Political cartoons hold an honored place at EarthDesk. Our weekly feature, EarthDesk Sunday, has presented the works of cartoonists from around the globe more than fifty times in the last 18 months. On January 7, masked gunmen armed with assault weapons attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical journal, and murdered eight staff members, four of them cartoonists, a maintenance worker, a visitor and two police officers.

Cartoonists the world over responded with an outpouring of inspired and powerful art. (See BuzzFeed and PoliticalCartoons.com.) Adam Zyglis is the cartoonist for the Buffalo News, a three-time EarthDesk contributor, and a fellow New Yorker. “To honor their memory,” he wrote to us, “Cartoonists everywhere must continue to create and express freely, without fear.” Below is his response to the massacre, followed by the thoughts he shared with EarthDesk via email.

Free Speech by Adam Zyglis. Via Cagle Cartoons. Used with permission.

Free Speech by Adam Zyglis. Via Cagle Cartoons. Used with permission.

Here is the text of Adam Zyglis’ email exchange with EarthDesk:

I am still in shock and disbelief from this horrific assault on free speech. It is an all-out affront to our American values and way of life. I was just in Paris this past October for an editorial cartooning festival, and for an event called Cartooning for Peace. I met with several French cartoonists, but unfortunately I never had the privilege to meet any of the fallen in person. However, I knew several of them through their powerful work. There is a void in the world of satire today, but their work will live on. To honor their memory, cartoonists everywhere must continue to create and express freely, without fear. Today, my heart is still in France.

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zyglis_smAdam Zyglis is the staff editorial cartoonist for The Buffalo News, his hometown daily newspaper. He accepted the position fresh out of college, after winning 3 national awards as a college cartoonist. In 2004, he graduated summa cum laude from Canisius College with a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics.

His work is internationally syndicated through Cagle Cartoons and has appeared in publications such as USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and MAD Magazine. After 2 years as a professional he won 3rd Place in the 2007 National Headliner Awards. Learn more about Adam at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. See more of his work at Cagle Cartoons.