The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 1, 2007

Voices: Comic strip does not amuse

I haven’t cared much for the Lio comic strip ever since it began appearing in the Globe. The more I see it, the less I like it. It is strange and unusual, and those qualities are not necessarily bad. But it also depicts disturbing and bigoted scenes that I find inappropriate for a comic page. Here are two recent examples:

May 24’s strip depicts the main character (Lio, I assume) with a balloon replica of a boy tied to a pole with a string. He fishes it off the edge of his bed, at which time a hideous monster reaches out from under the bed and grabs it. The balloon then pops, apparently turning the tables on the “monster under the bed.”

The first panel of the May 25 strip shows a boy at a school desk speaking words to the effect of “Teacher, I think you forgot to give us our homework assignment today.” Then the next panel shows that this boy was actually the featured act in a circus tent labeled “Freak Show.”

My 5-year-old daughter asks for the comic page when the paper is first opened. I did not relish having to explain to her the meaning of the strip with the ugly monster under the bed. And apparently, according to the strip’s author, conscientious children who like school and enjoy helping their teacher are apparently to be labeled as “freaks.”

I think that the Family Fun page should be a safe place for young readers, and one that does not display frightening images or unwarranted prejudice. Please stop printing the Lio comic strip in The Joplin Globe.

Michael Garoutte

Carl Junction