Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Johnny Hart Cartoon Collection--I Did it HIS Way

My husband just picked up a new cartoon book titled I Did It HIS Way by Johnny Hart --creator of the BC and Wizard of Id comics -- syndicated in 1000 papers. (Of course, we are reminded of the contrast with Frank Sinatra's I Did it MY Way.)

Hart started his career at age 27 --and became a Christian at 56 because his tv serviceman and son were Christians who tested his set with Christian programming and he got interested. He had been drinking way too much and subject to depression --until after he moved to the town of Ninevah (Biblically named for the place that Jonah did not want to go as a missionary.) That's where he lived when the tv guys came. He just died on Easter Eve in 07 --peacefully at his drawing board. He had made enough religious comics after his conversion that they compiled them in a book titled, "I did it HIS way." His cartoons speak to issues we have discussed here.

You might be amused that two of his girl characters are called "Cute Chick" and "Fat Broad." Fat Broad is always giving the serpent (Satan's symbol) a hard time.

Also, it is of interest that Hart received a lot of criticism for expressing his faith in his cartoons, but that didn't stop him. Trudeau of the Doonesbury strip expresses his liberal cynicism and politics and apparent agnosticism, but Hart wasn't supposed to be ideological.

It's also interesting that Christian TV played a role in his coming to faith.

His children and grandchildren inherited his talents and a grandson is the lead artist today, with his widow heading the business.

There are a couple of photos of Johnny --a short man at 5'6" and very cute with a most amiable face. The book says his children and grandchildren adored him. I bet he was fun to know.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

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