Cartoonist Johnny Hart Dies
Johnny Hart, of B.C. and Wizard of Id fame, died Saturday while working at his storyboard in Endicott NY. He was 76.
B.C. appears in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide – quite an achievement in these days of newspaper mergers and disappearing strips.
No stranger to controversy, some of Hart’s cartoons had hard Christian themes. A Sunday page published on Easter, 2001 was deemed by many Jews to be quite offensive – a menorah transformed into a cross, accompanied by Jesus Christ’s dying words. According to the Associated Press, critics said it implied that Christianity supersedes Judaism. Similar themes have appeared in the strip since, leading to a number of cancellations.
Nonetheless, both B.C. and Wizard of Id (produced by Hart and Brant Parker) will be remembered as two of the funniest and most clever newspaper comic strips launched since World War II.
Ironically, he quotes Jesus in today’s Easter strip (reprinted below) saying "Assuredly I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise." Here’s hoping for you, Johnny.