p3 Picks of the Week: Daryl Cagle, Mike Lester, Pat Bagley, and Steve Sack; Jerry Holbert. Special mention: Cox & Fortnum, which leads us to our next topic:
Opus risks all--or at least a lot--to ask the question: How do we straighten out the Middle East? Is it a diplomacy thing? A military thing? Or maybe it's really been about fashion this whole time? (Salon Premium; nonsubscribers will have to sit through some ads.)
Judge for yourself, by the way, but the last two weeks of Opus have seemed fairly tame--certainly not the sort of thing that would get you banned from the Washington Post and two dozen other newspapers around the country. (Ditto that Salon Premium warning.)
At least 25 of the newspapers that normally print the comic strip, and probably more, have declined these two, at least partly out of fear that Lola Granola's latest spiritual journey -- dabbling in Islam and adopting its conservative dress code for women -- could be offensive to Muslims. Sadly, one of the papers that isn't printing the strip is the Washington Post, though the Post's syndication service, Washington Post Writers Group, distributes Opus.[…]
According to Editor and Publisher, some papers were concerned that the strips were sexually suggestive -- Lola's boyfriend Steve makes a joke about things he's "not getting" because of her conversion -- but the anxiety seemed to stem mostly from Breathed's making radical Islam "the hot new fad on the planet," as Lola says. Washington Post Writers Group Executive Sales Manager Karisue Wyson told E&P some papers "won't publish any Muslim-related humor, whether pro or con. 'They just don't want to touch that,' she said."
And finally, a p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer joins the Labor Day celebration, as the ranks of the medically uninsured among Oregonians increases, with a bigger increase among full-time workers than among the unemployed.