.My three ayem ponderings led me to thinking about Doug Marlette and Rev. Will B. Dunn. This morning I looked back in the archives to see what I had written about these characters. Is it an irony that this was originally published to String Too Short to Tie on this date, nine years ago?
The philosophy I study on a regular basis depends greatly on, but is not restricted to, the comics. By comics I mean the daily strips, the funnies, that appear in newspapers and that should be read on a regular basis.
The first philosopher I wish to showcase is deceased and his political cartoons and his comic strip are missed. This is Doug Marlette whose comic strip "Kudzu" served as a guiding light for me. The characters in this funny were painted true to life in character and hilarious in their demeanor. While Ida Mae; Nermal; Veranda; and Kudzu, after whom the strip was named, as well as infrequently appearing minor characters all lent panache and vibrancy to the world in which they lived, the real hero of the story was Reverend Will B. Dunn.
Dunn, whether sitting on a hillside studying the stars, or in the pulpit bumbling his way through a sermon or ceremony, always had on a hat and cowboy boots with his trousers tucked into them. His advice column was classic. "Dear Preacher, your biggest problem is you can never admit you're wrong. Disappointed." "Dear Disappointed, I may not always be right, but I am never wrong." Sitting on a hillside with Nermal, Nermal says, "Preacher, do you believe there are alien beings out there?" Dunn replies, "Son, I'm not worried about alien beings out there. I'm worried about the alien beings in here." (Points to his heart.)
The irreverence of his political cartoons often earned him the outpouring of rancor from those whose point of view he skewered. This quote is his response to such attacks.
Those who have attacked my work, whether on the right, the left, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim, all seem to experience comic or satirical irreverence as hostility and hate. When all it is, really, is irreverence. Ink on paper is only a thought, an idea. Such people fear ideas. Those who mistake themselves for the God they claim to worship tend to mistake irreverence for blasphemy. --Doug Marlette 1949 - 2007
Douglas Marlette gave of himself not only through his art, but through public service. On his way to a rehearsal of a high school drama club who were preparing to present an onstage "Kudzu," Doug's pickup crashed and he was killed. RIP
Other Marlette posts here and here.