about "The Best Comic Strip Ever!"

The characters in my strip, set in Africa's Western Rift Valley, are: the Foolish Pride of lions (Leon, the haughty and lethargic King of Beasts; his queen, Leona; and their cub Lionel, an unpromising heir to the throne); Secretary Bird, a liason between the Royal Court and the rest of the animals; cerebral, man-imitating Ape, a reader of the Substandard; peevish Rhinoceros; harmless but senseless Ostrich; Crocodile, resident of the much-frequented Watering Hole, and his dentist, Crocodile Bird; Honey Badger (alias Ratel), the "Meanest Animal in the World", and his one associate, Honeyguide; Mumbo the elephant, a descendant of Jumbo and a butt of jokes about his weight and the size of his ears and nose; Duncan the dung beetle; ill-favored and unwashed Warthog; the craven, henpecked male and shrewish female hyaenas, both of them foul-smelling and perpetually at war vs. the lions; the mistaken-identity-plagued zebras; slow and superannuated Tortoise; Oxpecker, a companion of large herbivores; Hugh the chamaeleon; and walled-up Mrs. Hornbill.

The Best Comic Strip Ever!

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07 January 2011

Uncommon Commentary #145

Next month, a publisher called NewSouth will release new versions of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, expurgated of "nigger." I certainly don't recommend employment of that word in the Third Millennium AD, but it ought to be noted that in the days when Mark Twain wrote, literary use of "nigger" was simply a way to represent, in print, the typical Southern mispronunciation of "Negro"; not until well into the Twentieth Century did the term come to be regarded as a slur. (Joseph Conrad, who certainly was no racist, even used it in the title of one of his stories: The Nigger of the Narcissus.) It seems to me that the self-appointed revisor, one Alan Gribben, ought to devote effort instead to rewriting his name.