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B.C. Cartoonist Johnny Hart

 

 

Johnny Hart, one of my favourite cartoonist, died on 7 April 2007, the day before Easter. He is the creator and artist of the comic strip B.C. which often deals with theological issues in a very interesting way.

 USA Today reports

 

Cartoonist Johnny Hart, whose award-winning B.C. comic strip appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide, has died. He was 76.

Today's Christian, March/April 1997 had an article by Joe Maxwell entitled "Johnny Hart: Not Caving In" The cartoon characters of "B.C." reflect their imaginative creator, Johnny Hart. Especially his unapologetic faith in God.

 For four years now, The Los Angeles Times has refused to run certain "B.C." strips containing witty Christian messages during holiday seasons. In March 1996, when the Times refused to run his Palm Sunday strip, a national uproar ensued, reaching even the Washington, D.C., talk show circuit. The strip had Wiley—a brooding, poet-wannabe in B.C.'s cast of characters—sitting against a tree, tablet in hand, writing a poem entitled "The Suffering Prince":

 

Picture yourself tied to a tree,
condemned of the sins of eternity.
Then picture a spear,
parting the air,
seeking your heart to cut your despair.
Suddenly—a knight, in armor of white,
stands in the gap betwixt you and its flight,
And shedding his 'armor of God' for you—
bears the lance that runs him through.
His heart has been pierced that yours may beat,
and the blood of his corpse washes your feet.
Picture yourself in raiment white,
cleansed by the blood of the lifeless knight.
Never to mourn, the prince who was downed,
For he is not lost! It is you who are found.

 

Spokeswoman Gloria Lopez of the Times says Mr. Hart's strip isn't the only one that has been pulled. Other examples of edited strips she cited include "Doonesbury" and "The Far Side." Says Ms. Lopez: "The bottom line is the editors reserve the right to edit." Johnny believes such treatment is symptomatic of the battle for America's soul, and he likes the idea that his recent flaps with the Times "have gotten Christians up in arms. That's what they all need."

I shall miss his laconic wit and his cavemen. I hope they publish his collected works soon.

 

posted 10 April 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

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