Multiple newspapers have dropped a popular comic strip after the artist inserted a hidden vulgar anti-Trump message into one of the panels.
The Sunday version of “Non Sequitur” featured a “Bears Sunday Coloring Page” with a character named “Leonardo Bear-Vinci” in various scenes from his famous inventor’s namesake.
Wiley Miller, the strip’s artist, included a hidden message for readers in the lower right-hand corner of the second panel.
Beneath images of ‘Bear-Vinci’ testing out his flying machine reads a somewhat difficult to discern scribble which says, “We fondly say go f*** yourself to Trump.”
A Sunday comic strip, read by kids, no less.
Here is the image of the Non Sequitur comic strip.
With the oh-so clever Trump insult pic.twitter.com/rlHwKqbHFj
— Fran Warren (@FranWarren) February 11, 2019
It’s difficult to understand what Miller was thinking when pulling off this stunt.
He certainly wasn’t trying to slip it past anyone. In fact, he challenged readers to find the hidden message, bragging about “a little Easter egg” for their reading pleasure.
Some of my sharp-eyed readers have spotted a little Easter egg from Leonardo Bear-Vinci. Can you find it?
— Wiley Miller (@TheWileyMiller) February 10, 2019
The Butler Eagle, a family-owned newspaper in Pittsburgh, was the first to pull the plug on the Non Sequitur comic strip, not necessarily because of the anti-Trump message but rather for the vulgar words.
Noting that print publication would not have been able to stop the strip from appearing even if they found it before distribution, the Butler Eagle publisher placed the blame squarely on the artist.
“We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public,” they wrote. “The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 11, 2019
Other newspapers followed suit.
“We don’t mind political commentary in comics, as long as we have a chance to vet it and it meets our standards for publication,” Mike Wilson, editor of the Dallas Morning News said.
“Unfortunately, this time the artist decided to go around his editors and even his own syndicate to publish something he must have known we wouldn’t accept,” Wilson added. “We can’t trust him, so we are done with Non Sequitur.”
“Wiley Miller has lost our trust. Therefore, we will not publish his work going forward,” editors at the Columbus Dispatch added.
It’s the Language, Not the Trump Hatred
Need evidence that the only concern here is the language and not the nastiness towards the President of the United States?
In July of 2016, Miller’s strip featured a character walking out of his house in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood with the words “I’m with Trump” on the front.
And nobody batted an eye.