Jewish Leaders Critical of Comic 'B.C.' Cartoonist Says Easter Strip Misunderstood

By Soergel, Matt | The Florida Times Union, April 14, 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Jewish Leaders Critical of Comic 'B.C.' Cartoonist Says Easter Strip Misunderstood


Soergel, Matt, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Matt Soergel, Times-Union staff writer

Tomorrow's B.C. comic strip is causing nationwide controversy, with some saying that cartoonist Johnny Hart's Easter strip is offensive to Jews.

Hart, meanwhile, said critics misunderstand his message.

The strip shows the seven lit candles of a menorah being extinguished, one at a time. The menorah, a symbol of Judaism, is then transformed into a smoldering crucifix, a symbol of Christianity. In the strip, Hart also includes the last seven statements attributed to Jesus at his crucifixion.

Hart, one of the country's most widely read cartoonists, is an outspoken Christian who occasionally inserts strongly worded religious messages into B.C., a strip that usually pokes fun at modern humans through the antics of its prehistoric characters.

"The Internet and e-mail of our community across the country is just burning up about this," Rabbi David Gaffney of the Jacksonville Jewish Center said.

The strip will run in the Sunday comics in the Times-Union. The color comics section is printed by an outside company in advance and inserted into the paper.

Times-Union publisher Carl Cannon said: "Our comics pages are intended to entertain readers and occasionally provoke thought. We have no intention of slighting anyone with these syndicated features, and we are very sorry for any person or religious group in our community who may feel offended by Sunday's B.C. strip."

Richard Newcombe, president of Creators Syndicate, which distributes Hart's comic, said no newspapers have cancelled B.C. because of the Easter strip, though the Los Angeles Times discontinued B.C. a week ago for other reasons.

Most comic strip controversies occur after a strip is published. But an early copy of tomorrow's B.C. was posted on the Internet by the Jewish Defense League, which called it "outright Jew-hatred."

In a statement, cartoonist Hart said his strip is being misinterpreted.

"I regret if some people misunderstood the strip, and it hurt their feelings . . . This is a holy week for both Christians and Jews, and my intent, as always, was to pay tribute to both."

Newcombe said he didn't foresee the controversy this strip would cause.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Jewish Leaders Critical of Comic 'B.C.' Cartoonist Says Easter Strip Misunderstood
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?