Essay from Christopher Bernard

Imaginary Cartoons: Charlie Hebdo in Heaven

By Christopher Bernard

In the spirit of Charlie Hebdo (= ; – > ), and not being the greatest draftsman in the world, I offer the following “conceptual comics” or “imaginary cartoons.”

1. The five Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who died on January 7, 2015 – Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous, and Wolinski – are in heaven, standing at the foot of the Almighty’s throne. The Archangel Gabriel, looking sullen and embarrassed, is standing with an open ledger and a quill near a sign that reads “Department of Indemnities.” The cartoonists look bewildered and amazed. Cabu speaks: “Could you repeat that again? We get 70 virgins each?”

2. The five cartoonists are in heaven; they have become angels, with halos and wings, and are floating about, cracking up over their new status, pointing and jeering at each other, plucking each other’s halos, looking up each other’s shifts, generally behaving like a bunch of out-of-control scamps. Cabu speaks to a puzzled angel standing nearby: “And then I said, ‘You mean, he does exist!?’”

3. The five cartoonists in heaven, each of them surrounded by 70 virgins: Cabu: “The Old Man sure has a sense of humor.”

4. The murdered cartoonists, surrounded by choirs of angels singing on fluffy clouds, meet in heaven the three dead terrorists killed by the French police. Cabu speaks: “Bet you didn’t expect to see us here.” “No, we get the virgins.” “Instead of the virgins, you get us.” “ … and you get the first read on all of our cartoons forever!” “Oh, I get it. Our heaven – your hell!”

5. The terrorists are tied up and faced with the cartoonists, who menacingly raise their pencils and sketchbooks, ready to draw. They look terrified and whimper, “No! No! Anything but that!” _____

Christopher Bernard is a regular contributor to Synchronized Chaos Magazine.