mieux qu’un long discours (A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words) and Je hais les petites phrases (I Hate Sound Bites) and drew the cover of the 2010 anniversary edition of the Petit Larousse illustrated dictionary. Minutes before the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office, he Tweeted his provocative cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wishing a Happy New Year with the caption, “Et surtout la santé! (And above all, health!)”
Image credits : CNN (Philippe Honoré), Charlie Hebdo (Philippe Honoré cartoon, January 7, 2015)