Public Editor

January 15, 2014

Bad timing on comic strip repeat

A recent day of the comic “WuMo” was a silly joke. But recent news made the taste level questionable. Depicting three racing hot air balloons, it carried the caption, “An installment of the Fast & Furious movies that went straight to DVD.” But fans are still smarting from the untimely death of “Fast & Furious” series star Paul Walker.

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.)

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