As a journalist with an unshakeable belief in free speech and the freedom of the press to publish what might be disagreeable to certain sections of society, your man at Just Backdated is reeling from the events in Paris earlier this week. My heart goes out to the friends and families of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and writers and the two French policemen slaughtered by Muslim extremists brainwashed by religious ideology beyond the comprehension of sane people everywhere.
When I learned last night that Charlie Hebdo’s next issue will go ahead with a print run of one million as opposed to its usual 60,000, helped by donations from media companies in France and elsewhere, I actually felt a lump in my throat. I will try and buy one, even if I can’t understand a word.
Ever since I first discovered Asterix The Gaul and his indestructible pal Obelix I have been an admirer of the Gallic flair for cartoons, and in 2012 Omnibus Press published a graphic Beatles book created by the French cartoonist Hervé Bourhis. I’m sure that Paul and Ringo and, if they were with us today, John and George would join me in condemning religious extremism and its tragic consequences, and all I can offer as a tribute to the Charlie Hebdo artists is to reproduce this caricature of The Beatles, the group who more than any other preached a gospel of peace and love, crossing Abbey Road, as drawn by another French cartoonist. RIP all of them.