"Laughter is a language we can all understand"


Haven't we all been waiting to hear what For Better Or For Worse creator Lynn Johnston has to say about the intoonfada?

People who wear the apparel of their faith live their faith 24 hours a day as a statement of their constant and unwavering devotion. Comedy and sarcasm of our concept of God may not be liked by many, but we have a history of tolerating it.

They do not. Can we not respect this deeply religious way of life?

I believe these cartoons have a right to exist. The media does not have the right to use them callously in the name of freedom. Freedom for whom? If one innocent person dies because of this capricious incident, publishers must accept the blame.

On behalf of conscientious humorists and illustrators worldwide, I want to say to the nation of people who have been understandably offended—an apology is due. This is not comedy. If a cartoon or a statement causes such pain, it enters the category of hate literature and should be treated as such.

Laughter is a language we can all understand. For the sake of decency and good taste—stop reprinting this inflammatory image and allow a people already in crisis to heal.

In today's FBOFW: A wacky generation gap reversal involving Canadians with bulging eyes.

The Comics Curmudgeon's foob page.

Addendum: Johnston dealt with a controversy of her own in 1993 and 1997 by outing a teenage foob character as gay—still a hot thing at the time. More than 20 papers canceled the strip, and Johnston had tart words for them. "For all the people who say this shouldn't be in the comics, please write all of the television stations who put garbage on," she said in a 1993 interview. "This is a banana peel compared to the hordes of pollution that's on television." By the time she revisited what was still called the "gay issue" in 1997, things had calmed down. "People should fear their own misconceptions," she said.