French attack survivor Luz says he leaving Charlie Hebdo

Tue May 19, 2015 5:26am EDT
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By Brian Love

PARIS (Reuters) - One of the few cartoonists to survive an Islamist militant attack on France's Charlie Hebdo journal is leaving the publication, saying he can no longer bear the pressure.

Renald Luzier, better known simply as Luz, announced his decision in an interview in Liberation, the newspaper that has housed Charlie Hebdo and helped it publish since an attack in which most of his cartoonist colleagues were killed.

"The time came when it was just all too much to bear. There was next to nobody to draw the cartoons. I ended up doing three or every four front-pages. Every print-run was torture because the others are no longer there," said Luz.

He drew the cover picture on the first post-attack edition of Charlie Hebdo - which sold some eight million copies across the world compared to a normal week's sales of around 60,000 - but he had recently said he would no longer draw cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad because he was fed up with the matter.

For Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous; but Charlie Hebdo's first post-attack edition carried on its cover a Luz cartoon of a tearful Mohammad holding a "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") sign under the words "All is forgiven".


Islamist militants saying they were avenging the Prophet killed 12 people in January when they attacked the Paris offices of the irreverent weekly known for lampooning Islam along with other religions and the political establishment. Among those killed were chief editor Stephane Charbonnier and household-name cartoonists such as Georges Wolinski and Jean Cabut.   Continued...

A man touches the spray-painted shut mouth of a statue near a poster reading "I am Charlie" as he takes part in a solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau