An Apology For Today’s Strip


I am very sad to report that today’s strip wasn’t pulled from papers given the tragedy of Newtown. Already I have heard from a few readers who were mighty angry, and rightly so, for opening their comics page and seeing it. I create and send in my strips four weeks before they appear in the newspaper, and newspapers generally lay out the comics page part of their paper ahead of time as well. Sometimes editors catch things like this and ask for a replacement strip for their papers from my syndicate. We always give them one. I am sorry that I didn’t catch it, that my syndicate didn’t catch it, and that the comics editor of your newspaper didn’t catch it. The world has changed since I drew this strip and it just isn’t funny anymore.


18 thoughts on “An Apology For Today’s Strip

  1. Funny strip!

    I appreciate your apology, and hope people aren’t too harsh on you for things outside your control. It’s Christmas; let’s all be a little more forgiving!

  2. As if you could have known. If I imagine before last friday, I can laugh at the strip. You have explained how the process works, you couldn’t have known. I would not have made the connection to be honest. Peace out sister!

  3. I didn’t see an offensive strip, and I appreciate both your humor and your sensitivity. Keep up the good work! This world would be much poorer without your gifts.

  4. Hilary
    That strip is still hilarious and totally hits the spot which in my view is the ridiculousness of Xmas (which I don’t celebrate, by the way — woke up one morning 30+ years ago and thought: “hey, this stuff just doesn’t make any sense at all”).
    You see, “the world” hasn’t changed, just the outlook in some quarters in the USA, only a small albeit important part of the world, and that change will only be temporary judging by past response to similar events.
    In my part of the world, life goes on. The corporations invade, exploit the land and its people to the max, then leave like a mob of seagulls, making maximum noise, covering everything with shit, and providing no lasting benefit. (Actually, I like seagulls, but hey, there’s a need to paint a verbal picture here so I have to exploit their lifestyle!)
    I love your work and check it every day here in Rabaul on the tropical island of East New Britain. A journalist for decades., I don’t follow the news anymore so I didn’t know (until i searched for it) that there had been a child massacre IN the USA rather than one somewhere else committed BY the USA (probably with the help or at least the support of my country of birth, Australia).
    Hilary, keep producing your wonderful cartoons. And by the way, the “Rhymes with Orange” title is so very, very apt given your sense of humor and much superior to the title that was already taken! 🙂
    Try also looking at
    I actually got an Internet connection via wireless there and was able to check your cartoon for the day! Also xkcd, of course.
    All the very best

  5. I wasn’t offended at all (although the pun was a bit of a groaner). It wasn’t about gun violence or mental health issues, but anthropomorphic trees. There are far worse depictions of violence in the media every day (like, say, “Jack Reacher”–opening today).

  6. Any of your readers should realize that your strips are done at least a few days in advance – if they don’t, and they are that clueless. it’s their problem. Unfortunately, there are far too many clueless, ignorant, stupid people out there – and at least some of them vote. It pains me that education has taken such a hit and there are people who still believe that the world is 4000 or so years old and flat. Happy Holidays – thanks for all the laughs you’ve brought me!

  7. You don’t owe anyone an apology. Humor, in order to be funny, has to shave pretty close to the truth. You have a wonderful sense of humor and I hope you don’t censor yourself because of the crazies in this world.

  8. I wish your post could have been printed in newspapers, even if later than the strip. It’s a lot to ask to have the comics reviewed in light of current news–this would have to happen every day.
    Thank you so much for your (may I say slightly skewed) take on our world–it brightens my day.

  9. No apologies needed Hilary! Your humour is always spot on (for the topic you are spearing) and maybe we need to be more understanding of the realities of the comic/newspaper publishing environment. It was certainly a tragic affair, but we can predict the future!

  10. The connection between todays comic and the shootings never occurred to me until I read your note. All I thought was that it was very “dog”. No apologies necessary.

  11. This strip is about a very particular baby, who is said to have been born more than 2000 years ago. I get it that people are horribly upset about what happened in Connecticut, but I don’t think this strip is inappropriate.

  12. I didn’t get the connection between Newton and your comic strip. What struck me the most was the the mixture of logic and point of view. It is amazing how foolish some of the things we do appear when viewed from a different perspective.

  13. One person’s opinion: I *never* thought of any connection between the comic and the news, and even after reading some of the negative comments (after seeing your apology) I think people are seeing a parallel only as an optical illusion of the mind.

    OTOH I have long wondered why people celebrate the birth of their savior by killing a tree. (I’m not big on cut flowers, either – Here, sweetheart, I killed these pretty things for you!) Decorate, yes; cut down and bring inside, no, even if they’re not fruit trees (Deuteronomy 20:19).

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