Patrick Chappette: "What a loss the passing of Kim Jong-Il was for us cartoonists! This character was surreal; he looked like someone from Cartoon Network. Everything about him was fascinating. His haircut -- he must have combed it with dynamite. His son isn't bad either..."
Chappatte's year: Afghanistan —
"This cartoon tries to illustrate the sad irony of an unchanged situation after years of war. It illustrates the idea that big powers come and go, but nothing changes in Afghanistan."
Chappatte's year: Iraq —
"Here we have the supreme irony of liberating a people to allow them to turn against you. Plus I wanted to underline the hypocrisy of Iraqi politicians. I think the Iraq war didn't do much for the U.S. or Iraq."
Chappatte's year: Syria's Assad —
"Only a cartoon allows for an image like this, which defies gravity. The cartoon language can convey a message lightly. And you can interpret it in two ways: 'he's still standing' or 'his credibility is eroded and he'll be out soon.' You don't need to explain, you see the cartoon and feel it."
Chappatte's year: Bin Laden's death —
"Osama bin Laden living in the back yard of the Pakistani army: That was a big joke in itself! I'm trying to illustrate this simple fact, the joke is provided by the reality of the situation."
Chappatte's year: Durban Conference —
"Let's not forget to talk about it. The climate and the environment went away in 2011 because of the economic crisis. I'm trying to remind the readers of that fact through my cartoon."
Chappatte's year: EU debt crisis —
2011 was also the year of the European headache. In my cartoons about the euro crisis, I love to draw the character of the European official: small, fat, with round glasses. When urged by Americans to speak with one voice, they scream in panic.
Chappatte's year: Fukushima aftermath —
"I did many cartoons about Fukushima, but this one about the aftermath is more interesting for me. The exit from atomic energy was decided in some countries like Germany and Switzerland -- but where is the stop button? It's going to be a difficult process."
Chappatte's year: Palestinians join UNESCO —
"The Palestinians joining UNESCO against the will of the U.S., pushed by Israel. This shows how America sometimes finds itself weakened on the world stage. In losing this battle they found themselves more like an observer than a player."
Chappatte's year: Tahrir Square —
"Tahrir Square became a protest symbol... so many different demonstrations. Looking at these images, with the typical buildings in the background, I thought "How about the neighbors? It must be hell for them!". It's more a joke than anything else."
Chappatte's year: Libya —
"Here U.S. Congress is putting the brakes on Obama and limiting his ability to join the European Libyan mission. Using the dome of the U.S. Capitol and crossing that with a parachute is a typical cartoon trick, but when you find a good one you don't miss it."
Chappatte's year: Ground zero —
"This is a different kind of work: 'comic journalism', I've been doing it for 15 years, going to places, and reporting through cartoons. In January 2011, I went to the epicenter of the Arab revolution. It's like a fairy tale: this one guy who immolated himself in a small village and provoked demonstrations across the Arab world and the fall of kings. It's the stuff of myths."