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Posted at 9:05 AM ET, 11/11/2009

Why do so very few comic strips bother to mark Veterans' Day?

By Michael Cavna


In a time of war (or wars) and so soon after the Fort Hood tragedy, it seems especially a pity that so few comic strips bother to even take note of Veterans' Day.

No, noting the holiday shouldn't feel like an obligation to cartoonists, particularly in a strip devoted to, say, anthropomorphized animals beating the living snot out of each other like some sort of line-art Whac-a-Mole. Some of our servicemen and women die, in fact, partly for the artistic freedom not to draw attention to Veterans' Day. (And how roundabout is that?)

Still, it would be a welcome sight to see at least a handful of cartoons mark the day of honor and tribute and gratitude. And this is one day,at least, on which I'm glad "PEANUTS CLASSICS" in on the page to represent -- and not AWOL because it was shipped to KidsPost, surrendered for "Frazz's" safe return.

Plus, today's "Peanuts" -- as so often on this day -- raises a mug of root beer in honor of "Willie and Joe" creator Bill Mauldin -- aka World War II's greatest cartoonist. Mauldin and Charles Schulz (who both died in this past decade) -- how we miss them both.

Then there's my repeated beef: Why doesn't "BEETLE BAILEY," of all strips, note Veterans' Day, instead of delivering silly-signage high jinks? One could argue that the strip honors the military all year 'round and thus is exempt, to which I would reply: Such logic requires that General Halftrack's every googly-eyed ogling of Miss Buxley -- every such gag -- must then stand up to the criterion of "honoring the military." Really? Can that defense stand down now, please?

So thanks, "Sparky" Schulz -- even in flashbacks, we salute you.

To see a few more Veterans' Day cartoons, click below.


CAM CARDOW:


RANDY BISH:


DAVE GRANLUND:


By Michael Cavna  | November 11, 2009; 9:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line, The Political Cartoon, The Riffs  
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Comments

I remember that "Crankshaft" used to do Memorial Day cartoons, which is close enough. The one that sticks in my memory: a young Crankshaft offers to help an aged Civil War veteran decorate a grave, which segues into a Vietnam-era vet making the same offer to Crankshaft as an old man.

Posted by: drazen1 | November 11, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused. The Peanuts comic I see has nothing to do with Veteran's Day.

Arlo & Janis remembers the day.

http://comics.com/arlo&janis/2009-11-11/

Posted by: elyrest | November 11, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse


elyrest: The reason you are confused is that the online comics are not always the ones that run that day in print (try following Frazz). The strip in the paper today was a veteran's day strip. As far as cartoonists not acknowledging veteran's day, most are too hip for something as corny and sentimental as this. No big time spending. Also, unless they have a relative in the military, or make a profit, most civilians are not affected by military actions or conflicts. It's life as usual, twits, facebook, texts and all the other important stuff.

Posted by: olddog1 | November 11, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I live in cheney, WA. and we get our newspaper from Spokane,WA. (The Spokesman Review). The only comic I saw that really had any mention of Veterans day was LuAnn in which the main character and a few friends went to visit wounded soldiers. Funky Winkerbean used to do a strip honoring veterans until a character consider KIA was found. Now they are focusing on his battle with alcoholism (which is not honoring vet's). It is to bad there aren't more.

Posted by: bigmanK | November 12, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Cathy recognized Veterans Day, yet nothing was said about that mention.

Posted by: SoinFool21 | November 12, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

A lot of the plotline in "Doonesbury", of course, concerns characters at the Veteran's Center, but yesterday the focus was back on Hollywood. (I suspect that will be the case while the Polanski case is still ongoing.) Anyway, Trudeau has done an admirable job in bringing veterans' concerns to the public attention, and when so many strips don't do that for even one day a year, it is certainly commendable that he does so on a regular basis.

Posted by: seismic-2 | November 12, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The LOUDOUN TIMES-MIRROR (a newspaper in Leesburg, VA, not far from Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) didn't even mention Veterans Day on the front page of its November 11 edition yesterday.
The main story on the front page was about the grand opening of a new supermarket.
How lame is that?

Posted by: beth8 | November 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The LOUDOUN TIMES-MIRROR (a newspaper in Leesburg, VA, not far from Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) didn't even mention Veterans Day in its November 11 edition yesterday.
Its main story on the front page was about the grand opening of a new supermarket.
How lame is that?

Posted by: beth8 | November 12, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Peanuts had some very good Veterans' Day strips, and I liked the Arlo & Janis series (from last year) that was just relinked by the "Comics I Don't Understand" blog. However, not every comic is in a position to pay appropriate tribute to Veterans' Day, so it is unfair to expect every cartoonist to do so.

Posted by: kilby | November 12, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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