AngSt of waR and caPture __Cartoonists

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'Blinded by power'
Juan Zero, a pseudonym, is a prominent Syrian cartoonist who fled Syria 10 months ago after the regime discovered his real identity. He describes his pre-uprising drawings as repetitive and boring.  

"With the revolution, political caricatures became a possibility. There were no fears of censorship anymore; cartoonists had a new platform to publish their drawings mainly on Facebook," Zero told Al Jazeera.
Zero became famous after a cartoon portrayed Assad wearing an oversized crown that had slipped down and covered his eyes, suggesting the president had become blinded by power.

The power of cartoons and comics comes from their ability to reach a wider audience, artists say. In places where literacy is low, images have great significance. Cartoons are also faster than words in delivering a message since they're short, poignant and visually attractive. 

"It's a simple tool to tell a story. It can capture and insinuate more meaning than simple words. People can cry or laugh," said Marzuki. "But what's more important is that people don't feel alone - their pain is shared."

Somme of our cartoons were too harsh and we are now at a phase where people are looking for hope," said its scriptwriter. "So we are trying to put that hope in our images."
The cartoonists say even if the Assad regime is toppled, their mission will continue. They pledged to keep drawing, criticising and raising awareness with one goal in mind: building a better Syria.

 Another popular cartoon depiction of the conflict is "Chase", which was dedicated to an activist killed by government soldiers. It portrays the futility of attempts by security forces to erase graffiti expressing dissent.

Cartoonists capture angst of Syrian conflict