Pierre Sadek, the leading Lebanese caricaturist, died yesterday leaving behind approximately 17,000* drawings from his 50 relentless years in the practice.
When Naji el-Ali's Hanzala character spoke of the destitute of the Palestinian people and courageously critiqued Arab leaders for their sly betrayal of the Palestinan cause, Pierre Sadek's satirical drawings represented the voice of a large part of the Lebanese community on the right end of Middle Eastern politics at the time. Yet, his Touma character was equally immersed in the everyday struggle of the disenfranchised citizen amidst corrupt local politics and politicians. Sadek's non-compromising Lebanese nationalist stance took him on a long and creatively ripe journey from drawing for the daily newspaper An-Nahar; to Al-'Amal the official Lebanese Kataeb Party daily; to the Lebanese Forces magazine al-Massira and its leading audio-visual adventure in the mid-eighties, LBC; before he finally set sail as of the nineties with the Hariri owned Future Television.
Throughout his career as a political cartoonist, Sadek regularly illustrated covers for Arabic periodicals and designed posters for the aforementioned political parties in addition to another stream of posters he dedicated to the Lebanese Army in the eighties, some of which bare credit to his studio Atelier d'Art next to his iconic bilingual signature.
Here is a sample of some of Pierre Sadek's posters taken from Signs of Conflict's online collection (more is available if you search through the archive), in addition to some recently discovered illustrated covers that we think can be attributed to him dating to his early career in the practice (1956-57), snatched from the collection of our dear friend Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh (Al-Furat bookshop).
* 17,000 drawings is an approximate total number if we assume that Pierre Sadek created on average one drawing a day since joining the daily An-Nahar in 1958.
Domestic politics must have kept his imagination quite active.