A Womb With a View

A Womb With a View
March 15, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Banned Parenthood

The biggest thing I struggled with in creating the Umbert the Unborn comic strip was the question of its message. Many  people advised me to make the strip more mainstream and avoid the pro-life issues altogether-that having an unborn comic character alone would be a positive pro-life gesture. The problem with that is the byline reads "by Gary Cangemi." Anyone who knows me knows that it is impossible for me to be subtle or subliminal about important issues such as abortion. I simply would not be able to contain myself and my inner Umbert would have to be unleashed. I don't think the word abortion has appeared in any mainstream newspaper comic strip except perhaps Doonesbury, the "A" word simply isn't used. But for me, that's not a taboo, it's a dare. Thus, when I began the Umbert strip, I said to myself, "Why not?  Snoopy has the Red Baron, why can't Umbert have Planned Parenthood as his chief nemesis?"
I quickly learned that Umbert could get away with it. By confronting abortion and its proponents directly and honestly, Umbert leapfrogs over the cringe factor and leads readers straight to his point, arrived at through his naive yet flawless logic. In Umbert's way of thinking, an organization that calls itself Planned Parenthod should not be in the business of aborting children. ("I don't know what they're planning, but it sure isn't parenthood!")
Newspaper editors of course would shudder at the idea of a crusading pro-life baby sandwiched between such poignant comic strips as Beetle Bailey and Blondie. After all, who wants to deal with abortion while ingesting their Rice Krispies?
I toyed with the idea of a mainstream version of Umbert, called "A Womb With a View," but eventually dismissed it. It just isn't in my nature to do something halfway. I would rather do it my way and fail than succeed at a watered down version. The womb needs a champion to defend the unborn against the Planned Parenthoods of the world. The very idea of an organization which kills children in what should be the safest place on earth...a mother's womb, should be a source of shame for every taxpayer in America whose hard-earned wages are being used to keep this evil enterprise operating. As long as I can lift a pen, Umbert will be that champion.
By the way, a few years ago, my pro-life friends in Missouri purchased the rights to Umbert to run the strip as an advertisement in their local mainstream newspaper and sent me a copy. Imagine my delight at seeing Umbert the Unborn positioned directly below one of the most popular strips in America...Garfield. Coincidentally, I live on Garfield Avenue.

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