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The Not-So-Funnies?

The Not-So-Funnies?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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I read the comics this morning, for work. I was happy to see that Jon Arbuckle is still soliciting advice from his sardonic cat; Hagar is still pillaging from someone, somewhere in Scandinavia; and Beetle is still stationed on Camp Swampy, with Cookie and Plato. For these guys, life in Comic-land doesn't seem to change. But in other strips, like Opus, characters comment on current events every day. Lately, that has been problematic.

In her column yesterday, Deborah Howell, The Washington Post's ombudsman, responded to readers' complaints that the newspaper's executive editor, Len Downie, pulled Opus from the paper's pages twice recently, on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2, because they were "inappropriate." (A character in Opus, Lola Granola, became "a radical Islamist").

On weekdays, The Washington Post fills three pages with comics. How provocative should they be?