Bagley, Gardner talk about his Doonesbury sneak-in

When Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley found out his paper was going to pull last Thursday’s Doonesbury, he found a creative way to keep it in the paper – he used it in his editorial cartoon. Each week Pat posts a online-column called “Behind the Lines” wherein he and BYU economist Val Lambson have an online-exchange about an issue or a cartoon Pat drew. This week he asked me to step in and talk about the “DoonesBagley” that appeared in last Thursday’s paper.

Bagley: Actually, the March 15th “Doonesbury” cartoon was something of an orphan at the Tribune until I decided to adopt it. An editor determined at the last moment that the “I thee rape” panel was too radioactive for the funny pages ? which it probably was. Still, the strip should have been published somewhere in the Tribune. As an artist I understand the artist?s side in these things, and deleting a strip from the series is like lopping off the arms of the Venus de Milo. Even without the arms, Venus is still pretty cool, but who wouldn?t want to see Venus fully armed? It?s all of a piece and deserves to be seen as originally intended.

Gardner: I totally agree and am glad you found a way to sneak it back into the paper. Localizing it with some of the absurdities of Utah politicians was a deft move. It makes the editorial cartoon work on several levels. Was there any push back from your editor?