Nova Scotia

Paris shootings 'hit home' with controversial satirists

Cartoonists and satirists in Halifax reacted Wednesday to the murder of their colleagues in Paris.

Frank's Andrew Douglas and cartoonist Michael De Adder shocked by mass killing

Andrew Douglas says he's received death threats in the past over Frank stories. (CBC)

Cartoonists and satirists in Halifax reacted Wednesday to the murder of their colleagues in Paris.

Andrew Douglas, the editor of Frank magazine, said he and other staff have been threatened as a result of “aggravating” people.

“Of course it hits closer to home. We do controversial stuff. We piss people off all the time,” he said. “We have death threats. Not all the time, but it happens.”

He said the violence in France should not cause people to back away from any topic.

“I know for some it does. And for some it’s awfully, it’s terribly scary, the fact that this happens, but the fact that some people get their nose out of joint over something as simple as cartoons? It makes it all the more important to run those cartoons,” Douglas said.

Halifax Regional Police tweeted that their thoughts were with "our French comrades."

Michael De Adder is a Halifax-based editorial cartoonist who works for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Hill Times.

“I was in shock, just like everybody else. I think the world’s in shock. They’re cartoonists, so it hits home a little more,” he said. “It makes me angry.”

He said the political cartoonist’s job is to “cross the line” and leave it to the editor to pull them back. “Our job is to go full-tilt and I guess today we suffered the consequences.”

Michael De Adder works on the cartoon shown at the bottom of this story. (CBC)

Ten journalists and two police officers were killed when masked gunmen attacked the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. Another 20 people were hurt.

The publication's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and other Islamic leaders have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims.

“We have people out here that think that the world has to bow to what they believe. We can poke fun here and there, but we can’t poke fun at what they believe in,” De Adder said.

“That’s ridiculous. And they go to the most ridiculous extremes to prove this.

“It’s tremendously strange to see that drawing cartoons, to do something that I do in my home with a pencil, would lead to someone being shot; it's ridiculous and shocking. I’m still trying to understand it myself."