Skip to comments.Comic strip to feature homosexual ‘prom’ date
Posted on 04/26/2012 5:00:57 AM PDT by IbJensen
MEDINA, OHIO, April 24, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) A long-running, nationally syndicated comic strip will feature a homosexual couple holding hands and attending the prom together.
Funky Winkerbean will depict two men holding hands as they buy tickets at the fictional Westview High School.
So, who are you guys taking to the prom, anyway? asks a young female ticket seller. Uh, that would be each other, they reply.
The comic is featured in 400 newspapers nationwide.
Dealing with intolerance is something Ive dealt with many times before. Adding the gay angle is just a twist to the topic, said strip creator Tom Batiuk (pronounced Battick), 63.
However, in December 2009, Batiuk featured six comic strips about the bullying of homosexual character Cody.
Im not trying to shock anyone, Batiuk stated. Im just telling a story.
The strip, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last month, joins a growing number of homosexual characters in juvenile literature.
Archie comic book character Kevin Keller married his boyfriend in the January 2012 issue.
Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater said the introduction of the first openly homosexual character into the world of Jughead, Betty, and Veronica in September 2010 was just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archies hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone.
One Million Moms, a project of the American Family Association, asked for members to contact Toys R Us stores to prevent the issues display in front of an impressionable young audience. Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in a toy store, the organizations press release said. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children about sexual orientation.
The homosexual teen storyline was opposed by co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit, a former third grade teacher. She and Goldwater are locked in a legal battle for control of the comic empire.
Jon Goldwater who is distantly related to Barry Goldwater wants to update the message to expand its earnings potential. He has discussed creating a Hollywood film about Archie with help from Rahm Emanuels brother, Ari, a Hollywood super agent who called for a Hollywood boycott of Mel Gibson in 2006.
The comic books new direction is a far cry from the example of Jons father and company founder John L. Goldwater, who reveled in the comics wholesome image. Although Jewish, he allowed the Archie characters to be used in Christian-themed comic books for a fee. Christian Spire Comics created 18 faith-themed Archie issues from 1973-1982. That was a really nice piece of business for a long time, said Michael Silberkleit, who ran the company from 1983 until his death in 2008.
A Christian Archie comic from the 1970s.
Neither Archie nor Funky Winkerbean is the first comic strip to feature an LGBT character. In 1993, Lynn Johnstons For Better or Worse revealed the character Lawrence was a homosexual.
Batiuk said the younger generations attitudes toward gays, though not perfect, are more open and accepting than their predecessors.
It shows promise for an emerging generation that will bring this issue [of acceptance of open homosexuality in high schools] to an end.
This [strip] is a pretty straight-forward expression of how I feel about the subject, he said.
The comic strip featuring the couple will run on April 30.
Young people are not more accepting. This is why we are bombarded by these stupids ads about not using “gay” to mean stupid or dumb. Young people have come up with that one all by themselves.
Yes. What’s odd is that FW started out as a gag strip, and then became a serial. “For Better or For Worse” was a strip that may have been created by a liberal who occasionally let her liberalism slip through, but at least was quality, and usually managed to both be serial AND funny. FW tried to upgrade bottom-of-the-barrel characters created for cheap gags into serious social commentary, and just can’t pull it off. I suspect editors keep it alive because leftists support it, but I wonder how many of its liberal supporters actually read it.
Someone once called Pogo, “the most beloved comic strip no-one actually ever read.” But my sense is that Pogo’s readership, even after several decades of decline, dwarfed FW’s.
Well one could view the entire New York Times as one big comics section.
Well, it wasn’t Wonder Woman, but the reboot they did back in the late 80’s had some of the Amazons in lesbian relationships with each other.
>Some of course, lost “it” after the author died or retired. Al Capp, Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson and Gary Larson had it right. Not only did those strips (Li’l Abner, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side) benefit from ending gracefully, Abner and Peanuts were spared the indignity of being adapted to a time for which they were no longer suited.
Actually I would argue that Schulz lost it before he died. His original strips were excellent, and had more appeal than just childish humor. In the later stuff it became very simplistic with worn out gags used again and again. The last 10 or 15 years of Peanuts were pretty bad.
I never read Lil’ Abner, but I fully agree that Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side got out at just the right time. They new when their tank was empty and didn’t drive off a cliff.
You are right about Peanuts. It actually started going downhill in the 70s, marked by a sad stock of new characters (e.g. Molly Volley). I allow Schulz a grace period for it because I can’t imagine the man without the strip, or vice versa. My children are being raised on the early 60s book compilations. Good stuff.
Not sure what you mean by “ending gracefully,” but Schulz and Capp continued to create their strips until just before their deaths. And I’m grateful for it. Conversely, “Cathy” was retired in 2010, long before Cathy Guisewite reached retirement age.
Funky Winkerbean has been reset several times. Now it is trying to be “socially relevant” in the same way an aging ‘B quality’ rock and roll band makes a desperate effort to get publicity before they are forgotten.
Trouble is that it is as relevant as Garfield, or maybe even Marmaduke. Ziggy? Love is?
When I was a youngun, my favorite characters were those incorrigible troublemakers The Katzenjammer Kids. Virtually every strip ended with the Kids getting their behinds whacked. Imagine the outrage from the usual suspects if they did that now. I still laugh when I think the of Hans and Fritz lying across Der Mama’s lap getting theirs.
Best case of a comic author timing his retirement right: The legendary Johnny Hart. Died at the story board, finishing up what would be his final comic. (Probably went straight to Heaven, too.)