I met Gérard Vandenbroucke for the very first time 36 years ago at the second Salon du Dessin de Presse et d’Humour de Saint-Just-le-Martel. Since that time, I went there almost every year as this is the most important cartoonists meeting all over the world. It is the most important but also the finest place to go when you wish to meet all kind of cartoonists of any political or skin colour and several faith confessions… or not. But first of all, to be received as a king by Gérard Vandenbroucke, the best friend of cartoons in the world.

Gérard started organizing this Salon together with just a few friends in their small village of 2000 people. I don’t remember how many cartoonists we were at the beginning of this crazy adventure invented by Gérard, but I think not much. Anyway, Gérard and his village friends started building, step by step and year after year, the biggest cartoonists meeting, first in France, then in Europe and finally in the world.

In this village next to Limoges, somewhere in the middle of France, far away of everything and everybody but very close to the limousine cowspastureland a miracle happens every year. Because it’s right there, at Saint-Just, that lives a beautiful cow named Justine, the « Grand Prix de l’Humour Vache ». So, all the cartoonists coming to Saint-Just fall in love with Justine, but only 37 of them like, for example, Tignous, Loup, Wolinski, Pétillon, Cabu and somme 32 others, have been accepted by her. Justine loves cartoonists but she is very selective.

Unfortunatelly, Gérard decided to leave us on the 15th February 2019. A very bad decision that we all deeply regret. I don’t know what the future reserves to this very important cultural event for France and the world, but I want to believe that it still goes on for the very great cartoons glory all along the next centuries. So that with our pencils and pens we can make laugh, not war.

We will miss you so much, dear Gérard. Farewell to our best cartoons friend !

Carlos Brito
Theneuil, the 21st February 2019

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