A new Broom-Hilda strip syndicated in the Chicago Tribune (among other placed) has raised eyebrows with pundits both inside and outside of the comics industry, by leading to a punchline that doesn’t actually refer to the mass murder at a Colorado movie theater but seems tone-deaf to publish in the wake of the tragedy.
In the strip shown above, one of the characters says, “It makes people mad when I talk at movie theaters … especially during action-adventure films … they can’t hear the gunshots.”
“Someone at the syndicate or whatever company they use to process strips on-line should have red-flagged this, I’m thinking,” said Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter, whose headline yesterday was “Oof: This Comic Strip Really Should Have Been Pulled.”
Geoff Brown, The Tribune’s Associate Managing Editor/Entertainment, stopped short of apologizing this morning for the strip, which ran yesterday. Instead, he explained that comic strips are prepared a week in advance, and that by the time of the theater shooting, this one has “passed from memory.” He added that “we’re kicking ourselves — and trying to make sure it doesn’t recur.”