More Than Just Comic Relief

When 90 million readers turned from turkey to the comics in some 2,000 U.S. newspapers last week, they got more than the usual fantasy and folderol. Their favorite characters, the creations of 175 syndicated cartoonists, delivered the same unfunny but earnest message: on this bountiful Thanksgiving in America, much of the world still goes hungry.

Transforming cartoonists into crusaders was the idea of Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), who enlisted Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon). Trudeau felt there was no better way to reach people than "through characters they've known all their lives." All the newspapers ran the cartoons, but...

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