I was saddened to learn that our dear friend, Gérard Vandenbroucke passed away today. Gérard was a tireless proponent of our cartooning profession.
Gérard started the Salon at St Just le Martel, France, more than 40 years ago with a group of teenagers in the village, who continue to run the Salon. They decided to make a festival for “Press Cartoons” (editorial cartoons) and they invited prominent French political cartoonists to attend. A handful came at first, and the Salon has grown steadily ever since into the worldwide editorial cartoonists convention that CagleCartoonists attend every year.
Gérard supported the Salon, along with fund raising and construction of St Just’s lovely cartoon museum, as he rose through the French political ranks, starting as mayor of St Just le Martel, then as president of the Limoges region and then the Limousin region. He has continued to be the president of the Salon all this time, and more recently he was the force behind the founding of the Cartooning Global Forum last year at UNESCO in Paris.
It is a sad day for our profession. Gérard was our hero; he was beloved by the cartoonists he loved. He is already missed.