Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Cartoon No One Wanted To Touch

About ten years ago I had worked for a weekly newspaper called the Seattle Scroll. I had a featured cartoon printed in every issue. I had a very supportive editor in Matt Asher. He allowed me as much freedom as any cartoonist could hope for. I made jokes about the celebrity of Jesus, the mob, and firing squads. This was one he did not want to print. He chuckled but felt that the cartoon was not right. Now Matt was a Ayn Rand disciple, which meant he wasn't a prude or a censor. But I think he might have been worried about a possible lawsuit by a huge corporation and the Seattle Scroll was a bit on the fledging side so I respected his wish and made another Jesus joke.

Me, I thought the joke was a good pun, but a bit anachronistic. I was into reading old New Yorker cartoons and they had many jokes about the KKK. Still, I couldn't let the joke die. A few years later my pal, Al Nickerson was putting out the comic, the ARGGH!!! Chronicles, in which he wanted a few contributions from his friends including me. I offered a few Pipe Dreams cartoons and other cartoons. I included some others including the KKKMart strip. He politely told me that he and others thought maybe it wouldn't be a good idea. I think they were afraid of the possible racism in the gag.

I thought about this strip recently and found it when I was cleaning up my room today. So here it is in its black and white glory on a blog no one reads is the infamous cartoon.

In retrospect, I should have included more sign gags.


Big Ben said...

I like it.

But I do love a good Jesus joke.

Scanman said...

Yeah, they were in the lines of what a Cathlic church would look like if Jesus had been hung. Although years later I heard Bill Hicks make a similar joke (years earlier) about JFK and people wearing a rifle in respect.

Al Nickerson said...

Ya know, I totally forgot about that KKKMart strip.

With a few exceptions, I tend to only enjoy all-ages comics. I seem to only work on all-ages comics, as well, whether they are for Archie, or DC, or are my creator-owned comics (like The ARGGH!!! Chronicles). The KKKMart strip does seem kinda racy (no pun intended). So, it doesn't surprise me that I would have asked you submit another strip for ARGGH!!!.

Now, that might sound kinda silly since I am a huge supporter of Free Speech and The Comic Book Legal Defense. I have worked on two projects benefiting the CBLDF including More Fund Comics and Even More Fund Comics. Still, those two books were all-ages anthologies.

I’m sorry if I upset you concerning the KKKMart strip, Scan. Hopefully, I was polite when I asked you to replace the strip. :) I vaguely even remember the incident.

Scanman said...

Like I said in the blog, even Matt Asher a guy who is about as tolerant and even confrontational as they come, rejected the strip. So, I submitted it to ARRGH merely to see if I could slip it by you. The only thing i was upset about was the fact I could not find the strip in my pile of old stuff.

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