Paper cancelled comic because it calls Bud Light: “diluted horse piss” UPDATED

Karl Stevens Failure

Comicsbeat reports that Karl Stevens’s comic page Failure was cancelled because the strip referred to Bud Light as “Diluted Horse Piss.” Anheuser-Busch, which makes Bud Light, is an advertiser in the paper. The strip has been in the alt weekly publication since 2005.

As noted in the comments, Tom Spurgeon contacted the editor of the Boston Phoenix. She denies the comic was cancelled due to its content. Her response:

In answer to your questions, it is categorically false that Karl was ‘fired’ due to any outside objections. I’m the Phoenix’s editor in chief, and it was my sole decision to discontinue Failure. Karl’s final Failure strip runs in tomorrow’s issue (dated 11/30). There were no sponsor objections — zero — to this strip or any other that Iâ??m aware of. It is also untrue that I was worried about the strip being offensive: quite the opposite. Over Karl’s tenure at the Phoenix, he has been given more creative freedom than any other writer, photographer, or illustrator we’ve published. In one instance, over a year ago, we asked him to re-draw a panel that included a penis in a state of sexual penetration — which he agreed to re-draw with the penis blocked out in print, and I believe we ran the original panel online

He’s has much more background and response from Karl too.

13 thoughts on “Paper cancelled comic because it calls Bud Light: “diluted horse piss” UPDATED

  1. I would personally call this strip a look into”Truth In Advertising” Ha,ha,ha! I guess comments like this is why no papers in my home state refuse to carry my strips. (I’m from the St. Louis area) All I can say about that is, This piss is for you!

  2. Nicely rendered strip. One might think of a dozen alternative captions funnier than the ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ level ‘horse piss’ cliche, but finally, Stevens enjoyed ‘sticking it to the man.’ Never forget the fun in fighting authority is that authority ALWAYS wins. Or so the song sez.

  3. Well, wouldn’t the editor have read the strip before it went to press? Seems odd that they’d run it then fire the cartoonist, though the why’s and wherefore’s are a little convoluted according to the Comics Reporter.

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