Is this news editorial cartoon about furries making fun of a tragedy?

by Patch O'Furr

Please help children of the tragedy in this post: Support the Yost family and In Loving Memory Of Billy Boucher.

News tip thanks to Spottacus.  Below is his post about an editorial cartoon in the OC Weekly about a triple homicide in Southern California.


Spottacus Cheetah: “Making fun of murdered family is so offensive.”

“…I imagine the family, somewhat devastated by the murder, seeing two people in costume speculating with happy smiles about what the killers were wearing. That just seems to belittle the tragedy.

In contrast, consider the post-massacre Hebdo cartoon, of a saddened Muhammed grieving over the deaths there.

(Paris, 2015: “4 Cartoonists Killed In Attack On Charlie Hebdo Newspaper“.)

hebWhich made the powerful point that what was done was awful, and at the same time driving the in your face humor of Hebdo by depicting Muhammad again, in print. The entire reason for those Paris murders was exactly that depiction.

Here, in this cartoon, there is a sensationalism on the furry connection, to the point where the depicted characters as almost gleeful when discussing the murder. This makes it seem clueless and sadistic, rather than funny. Unlike Hebdo, the costumes serve no higher purpose to the message, and there’s not much of a moral there. And, unlike a Callahan cartoon, which pokes fun often at tragedy, there is a specific family involved.”

More furry comments at the OC Register:

Gerry Humphrey: “This is EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE! People are killed and OC Weekly is posting an “editorial cartoon” that is way over the line.”

Randolph D Garrett: “A fine example of why print journalism died. Offensive crap… This needs to be removed…”

Nathan Thomas Wolf: “Are you fucking kidding me? How offensive and inappropraite can you be?…  The furry fandom had nothing to do with it… you also are so disrespectful to the family that lost their lives… You are so unprofessional, disgusting, offensive and so wrong as well. Luke McGarry who just proved he is the biggest asshole better be fired to even begin to bring some dignity back to your horrible comapny. He’s to much of a savage to say anything yeah because he’s a peice of shit just like you guys are. If you people don’t get him fired and remove the post I will make it my life goal to see it happen!”

Patch O’Furr: “I dont think this is bad. Like a good cartoon should, this leaves a lot up for interpretation. Here’s mine.

The furries in the cartoon are in “disguises.” But they aren’t shown doing something bad.  They’re depicted exactly in character (fursuits don’t have sad expressions.) They could have been shown with blazing guns committing a crime if this was intended to be malicious.  What heinous act is shown?  They’re just reading the news, and learning about a shocking story the same as everyone else did.  They aren’t complicit.  So this can be taken as a message about how everyone is sharing a sad experience in common, even if they have other differences. We’re all reading the news together.

The artist took care to show the accused killers not in disguise, but in regular mug shots on the front page.  That answers the absurd thought (what if someone wore a disguise on top of a costume? They didn’t – this shows people.)

I don’t think the readers are smiling and showing humor, as much as they’re just depicted as they really are.  It says that life can be comic and tragic at the same time. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t think there’s anything offensive about that.”


Spottacus told me that he had a good chat with the cartoonist. I’ll ask if he can share in comments. What’s your opinion about the cartoon?