Public editor

Bad timing on comic strip repeat

Updated: 2014-01-15T23:45:04Z

By Derek Donovan

The Kansas City Star

A caller this morning pointed out a question of taste that had sailed right by me at the time of its publication last week. But she makes a very valid point.

The comic strip “WuMo” that ran Jan. 7 was a fairly innocuous gag. Depicting three racing hot air balloons, it carried the caption, “An installment of the Fast & Furious movies that went straight to DVD.” Silly, and certainly nothing to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Except, as the reader pointed out, fans are still smarting from the untimely death of “Fast & Furious” series star Paul Walker just a few weeks ago.

“It just seems to me it’s too soon to be making a joke about these movies,” she said. “Something just feels off about it from a taste standpoint.”

That’s a fair point, as I see nothing to indicate the cartoonists meant to reference Walker in any way. In fact, I found this post dated to last August with a different version of the cartoon. It looks to me as if the artists revised their original concept, which predated Walker’s death. (The Star was not yet carrying “WuMo” at this time, so I can’t verify what might have been published then.)

To reach Derek Donovan, call 816-234-4487 weekday mornings or send email to Follow him at

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