Marvel Comics has recently pulled an issue of X-Men because an artist snuck some anti-Semitic, anti-Christian messages into it. Here's Michael Cavna's Cleve Wootson's article on it, and Tom Spurgeon's write-up, which mirrors my response: "If you play a prank and get caught, embrace the consequences."
And I'd say "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time," but the irony of all that would be too much, though I suppose you could say, "Don't do the crime unless you think you won't get caught," and the politics here were obscure enough except in Indonesia that he might well have done that.
Except that it's a small world, after all, and let's remember that the Muhammed comics in Denmark went unremarked upon until they surfaced at a meeting in Cairo mixed in with some other, more outrageously Islamophobic materials.
Which brings up my attitude towards such things, which mirrors Spurgeon's, and which is to ask "Was it worth it?"
In the case of deliberately antagonizing violent, armed fanatics, this applies both to the response to the Muhammed cartoons and the Charlie Hebdo murders. In both cases, the cartoonists knew what they were doing and decided it was worth the risk.
Which absolutely beyond a doubt does not at all justify the violent response.
But you do have to pick your fights and the question isn't "How could this have happened?" but "Was it worth it?"
On this smaller scale, the artist must certainly have known he was risking being fired, because, as Spurgeon notes, he screwed up the work of a lot of other people by adding controversial, off-topic material.
I guess, judging from Cavna's Wootson's coverage, that he thinks it was worth it.
X-Men sure must be a popular comic book in Indonesia, then, because it seems like a quixotic, sophomoric gesture from here.
You could look it up
Alex Hallatt doesn't sneak messages into Arctic Circle: Saving the Earth is pretty much the point of the strip, which manages to be quite funny about topics that aren't.
And, if some of the gags are kind of obvious, others are more obscure and send me to the googles and she certainly did that this morning.
Now let me clear my mental palate with an environmentally themed ...
Juxtaposition of the Day
There, that's, well, not "better" but more palatable.
Now try this link. If the one about hamsters only ruined your breakfast, that one may ruin your whole day.
Juxtaposition in an Alternative Oziverse
I hadn't worried about Toto getting back to Kansas until Hilary Price brought it up, and it kind of makes me think of when Catherine Hicks jumped into Kirk's arms just as he was beaming up so she could go watch the whales be freed in the 23rd Century.
It also makes me imagine a scene where Dorothy actually gets into the basket with Professor Marvel to fly home, but then they discover that the balloon is overbooked and those Oh-Eee-Oh guards appear and drag her out again, and her little dog, too.
But it mostly brought to mind "The Time Traveler's Wife," which, as I was reading it, kept making me think, "Well, wait a minute ... how could that ...?" and, by golly, Audrey Niffenegger would face that very issue in the next paragraph or two and resolve it to my satisfaction.
And I would add that, by Niffenegger's more systematic and logical approach to looping through dimensions, Dorothy should just be happy to get back home in her little gingham dress and never mind the damn dog.
Meanwhile, I think Scott Hilburn was being gentle with us, because I would have drawn the Lion sitting across from the Tin Man, impaled by shrapnel.
I still laughed, even though it wasn't quite that tasteless.
HIgh School Madness
Dick Tracy, having wrapped up a mystery that brought in Daddy Warbucks, Am and the Spirit, is now off on a new crossover adventure with Harold Teen, which started a few days ago with the above strip, from which you can click forward to the present.
I had not been aware of Harold Teen -- which is cited as the progenitor of teen strips like Freckles and Archie -- except from a long-ago Mad Magazine parody of Archie in which Harold and the Sugar Bowl appeared.
And which I cannot find.
The obvious Google terms would be "Mad Magazine" and "Starchie," but that's the wrong parody, though it's a damn good one, and I found the whole thing here.
And, in the process of searching for more of the same, I also came across this site, which has several of Mad's comic strip parodies, including "Little Orphan Melvin," "Gopo Gossum" and "Flesh Garden."
If you go there, just read those.
Whatever you do, do not use the search function in the upper left hand corner of that site, because it's only Wednesday and you have things to do and places to be.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
UPDATE: Found it! And some other stuff for another day. But here's this:
Now here's your moment of zippy, zesty zen