I presume by now most readers have heard about the slaughter of much of the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo including cartoonists, as well as the policemen who were protecting the offices. And you may have thought that while it was horrific, this magazine of broad and often deliberately offensive political caricature has nothing to do with the sort of comics you like. But let me tell you a little history.
A couple guys started a monthly French magazine called Hari-Kiri in 1960. In 1968, one of those same guys helped start another monthly with comics, Charlie Mensuel, “mensuel” meaning “monthly”, and “Charlie” being the name of one of the characters in the strips that appeared within. In 1969, Hari-Kiri added a weekly magazine, which eventually settled on the title L’Hebdo Hari-Kiri (“the weekly Hari-Kiri”). When L’Hebdo ran a 1970 spoof about the death of Charles de Gaulle, the government shut the magazine down. The folks behind L’Hebdo simply relaunched it as a new magazine, officially a weekly version of Charlie Mensuel, called, naturally, Charlie Hebdo. Now, the title was a bit of a dig at “Charlie” de Gaulle, but it was still carrying on the name of a comic strip character… who was, as I expect you guessed, Charlie Brown.
So yes, in a way, that was very much our Charlie that was under attack.