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News: Universal Launches Conservative Strip
posted July 12, 2004

July 12 -- In a summer marked by increased election-season invective from well known cartoonists like Garry Trudeau and Aaron McGruder, Universal relatively silently rolled out a new strip by Scott Stantis explicitly aimed towards American political conservatives.

The Birmingham News editorial cartoonist launched his Prickly City in about 40 papers, a sizeable number of papers but far from a runaway success for a new strip. Unlike other conservative efforts in the newspapers like Bruce Tinley's famously strident and aggressive joke strip Mallard Fillmore, Prickly City is a standard, character-driven strip where the point of view evinced is from the political right. Stantis told one reporter who asked during launch season what "conservative bent" means as smaller government and less taxes in both your private and public life. He also said that his strip would be less about the angry shouting that has come to dominate political discussion and more about a subversive sweetness -- a quality provided by the relationship between its central characters, a young girl and a coyote pup.

Stantis has also publicly stated he hopes to keep his strip from becoming overly ideological by keeping political identity from being the core value judgment offered.