- Kudzu (comic strip)
"Kudzu" was a daily comic strip created by
Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Doug Marletteabout rural Southerners. The strip's name comes from the vine which, though initially encouraged as a soil erosion control plant, soon became an out-of control pest plant.
Its main characters were Kudzu Dubose, [ [http://www.comicspage.com/kudzu/kudzu_about.html Kudzu Dubose] , comicspages.com] Nasal T. Lardbottom, Rev. Will B. Dunn, Ida Mae Wombat, Veranda Tadsworth, and
NascarDad, among others.
At its peak, it was syndicated in three hundred newspapers.Winerip, Michael (1993): "What's Humor To One Brings Pain to Another". "
The New York Times", June 6, 1993, p. 37. (Syndicated in 300 newspapers; criticized by the National Stigma Clearing House, an advocacy organization for the mentally ill)] At one point, his flippant treatment of depression—a character read a magazine called "Modern Depression" which featured "Suicide notes to the editor"—drew criticism from advocates for the mentally ill.op. cit.] CBSaired a pilot for a Kudzu sitcom on August 13, 1983.
A musical based on the strip was produced in Washington D. C. in 1998. [cite web|url=http://www.dougmarlette.com/pages/musicreview.html|author = Rick Bragg|title=In 'Kudzu,' the South Faces Itself|publisher=
The New York Times|date=1998-06-18|accessdate=2008-01-08]
Will B. Dunn (the name is a play on the phrase "thy will be done", spoken by Jesus Christ at the Garden of Gethsemane), often considered to be the main character in the strip, was modeled, at least in clothing and appearance, on
Will D. Campbell, a preacher, director of religious life at the University of Mississippi, civil rights activist (the only white man in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), and author of several books. [cite book|title=Touring Literary Mississippi
first=Patti Carr|last= Black|coauthors=Marion Barnwell|id=ISBN 1-57806-368-X|year=2002|publisher=University Press of Mississippi p. 114-5; [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN157806368X&id=0KeMcsq5fgEC&pg=PA114&lpg=PA115&dq=%22doug+marlette%22&sig=8Dp-Utys26LMeqOaGzlcpKeFZ10] ] [cite web|url=http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct00/marlette101900.htm|title=Editorial cartoonist and "Kudzu" creator Doug Marlette to speak at UNC-CH|author=Cyndi Soter|date=2000-10-19|accessdate=2008-01-08|publisher=University of North Carolina: Will B. Dunn patterned on Will D. Campbell]
The strip's creator,
Doug Marlette, was killed in a car accident on July 10, 2007, in Marshall County, Mississippi. [cite news | first=Martha | last=Waggoner| coauthors= | title=Cartoonist Doug Marlette killed in crash | date= 2007-07-10| publisher= | url =http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-10-3887910404_x.htm | work =Associated Press | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-08 | language = ] As a result, Kudzu is no longer in syndication; the last daily on August 4, repeat Sunday strips ran until August 26.
Notes and references
* [http://www.dougmarlette.com/ Doug Marlette official site]
* [http://www.toonopedia.com/kudzu.htm Toonopedia entry]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1177918/ TV Pilot] at the
Internet Movie Data Base
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