A syndicated cartoon has been dropped from a local newspaper in Pennsylvania after a reader spotted an obscene comment made against President Donald Trump hidden in a drawing on the children's coloring page published inside Sunday's comics section.
The sentiment was pointed out to the Butler Eagle by a reader, according to the newspaper's publisher. The remark, which said, "We fondly say go f*** yourself Trump," was allegedly scrawled in the bottom right corner of the "Non Sequitur" cartoon by cartoonist Wiley Miller, according to the newspaper.
"Here is the image of the Non Sequitur comic strip. With the oh-so clever Trump insult," Twitter user Fran Warren wrote. Warren shared an image of the strip with the derogatory comment circled in red.
"A reader brought to our attention that one of the syndicated comic strips which appears in the Sunday Butler Eagle may contain a hidden message which was apparently placed there by someone in the creative department of the creator of the comic strip or the syndication which controls it," Ron Vodenichar, Butler Eagle publisher and general manager, said. "Neither the Butler Eagle nor any other newspaper that includes this strip had an opportunity to remove it even if they had discovered it before distribution.
"We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public. The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately," Vodenichar added.
The three-panel, black-and-white cartoon featuring the character "Leonardo Bear Vinci" called for readers to "get out your crayons, colored pencils or markers and have fun in 'The Bearaissance.'"
What did Miller say?
Miller teased his hidden "Easter egg" on Twitter.
"Some of my sharp-eyed readers have spotted a little Easter egg from Leonardo Bear-Vinci. Can you find it?" the 67-year-old cartoonist tweeted Sunday morning.
The "Non Sequitur" cartoon strip is published in more than 700 newspapers across the nation, according to the Andrews McMeel Syndication website.
Miller won the Rueben Award in 2014, for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society, the most prestigious prize in cartooning. Also, Non Sequitur has won four National Cartoonists Society divisional awards.