Maritime cartoonists are expressing shock over the deaths of their colleagues who were shot and killed at the office of French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.

French police are searching for two suspects wanted in connection with the massacre at the Paris office of the weekly newspaper. A total of 12 people, including two police officers, were murdered when armed gunmen attacked on Wednesday morning. A third suspect surrendered late Wednesday night.

As news of the shooting spread, cartoonists around the world reacted, drawing special cartoons for the slain artists.

Charlie Hebdo has a history of provoking outrage with its stories, jokes and cartoons about politicians, celebrities and religious figures.

The newspaper had been a source of controversy, and had been the target of past attacks. In 2011, its office was fire-bombed and its website was hacked, after it announced an upcoming issue would be "guest-edited" by Muhammad.

In Halifax, Michael De Adder and Bruce MacKinnon both drew poignant pieces for the murdered.

De Adder's cartoon showed a hand writing out the words "freedom of speech," with extremists trying to stop the hand from completing the words.

MacKinnon's showed a tattered French flag flying at half-mast, with a pencil serving as the flagpole.

Both artists say that despite the Paris attack, they won't stop working.

"As negative and traumatic as this is, it has the opposite effect because it proves our relevance," says MacKinnon. "It shows that what we do has an effect and does matter."

"I'm actually more jazzed to continue what I'm doing,” says De Adder.

De Adder, who has worked with the Cartoonists’ Rights Network for years, says people in his field are often persecuted in underdeveloped countries.

“People don’t like to be told the truth.”

But he says Wednesday’s fatal shooting are more shocking because they took place in a developed, democratic nation.

“I’m a firm believer that you should be able to say whatever you want to say whenever you want to say it,” says De Adder. “And I don’t mean just cartooning. I mean people in the street.”

With files from and CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell