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Cartoonist causes
controversy with "male-bashing" comic

Cartoonist causes
controversy with "male-bashing" comic

With Father's Day fast approaching, cartoonist Berkeley Breathed caused quite a stir with a comic that appeared to criticize fathers while celebrating lesbian moms.

The latest installment of Breathed's "Opus the Penguin" strip, which ran in Sunday's comics, has elicited a wide range of responses from outrage on the right to bemusement on the left, according to Townhall.com.

The strip shows two boys, with their avian companion, Opus, talking about third-grader Davie Dinkle having two moms. "Multiple moms," comments one boy. "Cool," agrees the other. "No dad?" asks Opus, as they wonder how Davie Dinkle will do without a male role model in the house. Then--crash!--a television set showing a baseball game is hurled through the window by one of the boys' foul-mouthed, cigarette-smoking, beer-chugging fathers.

"Breathed's message is clear--dads are useless as role models (when they're not outright destructive), and kids have little need or use for them," commented columnist Glenn Sacks in the American Chronicle.

Critics cite a growing trend of male-bashing, emphasized by the approaching holiday intended to celebrate rather than denigrate fathers. Some point to same-sex relationships as the root of the problem.

Says writer Jennifer Morse on Townhall: "The cartoon...was appalling not only for its unadulterated, unapologetic male-bashing. The cartoon is also a sickening foretaste of what awaits us as same-sex parenting becomes normalized." Morse went on to publish a letter on the DailyCartoonist blog asking that Opus be discontinued from the Web site.

Many rallied to the cartoonist's defense, explaining that the father has appeared in several of Breathed's comics and is meant to be a rough-and-tumble character who often resorts to comic violence. And while responses have been a mixed bag, it seems that Opus will be making his usual appearance in the Sunday paper for Father's Day. (The Advocate)

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