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Politics on the funny pages
March 14, 2012 - Bill Ackerbauer
Today I am posting the third installment in this week's controversial series of Doonesbury cartoons. They are being omitted from the print edition of the paper because of their subject matter. This week in Doonesbury, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/illustrator Garry Trudeau has leveled a stinging satirical attack on a Texas law that requires women to undergo invasive exams before terminating pregnancies.
Supporters of women's reproductive rights (aka the Pro-Choicers) are cheering Doonesbury for its position, of course, and the anti-abortion camp (the Pro-Lifers) are angry about it. Many newspapers, especially those in conservative-leaning regions such as ours, have opted to either drop Doonesbury from their comics pages, move it to their editorial pages or replace this week's panels with less controversial older Doonesbury strips. We chose the third option, so if you want to see Trudeau's recycled sendup of oblivious young text-messengers — a decidedly less volatile topic — you can pick up our print edition.
Doonesbury isn't the only comic strip on The Leader-Herald's daily funny page that delves into political territory. Some of them, like Dilbert, Bizarro, Non Sequitir and Speed Bump, sometimes make subtle political statements. For example, see today's Speed Bump panel by Dave Coverly, which is visible in the "Blog Photos" window at right. If you can't decipher the satirical message — i.e., if you don't understand which type of people the talking fish represent — please do society a favor and refrain from voting.
To read Monday's post and see the first strip in the controversial series, click here: Doonesbury messes with Texas
On a side note, I'd like to mention that since yesterday's post drew critical comments about my profile photo ("sad-looking," quoth Discobulous), I have changed it in honor of my subject matter this week. I used a "Simpsonizer" web application to make this cartoon portrait of myself in the style of another one of my favorite cartoonist-cum-social-critics, Matt Groening. I've been a fan of his work since before anybody had ever heard of the Simpsons, going way back to his "Life in Hell" days. After this week's Doonesbury hullabaloo is over, I'll likely change it back to something that will no doubt trouble Discobulous' aesthetic sense. (I am open to suggestions.)
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(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Here's today's installment of Doonesbury, which is not running in our print edition because of its mature subject matter.