"Why Are We Losing The War on Art?"

In 1996, long-standing attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts were coming to a fresh boil, thanks to certain Senate demagogues who objected to support being provided to artists who were creating art some considered to be "indecent." Threats to withdraw funding for the agency entirely were looming when I was invited by the Village Voice to draw a half-page comic strip on the topic. As I was mulling over what tack to take, I happened to see a local TV news feature called “Why Are We Losing the War on Drugs?” The answer to that question eluded the feature’s hapless narrator, who was clearly as clueless about what drug users liked about their drugs as was Senator Jesse Helms, who was leading the charge against the NEA, about what motivated artists to make art in the first place. Happily, the feature provided me with the hook I needed to draw “Why Are We Losing the War on Art?”

Years later an unexpected opportunity arose to draw an expanded version of my Voice satire for a new humor (and unfortunately short-lived) magazine called Harpoon. The prospect of having greater space to work in and a larger potential audience for a piece that addressed issues dear to me was irresistable.

The strip's new version as displayed in Harpoon's third and last issue marks one of the rare instances in which I have undertaken a “re-make” of a previously published comic strip. The result in this case feels far more comfortable than its Voice forebear because of the roomier setting Harpoon provided.

Menu of Other Sides Description Pages Hell Isn't All That Bad The Prodigal Sheep Unfinished Pictures Barefootz Raising Nancies Purchaser's Clearing House Creepy Snuff Porn My Life As a TV Pundit Damage Control The Guide Santa's Final Days Why Are We Losing The War on Art?