Zits and 9/11


I devour editorial cartoons…especially those by Martyn Turner from the Irish Times.  If you have the time you can find out what is happening in the world by scanning strategically located newspapers and their editorial cartoons.

Martyn Turner was especially tuned to the former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Brian Cowen.  His nick name was BUFFO…Big ugly fuck from Offaly.  Only the Irish would come up with a nick name like that.


I also read most newspaper comics … Dilbert being my favorite.


Of particular interest were the comics on 9/11.  Most of them treated the day with reverence.  Zits on the other hand ran this…

9/11 Zits

I was offended and subsequently emailed Mr.Scott and Mr. Borgman.  My email contained words like “you piece of shit” “fucking assholes” “…don’t have the fucking balls to respond…” and a few other colorful adjectives, adverbs and verbs.  The email was sent via the cartoonist’s web site and I did not save a copy of it.

Today, 9/13/11, I received the following email from Mr. Borgman.

Jim Borgman zits@kingfeatures.com to me
show details 5:55 PM (2 hours ago)

Dear Mr. Carney,

We’ve been surprised to learn that some readers saw something other than we intended in our Zits strip from 9/11/11. To clarify, here’s what we intended:

Parents everywhere (ourselves included) felt the strong need to wrap our arms around our kids and protect them as the terrible day of the attacks ended ten years ago. It’s what we are inclined to do even now — a sort of muscle memory — whenever we remember 9/11.

In the strip, Jeremy is just a teenage boy caught in an uncomfortable group hug. He could use an attitude adjustment, for sure, but we certainly did not intend our character to seem unpatriotic.

And we certainly never intended to say we disrespected the heroes who were on the scene that terrible  day. It’s quite disappointing to learn the strip has been interpreted that way.

I hope that makes things clearer.

Very best,

Jim Borgman and Jerry Scott

After reading the cartoon on 9/11 or just now … does his explanation make things clearer to you?



This entry was posted in America, Art, Politics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Zits and 9/11

  1. heffison says:

    I don’t susually read the comics anymore, but today I heard that there was some controversy over the 9/11 strip, so I Googled and ended up here.

    I got the intended meaning right off the bat. When the planes first hit and we realized this was no accident, a lot of us where scared that the world was falling apart, that this was the start of more attacks, of war on our soil. I can easily see a parent being desperately frightened for the future of his or her child.

    Fit that in with the established characters of this strip, the unashamedly nerdy but loving parents and a kid who wants his freedom and doesn’t quite get why they worry so much about him, and this image makes perfect sense. And yes, I teared up a bit at the picture.

    The strip doesn’t address the heroes and victims who died that day, but it doesn’t make light of them, either. It shows very clearly the effect 9/11 had on average citizens far across the country with no direct relationship to anyone killed that day. We were all touched, and we all remember that.

    In fact, the strip also points out that a new generation is coming, that wasn’t aware of the event as it occurred. It is a reminder that history needs to be taught, not just remembered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *