Cartoonist hides vulgar anti-Trump message in his comic strip




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At first look, Sunday’s Non Sequitur comic strip merely confirmed bears dressed up like Leonardo da Vinci. The syndicated strip opens with Bear-Vinci holding a picture of a Virtruvian Bear. It ends with the ursine artist painting a Mona Lisa, who might be, you guessed it, a bear. They are all characters in the “Bearaissance,” and the format invites readers to color in the drawings.

But very like da Vinci himself, Wiley Miller, whose work usually tackles politics and has usually drawn controversy, inserted a secret message into his latest work. Hidden on the bottom correct nook of the second panel, beneath a drawing of the Italian inventor’s flying machine, a semi-legible scribble appeared to be taught, “Go f*** yourself Trump.”

The Butler Eagle, a family-owned newspaper north of Pittsburgh that syndicated Non Sequitur, decided to pull the strip on Monday after an irate reader alerted the newspaper.

“One of our readers has a young daughter who reads the comics. This family sits down with this comic, and they stumble across this hidden message,” Ron Vodenichar, the paper’s author and regular supervisor, suggested The Washington Post.

He said the newspaper has been publishing the comic for a few years and obtained Non Sequitur in a bundle cope with completely different syndicated comic strips that was already laid out. The dedication to pull the comic, Vodenichar said, was in regards to the profanity and “has nothing to do with who it was aimed at.”

According to the comic strip’s author, Andrews McMeel Syndication, Non Sequitur goes out to better than 700 newspapers, along with The Washington Post, which ran Sunday’s comic in print and on-line. A spokesperson for The Post did not immediately comment.

Kansas City-based Andrews McMeel Syndication apologized for the “vulgar language” in an announcement Monday.

“We are sorry we missed the language in our editing process,” the company said “If we had discovered it, we would not have distributed the cartoon without it being removed. We apologize to ‘Non Sequitur’s’ clients and readers for our oversight.”

Miller, who incessantly criticizes President Donald Trump on his Twitter feed, says he forgot all in regards to the scribbled profanity until Sunday.

“When I opened the paper Sunday morning and read my cartoon, I didn’t think anything of it, as I didn’t notice the scribbling that has now caught fire,” Miller suggested The Post, noting the scribble had been carried out quite a few weeks in the previous at a time when he was aggravated by a White House movement and forgot to remove it.

“It was not intended for public consumption, and I meant to white it out before submitting it, but forgot to. Had I intended to make a statement to be understood by the readers, I would have done so in a more subtle, sophisticated manner,” he said.

But on Sunday, he nonetheless teased the “Easter egg” in the Non Sequitur comic on Twitter, inviting of us to seek for a message.

GoComics, which hosts Miller’s comics, had modified the distinctive cartoon with a mannequin with out the Trump insult by Monday afternoon.

This is not the first time a cartoonist has come under scrutiny for his or her political work in the Trump interval. Last yr, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette fired editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers, who had been important of the president in his work. The switch earned a rebuke from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, though a spokesman for the Post-Gazette insisted to The Post the firing had “little to do with politics, ideology or Donald Trump.”

Editorial cartoonists equivalent to Bill Bramhall, Ann Telnaes, Mike Luckovich and others incessantly contact upon the Trump administration by the use of their paintings.

Miller’s comics usually carry a political message. A July 2016 comic depicted a persona sporting KKK robes emblazoned with the message, “I’m with Trump.”

Non Sequitur acquired the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 2014. Launched in 1992, the comic has gone by the use of quite a few iterations since.

“I developed the strip to go into any direction my creativity would take me,” he suggested The Post in a 2014 interview. “[It’s] very open-ended. It’s like creating a new strip all the time.”

“I’m always trying to push things,” when it acquired right here to his paintings variety, he said. “I haven’t had to apologize yet.”

Miller has confronted controversy sooner than for his work. In 2010, some newspapers decided to not run thought-about one in all his cartoons depicting Muhammad, the founding father of Islam who’s seen as a prophet and holy decide by members of the religion. (The Post ran the model on-line, nonetheless not in print.)

“All I can do is surmise that the irony of their being afraid to run a cartoon that satirizes media’s knee-jerk reaction to anything involving Islam bounced right of their foreheads. So what they’ve actually accomplished is, sadly, [to] validate the point,” he suggested The Post on the time.

On Monday, nonetheless, Miller was further apologetic. “In all that time, I have never done anything like this, nor do I intend to do so in the future,” he said.

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