Four of France's leading cartoonists – Cabu, Charb, Tignous and Wolinski – were killed in Wednesday's deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris, in which 12 were murdered.
The main target appeared to be Charb (real name Stéphane Charbonnier,) Libération newspaper reported.
"It was Charb they were targeting," Libération quoted a police source as saying. "The two attackers looked for him in the room, shouting, 'Where is Charb?' Where is Charb?'
"They killed him then sprayed everyone else," the source said, adding that perhaps other top cartoonists killed were also on the pre-prepared hit list.
Charb, the director of publications at the magazine, had a regular column called “Charb doesn’t like people.” His published works include “I Don’t Like Smokers,” “I Don’t Like Retirement” and “I Am Very Tolerant.”
Cabu (real name Jean Cabut) was the cartoonist responsible for the famous Mohammed front page in February 2006, which followed the Mohammed cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
Tignous (real name Bernard Verlhac) contributed to the weekly news magazine Marianne and the monthly Fluide Glacial, in addition to Charlie Hebdo. His published works include “Pandas in the Mist” and “Five Years of Sarkozy.”
Georges Wolinski, an 80-year-old Jewish man, contributed to Paris Match, Le Nouvel Observateur and Paris-Presse, amongst others. He was previously editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Charlie Mensuel.
Political cartoonists from around the world published shocked cartoons on Twitter in memory of their slain comrades. "Can't sleep tonight, thoughts with my French cartooning colleagues, their families and loved ones #CharlieHebdo," wrote the Canberra Times political cartoonist David Pope. Dutch cartoonist Joep Bertrams published:
Charlie Hebdo. Nooit opzij. pic.twitter.com/MJwGKPQ8jU
The Indianapolis Star editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel:
(Gary Varvel/Indy Star) pic.twitter.com/VPRqnzGAHC