Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Bizarro news

While I was at a friend's yesterday, she showed me a Bizarro comic that made a reference to gay marriage. I loved the comic. (Comic belongs to King Features Syndicate and and Dan Piraro, not me).

Turns out I saw the original, however, because a revised version had been created. Here's an article about what happened:

Here's how divisive the United States has become: A liberal cartoonist has to think twice about what he says in his artwork.

That's what caused a glitch in the text of the cartoon Bizarro on Thursday, so that some newspapers printed a cartoon with a reference to gay marriage and others got a much tamer version that made no reference to homosexuality at all.

"As you might expect, I've been dealing with nonstop e-mails from people who either saw both versions and want to know what happened, or saw the gay spouse one and have strong opinions about it," the cartoonist, Dan Piraro, wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle.

Piraro said the original version of the cartoon, which showed a male doctor talking to another man, had a text block that had the doctor saying: "Your husband is in the recovery room. You could go back and see him if you like, but our government-sanctioned bigotry forbids it."

He said his editor at King Features Syndicate (which is owned by Hearst Corp., as is The Chronicle) mentioned to him that he'd been getting a lot of complaints from editors about the cartoonist's left-leaning politics, and that running the cartoon could result in some cancellations.

Piraro said he had changed the text to the following: "She's going to be just fine -- she's quite a fighter. The anesthesiologist has a black eye and I think she may have cracked my ribs."

"Not wishing to lose my voice entirely, I thought it was wise to send in a replacement caption for the same picture," Piraro wrote.

He said he had sent the tame version out with a black-and-white cartoon. Later, he went to color the cartoon, and when he did, he inadvertently used the version with the original gay-marriage-themed caption. So, around the country, newspapers that ran the cartoon in color ran gay marriage, and those that ran it in black and white ran the tame version.

Unbelievable. Go read that article in full.


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