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Newspapers react positively to Funky Winkerbean gay prom story-line

Today kicks off a four-week story-line in Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean around the topic of a gay couple wanting to attend prom together. I reviewed the series last week. I’ve scanned the news this morning looking for newspapers who are telling their readers that they’ve pulled the strip or moved it off the comics pages, but can’t find any papers doing so. The language of the Chillicothe Gazette seems to be the prevailing response for those advising their readers about the content:

We’ve reviewed the content and found the message of tolerance, rather than sexual orientation, acceptable. The strip will begin in Monday’s Gazette. Our readers can handle Batiuk’s way of dealing with the subject.

Please understand: We’re not stating that everyone will agree with Batiuk’s message or even his way of handling it. Tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing, mind you. We believe that’s OK. Cartoons mostly are meant to entertain, but there’s room in the world for those creators who would like to instruct and challenge on occasion.

Community Comments

#1 David O
April/30/2012
@ 2:41 pm

Well it is 2012. A shame this didn’t come out 7 years ago when it was a relevant topic but this battle has come and went. What’s next? Will Funky Winkerbean tackle “Whites Only” swimming pools?

#2 Michael Pohrer (MJ)
April/30/2012
@ 3:48 pm

It is 2012! What is a shame is that there are cartoons that are more relevant, and funnier than a majority of what is run on the printed pages. (Sure, I’ve also had a few that Editors / Publishers asked for an alternative strip or editorial cartoon that they found inappropriate.) Editors and Publishers need to realize we aren’t living in the 40’s and 50’s. Or they can continue hanging on to the dwindling older generation that has a subscription. Soon the older generation will pass on leaving them with an even smaller readership.

Don’t take that wrong though, I thoroughly enjoy reading many features offered on the printed pages. There are many great cartoonists throwing it down daily. Do I subscribe to newspapers for my favorite features. No! With the exception of my hometown newspaper, which I have no clue why I do that because they don’t run any of my features.

I will admit that Funky is one I don’t read at all. I would rather see B.C. or Wizard of Id in it’s place. I would even settle for Peanuts.

#3 Jim Lavery
May/2/2012
@ 8:04 am

I need comic strips to tell me how to think. Thanks, Funky.

#4 Dotty Griffith
May/3/2012
@ 4:03 pm

I’ve been told by an ACLU of Texas supporter that the Tyler, TX newspaper has pulled the Funky strip for the month…without telling readers or explaining why there’s suddenly no Winkerbean.

#5 Don Morriss
May/8/2012
@ 9:45 am

I agree with the Tyler newspaper. There is NO room in comics for gay happenings.. I support the paper 100%. even though I’ve been reading Funky for many many years and usually enjoy the strip. But it’s time to use common sense. Not everyone is gay and not everyone wants to see it in real life or in comic strips.

#6 Bill Routon
May/18/2012
@ 11:52 am

Well, you can stick your head in the sand if you want, but it doesn’t change reality. I imagine many with the attitude of not wanting to acknowledge that homosexuality exists, or gay relationships, took the same position on integration 15 or 20 years ago. But you might want to pull your head out the sand long enough to recognize censorship and an attack on free speech, Ameican values which I would think that you would want to support.

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