Charlie Mensuel. Issue 19. 1983. France. CharlieMensuel was a French adult comic book published between 1969 and 1986 with links to its current relative Charlie Hebdo and editor-in-chief the late Georges Wolinski. Issue 19 is packed with 18 pages of Return of the Jedi features, and contains the above artwork of Princess Leia kissing C-3PO! The text loosely translated is: “Lionel Bret (the artist) dreams up for you an episode edited out from Star Wars.”
The cover of issue 19, Charlie Mensuel, and some sample pages:
2000 AD. Prog 320. 1983. UK. 2000 AD is a UK comic first published in 1977. Prog 320 devoted its cover and two inside pages to a competition to win Return of the Jedi prizes.
Advert from Prog 319 announcing Prog 320.
And lastly, an advert from Eagle comics, September 3, 1983. Return of the Jedi free gift stickers.
The title is not an invitation for me to sell you cocaine. There is nothing against the law in my post nor am I out to injure any feelings… although I fully realise that some will see that I am out to injure feelings. I’ve added to my title “look away if offended” because I’m going to show the cover of the ‘tribute edition’ of Charlie Hebdo – the first printed edition since the islamic extremist attack on the CH offices last week which left 8 CH staff dead and others injured. So look away if you must. You can do this. It’s free.
I picked up my copy today. Yesterday no chance. Kiosks and news vendors here in France were sold out by 9 AM. When I grabbed my copy at 6.30 AM this morning there were just six issues remaining and a lengthy queue in front and after me. It felt good to finally read this tribute edition with cartoons and articles included that were previously made by the executed members of staff. I’ve already seen the cover many times on French TV and in newspapers since its announcement Monday this week… an unprecedented print run of one million extended to three and now, currently, five million. But to physically hold a copy somehow reaffirmed the unity that the majority of the French are feeling.
So why is the UK press operating what seems like a blanket ban on showing the cover of this newspaper in the UK? Irony is ladelled out as thick as treacle as the knees of the UK press knock and tremble: What Happens When You Try To Show The Charlie Hebdo Cover On SKY NEWS The report from the Independent goes on to provide a direct link to the CH cover image. Nice try from Charlie Hebdo contributor Caroline Fourest.
I find it worrying when newspaper / TV channels are discussing Freedom Of The Press then refrain from showing images of the very press in question. I’m not surprised at the UK press to be honest. It’s a mostly spineless collect of intriguers, phone hackers and right-wing nasties. There are a few exceptions that have published a pic of the CH cover with a warning to look away if offended. Thank goodness you can see this image freely in France and not have to go searching the internet, link-click your way through warnings or pay your blood-money to unscrupulous eBay sellers.
If you really want to see this CH tribute cover that, yes, will offend many muslims (not to mention the pages inside offending all other religions – and remember, folks, these drawings are only ever lampooning ideaologies not implicit facts!)… if you really want to see this CH tribute cover and are frustrated that the UK media (or the US and other foreign media) aren’t showing it… if you’d really like to see this CH tribute edition of a newspaper that was brutally attacked by backward-thinking murderous bullies just a week ago… then best of British to you! Maybe you’ll just be content to see the cover shown on TV or reproduced by your free press? Again, good luck with that. I got mine. I got Charlie. It’s as it should be.
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell
Wednesday 07 Januray 2015. A deadly assault on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Nine journal staff who worked for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were shot dead in their Paris office while attending an editorial meeting. Two police officers and a maintenance worker also lost their lives.
I’m left cold by this event… the mood here in France right now is one of shock and disbelief that people can be killed for making satirical cartoons. My thoughts go out to all those affected today.