From our Continental Correspondent – Sex and the French, a specialist testifies

Published On March 11, 2011 | By Wim | Comics, Continental Correspondent

(cover to La sexualité des Français by and (c)  Georges Wolinski, published Drugstore/Artes Editions)

French BD enfant terrible (even though he’s already 77 years old) Georges Wolinski (NB – link is in French) has a new book out : La Sexualité Des Français de De Gaule à Sarkozy (French Sexuality from De Gaulle until Sarkozy, published by Drugstore), and went on TV on monday to talk about it. Judge for yourself :

Leave it to the French to discuss a book about sex at one in the afternoon, but the conversation was quite interesting nevertheless. At the start, the interviewer and her subject don’t seem to connect :

“Mr Wolinski, from the start of your carreer you have always been interested in sex. Why?”

“Well, not just from the start of my carreer, but rather from the start of my life !”

But later, Wolinski gives a good insight in his views on his craft :

“Why does one young boy start to draw, while others prefer playing football ? I always wanted to be an artist, and I bought my first book on drawing when I was 11. Before that, I used to draw on the wrapping paper that my grandfather used for his cakes. I was seven or eight, then. All my friends, Cabu, Reiser started early – it’s some kind of drive. Talent comes later, because you have to draw a lot to become good.”

Even though the reason for this interview was his book on French sexuality, he also showed one of his topical cartoons for the day (he publishes daily in Paris Match and on Sundays in Le Journal du Dimanche), as if to prove he’s also a pretty good political cartoonist.

(Translation: Chirac : I’m a bit tired at the moment, my dear Gadaffi.

Gadaffi : You should do like me, my dear Chirac : take a bloodbath every morning.)

On political cartooning, he says :

“It’s not easy finding new material every day, but you become a professional. I have studied my way of finding new material, and that seems to be that simply by searching, I am able to find. I read the papers, and watch the news, and all these ideas start mingling. A cartoon is simply a combination of ideas, I find. All these ideas mix, and at one point the cartoon just creates itself.”

On his subjects :

“I don’t limit myself to anything. Being a humorist is basically not setting yourself any limits. Except being nasty. I may be a ferocious man, I am never nasty.”

A selection of Wolinski’soriginal art from the sixties to the present day, is currently on display at the Galerie Petits Papiers, 91 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris (until March, 28).

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2 Responses to From our Continental Correspondent – Sex and the French, a specialist testifies

  1. Really great post. Wolinski also contributes to the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo –
    It’s the paper that I started working for since last November.
    I had done very little journalistic cartooning before then and I have to say that I feel like I probably won’t learn the knack of it for a few years yet.
    It is difficult to find and merge stories when you are a beginner.
    Every morning, the first thing has to read the news online and grab some newspapers. If you aren’t careful, I’ve found it can bring you a bit down at the start of the day but I think you have to begin looking at it in a more detached state.
    I’m extremely lucky to have people like Cabu, Charb, Luz and Riss giving me advice.
    Thanks for the post, Wim.