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17 Cartoonist Unite for Abuse Cause

This Sunday, 17 cartoonists will join up their child characters to highlight April as Sexual Violence Awareness and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. On this day, Teresa Dowlatshahi’s Frog Applause will offer some sobering real-life statistics about abuse written in between the guest child characters. Like celebrities lending their names and faces to a good cause, the comic characters are there to emphasize this important topic.

The cartoon will include the following characters: (in order of appearance) Agnes (Agnes, Tony Cochran), Maizy and Ivy (Clear Blue Water, Karen Montague-Reyes); Rusty and Patina (On the Fastrack, Bill Holbrook); Ruthie and Joe (One Big Happy, Rick Detorie); Red (Red and Rover, Brian Basset); Petey and Alice (Cul de Sac, Richard Thompson); Peri and Mondo (Cleats, Bill Hinds); Nate (Big Nate, Lincoln Peirce); Marvin (Marvin, Tom Armstrong); Gracie (Baldo, Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos); Andrew (Soup to Nutz, Rick Stromoski); Danae (Non Sequitur, Wiley Miller); Amy and Jess (The Pajama Diaries, Terri Libenson); Heart (Heart of the City, Mark Tatulli); Teena (Preteena, Allison Barrows); and Doug (Dog Eat Doug, Brian Anderson).

Community Comments

#1 H. Moore
April/18/2008
@ 12:06 pm

Some topics have no place in the comics. This is one of them.

#2 Wiley Miller
April/18/2008
@ 12:30 pm

Can you provide us with a list of “topics that have no place in the comics”? I want to make sure I don’t stray out of line with what is deemed acceptable. And just out of curiosity, just who deems what is or isn’t an appropriate topic?

#3 Lucas Turnbloom
April/18/2008
@ 12:58 pm

If I had to guess Wiley, I would say, Oprah. She controls, ALL.

#4 H. Moore
April/18/2008
@ 1:52 pm

For starters, animal cruelty, homosexuality, and beastiality (the latter of which is still legal in Washington state). Vile topics such as these greatly harm our young people and don’t need to appear in the funny papers.

If something can’t be talked about comfortably in school, in church or with one’s grandparents, it has no place in the comics.

#5 Garey Mckee
April/18/2008
@ 2:01 pm

Great. Now I know what my next three strips will be about.

#6 H. Moore
April/18/2008
@ 2:39 pm

What is the title of your comic strip, sir?

#7 Mike Lester
April/18/2008
@ 3:17 pm

“Lil’ Sequins, The Boy Who Hates to Love Animals”

#8 lefitte
April/18/2008
@ 3:19 pm

My new strip will be called, “How Fast Can I Move to Washington State?”

#9 Pab Sungenis
April/18/2008
@ 6:07 pm

All I can say is I’m sorry I wasn’t asked to join in this. Child abuse prevention is one of the more important issues out there today.

Congratulations, Teresa, on addressing this.

#10 Wiley Miller
April/18/2008
@ 6:35 pm

Well, first of all “H”, it’s a little difficult putting any credence to such strident absolutes by someone who posts anonymously. Perhaps you should take a look at the rules of this forum.

That aside, I wonder if you’ve ever heard of the word, “satire”? It’s pretty much the bedrock of cartooning, and one of the wonderful aspects of it is giving creative people a venue to tackle “serious subjects” and deliver them in a compelling way.

#11 Tom Racine
April/18/2008
@ 6:56 pm

I am always stunned that here in the 21st century, people still put the terms “bestiality” and “homosexuality” in the same sentence as if they were the same thing. One of these days, I can only hope, people will accept that being gay is just something you’re born being and stop making it a big deal. And maybe on that day, people will just read something they disagree with and move on instead of trying to evangelize about the evils of a cartoon.

But let’s stay on topic, and support the efforts of these cartoonists to try to raise some awareness and open lines of communication. Perhaps if our grandparents or churches would actually talk about these things, they wouldn’t happen in the first place.

#12 Eric Burke
April/18/2008
@ 7:11 pm

If something canâ??t be talked about comfortably in school, in church or with oneâ??s grandparents, it has no place in the comics.

Weren’t hundreds of children molested in churches, heinous crimes that were covered up by the church?

And this event is about preventing child abuse, not beastiality, so why mention sex with animals? No one wants to read about sex with animals, not even Jessica Rabbit! Well…Roger Rabbit might want to hear alot about the topic, but he’s an aside…

…how many kids actually read the newspaper anyways? It’s adults who are reading them. Besides…you forgot to mention that all the atrocities that you mentioned can be read in the same newspaper as the comics, and you actually have to flip past all those articles before you get to the comics.

It’s like complaining to the cashier at the super market that you don’t want your meats bagged with the other items in your order…but never complaining about all the drugs that go into raising the meat, or how the meat is treated when it’s alive, etc. But bag it with your canned goods?!?

What is that cashier thinking???

#13 mike c
April/18/2008
@ 9:31 pm

bestiality in washington state that is really sick why don’t they do something about it? that is really sickening. anybody caught abusing a child should be sent to prison for life with no chance of parole

#14 Garey Mckee
April/19/2008
@ 10:31 am

â??Lilâ?? Sequins, The Boy Who Hates to Love Animalsâ?

LOL Damnit Mike, where were you when I was trying to come up with a title for my strip.

Why did H. Moore even throw beastiality into the mix? It wasn’t even part of the original topic.

As Wiley stated, there’s nothing wrong with bringing to light serious issues through the use of satire.

#15 H. Moore
April/19/2008
@ 11:15 am

Society doesn’t talk much about the wrath of God.

They put God into a box that is pretty and suitable to their needs and feelings and shy away from judgment and wrath.

��Looking at Romans 1, Paul describes the downward spiral that the Romans were taking and their perverse actions and thoughts. Let me list any of these and see if they sound familiar.��

Godlessness, wickedness, suppressing the Truth, not glorifying God, not thanking God, futile thinking, darkened hearts, exchanged glory of God for other things, had sinful desires, participated in sexual impurity, exchanged God’s truth for lies, worshipped and served creation rather than the Creator, had shameful lusts, exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones (homosexuality, child abuse, porn, BEASTIALITY, etc), invent ways of doing evil, are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless, not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

#16 Alan Gardner
April/19/2008
@ 12:43 pm

As a gentle reminder to all, and specifically to H. Moore, this is a cartooning forum where we discuss the art and practice of cartooning. All comments are welcome as long as they are in the context of cartooning. It is inappropriate to preach one’s particular religious (or non-religious) thought on this blog.

Thanks.

#17 Matt Bors
April/19/2008
@ 1:06 pm

H. Moore, you forgot to mention necrophilia in your list of everything wrong with the world. Surely you don’t approve of this dark-sided practice being celebrated on the comics pages of America.

Remember when Lawrence came out as gay in FBOFW? I can’t believe we don’t stone cartoonists for things like that. Where have our morals gone?

That sick kid probably had the hots for Farley the dog as well.

Sick I tell you!

#18 H. Moore
April/19/2008
@ 1:24 pm

I don’t read For Better or For Worst.

#19 Mike Peterson
April/20/2008
@ 4:36 pm

“Godlessness, wickedness, suppressing the Truth, not glorifying God, not thanking God, futile thinking, darkened hearts, exchanged glory of God for other things, had sinful desires, participated in sexual impurity, exchanged Godâ??s truth for lies, worshipped and served creation rather than the Creator, had shameful lusts, exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones (homosexuality, child abuse, porn, BEASTIALITY, etc), invent ways of doing evil, are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless, not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

That reminds me, when are the Reubens this year?

#20 Dawn Douglass
April/20/2008
@ 7:31 pm

LOL Good one, Mike!

#21 Pab Sungenis
April/20/2008
@ 8:36 pm

Do you think “Lil’ Sequins” will crowd “Omar, The Unborn Confederate Muslim” out of the market? Maybe I should take time to retool.

#22 H. Moore
April/20/2008
@ 9:01 pm

The flames of hellfire are everlasting, mind you, and should not be taken lightly.

#23 lefitte
April/20/2008
@ 9:50 pm

I’m more scared of the pitchforks — those can leave a mark.

#24 Dawn Douglass
April/20/2008
@ 10:47 pm

H. Moore, I don’t get your problem. You come here upset that people are pointing to the sins of sexual violence and child abuse, you say cartoonists shouldn’t do that, and then you start lecturing about how society DOESN’T recognize sin, and warn that we should because Hell is eternal.

Sorry, but those don’t square.

God created cartoonists, Mr. Moore, as well as humor. Cartoonists have a pulpit just like preachers do. If your argument is that cartoonists can’t point to sin or to do so is itself sinful, then I suggest you change churches because you’re getting led down a coal-fired path yourself, and being so misguided can have eternal consequences that should not be taken lightly.

As for your initial argument: “If something canâ??t be talked about comfortably in school, in church or with oneâ??s grandparents, it has no place in the comics.” I just got back from our church’s Youth Group, where I am a leader. Our entire 90 minutes was taken up with instruction on how the kids need to recognize and protect their physical, emotional and behavioral boundaries…in other words, how to protect themselves from sexual abuse. Pope Benedict talked this week about how we aren’t going to let it happen again. Those aren’t just words. Anybody and everybody who works with kids in Catholic Churches now have to have hours of instruction, as well as background checks, rules like never being alone with a child and so on. And the kids are taught, too.

These things NEED to be talked about in school, churches and by grandparents — uncomfortable or not. And, yes, they do have a place in comics, too.

The devil LOVES your attitude, Mr. Moore. Again, I suggest you think twice. Jesus didn’t close his eyes to evil. And he certainly didn’t mind making people feel uncomfortable! He came to stir things up. Jesus was a radical who shined the spotlight on sin. You attitude is like that of the pharisees. It’s dangerous and it’s NOT Christian!

#25 Rick Stromoski
April/21/2008
@ 4:48 am

>>>The flames of hellfire are everlasting, mind you, and should not be taken lightly.

Who let Jack Chick in here?

#26 Pab Sungenis
April/21/2008
@ 5:18 am

Thank you, Rick, now we’re back on topic. At least tangentially.

The simple fact is that cartoons were used for social commentary long before they were used for “funny papers.” Pointing out a serious social problem, like child abuse, should be considered right up our line.

#27 Corey Pandolph
April/21/2008
@ 7:30 am

“The flames of hellfire are everlasting, mind you, and should not be taken lightly.”

Hey, somebody’s been reading TOBY, Robot Satan!

Sweet.

#28 Wiley Miller
April/21/2008
@ 7:42 am

â??The flames of hellfire are everlasting, mind you, and should not be taken lightly.â?

If you’re so certain about all your absolutes, “H”, why are you posting them anonymously?

#29 Danny Burleson
April/21/2008
@ 11:28 am

Interesting discussion thus far… my take on it: what better PLACE than the comics page to focus on this? If a child is old enough to even read the comics, they’re old enough to know there are genuine dangers out there. I’ve already talked to my 5 year old about some aspects of this, and he understands fine.

I’ve always been of the opinion that comic strips are about presenting a story and/or commentary… humorous or not. While gag-a-day strips are to comic strips, what spandex-clad superheroes are to comic books, there is absolutely no rule that states “comics” have to be “funny”, just as comic books brought us works such as Bone and Road to Perdition.

Maybe by definition they’re supposed to be funny, but frankly, “comics” has always been a misnomer in labeling the medium. Of course, “sequential art” sounds pompous to me, so I’m not sure what else to even call them.

So, I heartily congratulate all of the cartoonists (and characters) that took place in this, for their willingness to break that mold and highlight such a serious, and real issue.

#30 Garey Mckee
April/21/2008
@ 2:04 pm

“Hey, somebodyâ??s been reading TOBY, Robot Satan!”

Well he is jutting his crotch just for us.

Seriously though, how sad, boring and uninspiring would cartoons be without tackling darker social issues? I do it all the time. Borrowing once again from Wiley, using satire helps us by enabling us to better face those types of issues that might be too ponderous and scary to face otherwise.

#31 Pab Sungenis
April/21/2008
@ 2:52 pm

I also think it’s interesting that a lot of people here are discussing Teresa’s work without actually having looked at it. She’s been tackling this issue for a long time, and some of the stuff she’s done with it is extremely thought provoking.

The first one is the strip that’s got certain people’s knickers in a twist. The others are similar strips touching on the same subject.

http://www.mycomicspage.com/gocomics/feature_items/explore?page=1&tag=2060
http://www.mycomicspage.com/gocomics/feature_items/explore?page=3&tag=2060
http://www.mycomicspage.com/gocomics/feature_items/explore?page=2&tag=2060
http://www.mycomicspage.com/gocomics/feature_items/explore?page=1&tag=1843

I don’t see how anyone could object to those strips being in print, other than perhaps not wanting to look into humanity’s dark mirror.
Brava.

#32 Pab Sungenis
April/21/2008
@ 2:54 pm

Oh, and before I forget….

A lot of the people whose characters were used in the first strip hang out here, or at least lurk. Thank you, one and all, for lending your characters to this cause.

#33 Pab Sungenis
April/21/2008
@ 5:32 pm

One more for you all….

http://www.mycomicspage.com/gocomics/feature_items/explore?page=4&tag=2060

#34 Lee Mayer
April/22/2008
@ 9:22 am

I’m glad I missed this hellfire party. Is there any decadent food left?

#35 lefitte
April/22/2008
@ 10:48 am

the deviled eggs were nice.

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