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St Just and Georges Wolinski

I’ve been attending the editorial cartoonists convention in St. Just le Martel, France in recent years, and it is always great fun – but this year it had a somber tone, along with the biggest attendance ever, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders.

mewMoineHebdoPortraits
That’s me in front of portraits of the five slain cartoonists drawn by Moine, the brilliant, French architect turned cartoonist who had a huge exhibition of cartoonist caricatures in the main gallery. Thats Honore, Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous and Charb in the portraits; I’m obscuring Wolinski. Moine has drawn portraits of most of the regulars at St Just, and had the drawings published in a book that is treated much like a high school yearbook at the convention, with everyone signing their own pages in other cartoonists’ books.
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Georges Wolinski

 

George Wolinski was a regular at St Just every previous year I attended. He was a convention friend who enjoyed encouraging my wife to drink much more and he stood out as a star of the convention, highly respected by his French colleagues.

The museum built a lovely memorial to Wolinski by recreating his Paris studio, pictured below. The furnishings were moved to St Just and every detail was replicated, including the positions of the books and the art materials on his drawing tables.

WolinskiStudio1

 

WolinskiStudio2
Visitors look through two large windows into either side of the studio enclosure. The windows inside the studio recreate Wolinski’s view of Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris’ trendy Rive Gauche. Wolinski’s wife came to St Just to make sure every detail in the studio was correct.

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Wolinski was a prolific cartoonist and his work stretched well beyond Charlie Hebdo. He was known for his sexy cartoons. The book cover at the left is typical of Wolinski’s work. On the right is a poster that Wolinski did for the St Just festival. The poster for the festival is drawn each year my the winner of the “Humor Vache” award, a cow.

This year’s cow winner is “Coco,” another Charlie Hebdo and St Just regular; this was the second cow for Coco, who was a popular choice after her terrible ordeal during the attack, and her excellent work coming back after the horror. I’ll do another post on Coco.

The appreciation for the editorial cartooning profession that is on display at St Just is wonderful to see. Each convention is like a cartooning family reunion, and the loss of five members of the family was an awful blow to the community.

 

perfectmassage
This is typical Wolinski. I took this photo of one of his pieces titled “The Perfect Chinese Massage” from his exhibit at St Just. A lot of his work is wordy with lots of French that I don’t understand – but this one I can understand.

 

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

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