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An ill-timed installment of Broom-Hilda has forced the Chicago Tribune to explain how the comic made its way into the newspaper in the aftermath of last week’s shootings in a Colorado theater.
Part of a series of gags involving a conversation between the title character and a little girl who talks really loud, Wednesday’s strip (above) featured the child relating, “It makes people mad when I talk at movie theaters. Especially during action-adventure films. They can’t hear the gunshots!”
In an article on the newspaper’s website, Associate Managing Editor Geoff Brown wrote, “What might have caused a smile before the Aurora, Colo., mass slayings last week at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises seemed inappropriate today.”
He explained that all comics are reviewed a week before publication, and “when news breaks that turns a harmless cartoon into one of bad taste, someone flags it in time.” Unfortunately, that installment of Broom-Hilda had been forgotten by the time of Friday’s tragedy. Wednesday’s strip has been replaced on Universal UClick’s GoComics.com.
The Daily Cartoonist points out that Sally Forth writer Francesco Marciuliano has already apologized for his Sunday comic, which referenced a late-night screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Marciuliano notes in his post that such Sunday strips are written three months in advance; daily comics are completed at least two to three weeks ahead of publication (although Broom-Hilda cartoonist Russell Myers is said to maintain an enormous stockpile, meaning Wednesday’s strip was likely created some time ago).