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Sunday
Sep112011

Sunday Comic Strips Turn Serious for 9/11 Anniversary

ALEX FUCHS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The funny pages are getting serious for 9/11.  Nearly every major comic strip in America's newspapers this Sunday will be devoted to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In Blondie, the Bumpsteds and their neighbors will salute a flag, under the words "Never Forget."  In the strip Archie, the new class president at Riverdale High will unveil the school's own 9/11 memorial.

And Sunday's Dick Tracy will include a tribute to fire marshal Ronald Bucca, one of the 343 firefighters and 72 police officers who died at the World Trade Center.

"These public safety professionals saved 25,000 civilian lives that day," the strip says.

America's cartoonists have banded together before, to deal with issues such as breast cancer and the environment.  Many of them took part in a 9/11 tribute on the first Thanksgiving after the attacks.

But the scope of this 9/11 commemoration is unprecedented: Ninety-three comic strips are taking part, from Archie to Zits.

"The comics come into people's lives every day, usually around the breakfast table.  We are part of the American family.  It is good for us to be part of the discussion about 9/11," said Patrick McDonnell, who draws the strip Mutts.

The cartoonists were given free rein in how to treat the anniversary.  Most of the strips are poignant, a few use humor.  Some of the cartoons might even trigger a reaction unusual for someone reading the funnies: tears.

Planning for the cartoonists' tribute began back in January and included the five major syndicates that provide comic strips to newspapers: King Features, Creators, Tribune Media Services, Universal Press and the Washington Post Writers Group.

All the strips will be posted online, beginning on 9/11, at cartoonistsremember911.com.  They also will be displayed in special exhibits at the Newseum, in Washington, D.C.; the Cartoon Art Museum, in San Francisco; the Toonseum, in Pittsburgh; and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art and the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

And, of course, in newspapers across the country on 9/11.

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