Cartoonists respond to Paris massacre with powerful drawings

If you target cartoonists, we found out Wednesday, the response will be a flood of cartoons drawn with sharp satire and stunning speed.

In one, two pencils are positioned unmistakably as the next twin towers to have been targeted.

"He drew first," drew a cartoonist in Australia -- ridiculing the mindset of the murderers.

"Weapons of mass creation," drew another cartoonist, detailing the resilience of those fighting back.

"It's a terrible day for what happened to these people," said Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker magazine. "It's a defining moment for what you believe in in terms of cartoons and humor. So in

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Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker
CBS News

that way I think something important comes out of this tragedy now. And so the cartoonists have not died in vain really."

The message spreading fastest today: "This was an attack on freedom everywhere." In the hours after the shooting, the hashtag #jesuischarlie -- I am Charlie -- flew around Twitter 4,000 times a minute, accompanying the work of the many cartoonists who wanted to strike back.

"And so it just seemed like the ultimate worst thing that these gentle people, whose only weapon is jokes, were killed by real weapons," Mankoff told me.

But while cartoonists ruled the response, perhaps the most powerful post was this Instagram. The empty desk of one of those killed posted by his daughter. "Dad is gone" it reads. No cartoon - just a heartbreaking snapshot of real life.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" and a national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" and other CBS News broadcasts.