Siné in March 2007
December 31, 1928 |
As a young man he studied drawing and graphic arts, while earning a living as a cabaret singer. His first published drawing appeared in France Dimanche in 1952. Siné received the Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir in 1955 for his collection Complainte sans Paroles. His series of drawings on cats was his breakthrough. He then started working for L'Express as a political cartoonist.
In 1962 Siné left L'Express and launched his own publication, Siné Massacre, noted for its anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, anti-clericalism and anarchism. On reviewing the book, Private Eye described Siné's cartoons as "grotesque", and criticising publisher Penguin Books for its managerial incompetence.
In May 1968, together with Jean-Jacques Pauvert, he launched L'Enragé.
His article and cartoons in the magazine Charlie Hebdo relating to Jean Sarkozy's marriage to Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress, touched off a controversy, after journalist Claude Askolovitch described them as anti-Semitic. The magazine's editor, Phillipe Val, ordered Siné to write a letter of apology or face termination. The cartoonist said he would rather "cut his own balls off", and was promptly fired. Both sides subsequently filed lawsuits, and in December 2010, Siné won a 40,000-euro court judgment against his former publisher for wrongful termination.
Maurice Sinet also reported a death threat posted on a site run by the Jewish Defence League. The text said "20 centimeters of stainless steel in the gut, that should teach the bastard to stop and think".
- "When an old family concern (like the BBC) decides to get 'with-it', you can be sure that the results will be farcical. So with Penguin Books...Now, as part of their Christmas fare comes a book of grotesque cartoons - by Sine, the tone of which is well conveyed by the first drawing which shows a nun undressing while Christ leers salaciously down at her from the crucifix on the wall. Penguin (like the BBC) is so incompetently run that those in authority did not realise the nature of the work until it was too late. Now a full-scale boardroom rumpus has developed and resignations may follow. (Needless to say W.H. Smith is handling the book without a murmur). Private Eye, No. 130, 9 Dec. 1966. p.3
- Burke, Jason, The Observer (3 August 2008). "'Anti-Semitic' satire divides liberal Paris". The Guardian (London).
- Burke, Cockburn & St. Clair, CounterPunch. "How Cops Extort Confessions; How the U.S. "Justice System" Really Works,".
- SVT: Hätsk fransk debatt om antisemitism
- Siné biography on Lambiek Comiclopedia
- Siné illustrations
- Siné at the Carnation Revolution (Portugal, April 1974)
- The Antisemitism Incitement Craze: The Case of Maurice Sinet by Sousan Hammad, CounterPunch magazine, 5 August 2008