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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He Really Is a Menace!

posted by on September 23 at 16:00 PM

The Beat links to this blog, in which a man found a book called Backstage at the Strips. There was a copy of a 1970 Dennis the Menace cartoon in the book:


And also an apology for the strip that ran in the Cleveland Press the next day:

Yesterday’s DENNIS THE MENACE cartoon offended a number of Press readers. The Press apologizes for the affront caused by the cartoonist. It assures subscribers that such a thing will not happen again.

Here I thought Family Circus was the racistest comic strip in America.

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How refreshing to read an actual apology, and not that "anyone we may have offended" crap we hear so much of today.

Posted by Yeek | September 23, 2008 4:05 PM

heh... looks like the cartoonist has been watching Sarah Silverman.

Posted by Carollani | September 23, 2008 4:09 PM


Posted by Collin | September 23, 2008 4:09 PM

What am I missing here?

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | September 23, 2008 4:10 PM

Wasn't there a "Flintstones" episode where Fred and Barney participate in a lynching?

Posted by Lionel Hutz | September 23, 2008 4:24 PM


Posted by Trevor | September 23, 2008 4:30 PM
Posted by elenchos | September 23, 2008 4:41 PM


Posted by PC | September 23, 2008 4:56 PM

For perspective, that's the same year Doonesbury started. For more perspective, it's not all that crazy considering the climate of comics throughout the world at that time... the book Black Images in the Comics is pretty compelling in this regard, if a bit too brief.

Posted by Sam M. | September 23, 2008 4:58 PM

The "Family Circus" introduced Franklin, a black friend for one of those Billy/Jeffy things a few years ago. I hate the "Family Circus" yet I find myself checking it out once a week in order to justify my hate much as I do with this here Slog. Anyway, they had Franklin high-fiving and then Billy/Jeffy jive-talking and this is why I loved the Dysfunctional Family Circus which Bil Keane eventually nuked.

Posted by Mommy | September 23, 2008 5:42 PM

I stopped reading the comics years ago, mostly over protest that they kept rerunning "Peanuts" instead of making room for an artist that wasn't, you know, dead. But for some bizarre reason I became aware at some point that I had never seen an African American appear in "Marmaduke." Then, after many years, there one was. A basketball player appearing on the family living room TV.

Posted by kk | September 23, 2008 5:44 PM

Peanuts had a character named Franklin too. D'you figure he was bussed into and from their neighborhoods?

Posted by i love my hourlong commute | September 23, 2008 5:44 PM

Jackson's legs are longer than Dennis'.

So there's a good reason he's havin' trouble.

Posted by max solomon | September 23, 2008 5:46 PM

Ketcham was clearly trying to make a statement. The illustration of Jackson doesn't match his usual illustration style. I'm surprised he didn't put a banana in Jackson's hand. I really don't think he was out of touch and missed the 1960s.

Posted by Mr. Designer | September 23, 2008 6:06 PM

Sweet Holy Jesus.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | September 23, 2008 6:06 PM

So a race between McCain and Obama? What's the problem?

Posted by Asshole | September 23, 2008 6:43 PM


How about this stereotype for white adult working males?

Yet, Seattlites praise this stereotype every day...hypocrites....

Posted by John Bailo | September 23, 2008 6:53 PM

If someone has to explain to you what is so very wrong with the Dennis the Menace comic and why your Homer comic isn't even a close comparison then either you are a total moron, a total racist moron, or a total racist republican moron. So, which is it?

Posted by Sad Comment | September 23, 2008 7:05 PM


Check out the Comics Curmudgeon. He loves hating on Family Circus.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 23, 2008 7:15 PM


I'm a white adult working male who is offended by the stereotype of Homer Simpson.

Posted by John Bailo | September 23, 2008 7:15 PM

That's hilarious. C'mon, stop being so PC.

Posted by k | September 23, 2008 7:26 PM

I did this to make a point - racism is a liberal invention just like the holocaust.

Posted by John Bailo | September 23, 2008 7:39 PM


...that wasn't me by the way...that was my dummy.

Here he is "partying":

Posted by John Bailo | September 23, 2008 7:42 PM

Here's yet another horribly racist site:

It is important to know that when you hear a white person saying “we should do some ultimate this weekend” or “I’m so pumped for ultimate,” they are talking about a sport and not an “ultimate solution”-type race war. Though a quick look at a field full of Ultimate Frisbee players might lead one to surmise that an ethnic cleansing has taken place.

Posted by John Bailo | September 23, 2008 7:48 PM

My point is that I am a victim in so many ways.

Posted by John Bailo | September 23, 2008 8:11 PM

Doesn't surprise me that the artist was born and raised right here in liberal, tolerant, diverse Seattle. Queen Anne High '37.

Posted by wow | September 23, 2008 8:28 PM

is kesh sockpuppeting bailo? we need a hetchet job.

BTW, comics curmudgeon is fucking hilarious.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 23, 2008 8:29 PM

My point is that I am a victim in so many ways.
Posted by John Bailo

Being a "loser" is not necessarily the same as being a "victim", although the two are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by Tiktok | September 23, 2008 8:33 PM

@17 and @20: White working males are in power. (Just ask Obama and McCain who are spending hundreds of millions to sway them. Or any woman. Or any non-white person.) They have power because they vote.

It is generally okay to make fun of the powerful. It's not okay to make fun of those without or with less power. That's the difference.

Posted by me | September 23, 2008 9:46 PM

I don't think the Cleveland Press had to apologize for anything. It's clear that they reprinted the strip to illustrate the racial mindset of someone from a particular, bygone era. To protest that is akin to wanting to ban Huckleberry Finn because they drop the "n-word" casually. It's exactly like Thora Birch's art exhibit in Ghost World. Fucking idiots didn't understand what they were looking at and just wanted to shut down the whole exhibition.

Posted by kebabs | September 24, 2008 12:22 AM

Oh, crap, that'll teach me to follow the link first, then post. Forget the first couple of sentences I said.

Posted by kebabs | September 24, 2008 12:36 AM

@25 dreads the thought that a Bailo government would switch to Suse Linux and eliminate his paid astroturfing fees.

Posted by John Bailo | September 24, 2008 6:00 AM

=v= John Bailo's regurgitation of coded racist tropes says more about himself than about anyone else. I'll note thought, that when white supremacists attempted to bootleg images of The Simpsons, the producers pointed out that the Simpsons are in fact yellow, not "white."

Posted by Jym Dyer | September 25, 2008 2:06 AM

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