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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Heart to Hart

As you may already know, cartoonist John Hart, creator of such classics as "B.C." and "The Wizard of Id," died this past weekend at the age of 76. He died at his storyboard, doing what he loved. Here is his last cartoon:

    (Sorry. It wasn't meant in bad taste.)
John Hart made us laugh over the years, but he also made us think. What's most notable about his work is that he was never shy about sharing his faith:

It wasn't unusual for his comics to generate a little controversy, and I'm sure he made some newspaper editors pretty nervous.

I recall one strip that ran around Good Friday a few years ago that showed one of the characters washing clothes in a river. She noticed a stream of red in the water, and when the garment she was washing was lifted out, it had been bleached white. She looked upriver and saw that the red stream was coming from a cross.

Perhaps the most controversial was one published on Easter Sunday back in 2001:
It drew protests from Jewish groups and led several newspapers to drop the strip. (Hart wrote a full explanation of this particular cartoon. You can read it here.)

Because of Hart's reputation, people started looking for controversial messages, whether they were intentional or not:
When this cartoon was printed, many people thought it was more than just simple outhouse humor. They were sure Hart was making a statement about Islam. He denied it and expressed his surprise that anyone would reach such a conclusion.

But I think that was part of Hart's appeal. His cartoons weren't always the same. Because he touched on everything from the silly to the satirical to the sacred, you never knew what he would write next. He was one of a kind.

Rest in peace, Johnny. We'll miss you.


Chris Wilde said...

I like your first image. Here may be found the last cartoon of Johnny of B.C. 'He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the prehistoric cave of aaaaaaggggh!'

Craver Vii said...

Thanks for showing the controversial posts. I heard about them on the radio this morning.

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