Roll away the stone
B.C. cartoonist Johnny Hart passed away on Saturday, the day before Easter, proving that when God opens a cave, He shuts a door…or something like that.
There was a time when B.C. was a fairly funny comic strip before Hart’s late in life “rebirth” allowed his evangelical zeal to take over and the humor became forced at best, ham-handed at worst. There is no rule that says that a comic strip that is supposed to be humorous (like , say, a soap opera like Mary Worth or the campy inadvertent humor of Gil Thorpe) can’t also be thought-provoking like a Doonesbury, Peanuts, or Calvin and Hobbes. For all of its wryness in the early years, B.C. later became sophomoric and strained (like this one) as Hart used it to evangelize.
It’s too bad because the early days were full of puns and self-referential humor, but in the end he will best be remembered for the Easter 2001 strip and the Islam outhouse strip from 2003, and the cartoonist himself had become the punchline.