Celebrating D-Day, June 6

Posted by on June 9th, 2010 at 8:10 AM

For years, we left it to Charles Schulz and Peanuts to remind us about the sacrifices by the thousands of lives made by American military when the Allies finally invaded the European mainland on June 6, 1944, throwing themselves bodily into the line of fire raining on the beaches from the lofty redoubts along the French coast. This year, Peanuts was back at it again.

But this year, Snoopy was joined by Heart of the City in which Mark Tatulli’s young wistful albeit energetic urban prodigy and her boy buddy ponder the imponderables of human sacrifice. Nicely rendered, too.

And in Fort Knox, Paul Jon reminded us twice—once on May 30, again on June 3.

Again, nicely done, but couldn’t he have hit the date exactly? Sorry: that was snotty.

Oh, and before we go, my conscience and goad, Ann Telnaes (an excellent and Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist, now doing it all by superior animation for the Washington Post’s website), reminds me (thanks be) of That Error In Thinking that the male of the species is wont to commit whenever possible. In my June 4 blog about NCS Reuben winners, I wrote: “For the first twenty years, NCS gave the Reuben to genuine giants in cartooning, persons whose accomplishments in wielding the tools of their craft were indisputable.” To which my conscience and goad, reposited: “genuine MALE giants.” Ouch. Exactly.

In the third forthcoming installment of “Tales of the Founding of NCS” currently running in this neighborhood, I’ll rehearse the circumstances that prodded the club into finally admitting women cartoonists. (Until then, NCS was a boys’ club by constitutional fiat.) But for the moment, it may serve to acknowledge the shameful truth that no woman cartoonist won the Reuben until Lynn Johnston collected her trophy in 1985. Next was Cathy Guisewite in 1992—after which, another yawning womanless gap in the list.

Forty years without a woman winner! This astonishing record despite the presence in the nation’s newspapers and magazines of such female luminaries as Dale Messick (who finally won the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, long after she’d retired; having won the division award for story strip only once, in 1975), Edwina Dumm (the first female editorial cartoonist before launching Cap Stubbs and Tippie), Hilda Terry (Teena, who shamed the club into admitting women) and Marge Henderson, Gladys Parker, and Etta Hulme, not to mention Barbara Sherman, Jan Berenstain, Jackie Ormes, Dorothy McKay, and Odin Burvik—without dipping further into the past beyond, say, the mid-1940s for such performers as Tarpe Mills and Neysa McMein and others too numerous and obscure to mention without exhaustive research.

Until then, turn over a glass for the women just mentioned. I’ll thank you. And Ann Telnaes probably will, too (after she kicks me again for being so gender obtuse).

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One Response to “Celebrating D-Day, June 6”

  1. PaulJon says:

    Bob, you know I love you, but you got your facts wrong. I ACTUALLY did a series on D-Day that started on May 30th and ran thru the exact anniversary date, June 6. That said, there’s nothing to get ‘snotty’ about. In fact, why don’t you get snotty with “Beetle Bailey”? Much thanks and Stephan Pastis and I will be waiting for you in a dark alley. Um… just kidding.