New Cartoons: Compelling or Cold?

Clay Bennett's editorial cartoons are a daily delight - succinct, humane, worth remembering and responding to with prayer and action.

Anne M. Hofflund

San Diego, Calif.

Congratulations to both Mr. Bennett and those who chose him. The clarity of his messages and his gentle touch are just right for the Monitor. And better still, his cartoons come in color.

Billee W. Gontrum and M. June Heebner

Brevard, N.C.

Mr. Bennett joins a tradition of top-flight editorial humorists - Carmack, LePelley, and Danziger. In the next few months, he'll be "fine-tooning" his craft to reflect Monitor-quality journalism. May I offer a tip? Try to avoid the humor of helplessness. The "secondhand smoke" and "global warming" cartoons (Jan. 13, 14) left the reader feeling endangered, not empowered. In a world of dark humor, the Monitor is a brilliant light.

David Horn

Bremen, Ind.

Maybe such an animal is hard to find, but given the Monitor's leftward leanings it would have been nice to see a cartoonist with a conservative slant. The "Beware of Dogma" sign (Jan. 5) could have just as appropriately been hung on the door of the Oval Office or Clinton's Justice Department.

Robert L. Braun

Stonington, Maine

I feel let down by the drab colorings and gentle but expressionless faces of Bennett's characters. The last thing that they induce me to is a good laugh, which ought to be the primary goal of a cartoonist. Eliminating the insulting quality of any criticism is best achieved by tickling the funny bone.

George Polgar

Haverford, Pa.

Bennett's style is very easy to look at. He puts across needed thoughts in a gentle way.

Doris Franklin

Meriden, N.H.

If any cartoonist could have taken Danziger's place, it's Bennett.

Janice Apallhoz

Salem, N.Y.

Bennett really missed the mark with his misguided cartoon on global warming. Lighten up. Editorial cartoons are supposed to be humorous and satirical, not so gloom and doom.

Craig A. Miller

St. Francis, Wis.

I see in your "gun ownership" (Jan. 9)cartoon a simplistic look at a complex problem. The title to the "safety manual" should have read: "The Ostriches' Complete Guide To Handgun Safety." Inside could read: "Don't use one. Just put this book down quickly and bury your head before something comes along that you can't avoid dealing with." Believe it or not, there are thousands of responsible, qualified, handgun owners.

Jeff Cooke

Covina, Calif.

Appreciating the Monitor

A belated thank you for "A Year-End Report to Our Readers," (editorial page, Dec. 31). Reading about the research into what readers want and the coming features really made me feel more than a subscriber, a part of the family. It's good to know that broadcast ideas are being considered. I miss MonitoRadio but understand cost is a factor.

Improvement in the whole Monitor is amazing. The variety for US and worldwide readers constantly amazes me. And the appeal to adults and children is assured with the many articles about education and The Home Forum's Kidspace. I pass my copies on to neighbors who do home-schooling.

I have heard about every excuse as to why I can't get my paper every day, even though I have a regular postman. But despite the lack of continuity, each issue is a treasure. Recent articles on religion have been somewhat of a surprise to non-Christian Scientists and shoot down the old argument that the Monitor is a religious paper.

Please extend my thanks to the entire staff for their continuing excellent contributions.

Harriet Porch

Dominguez Hills, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. All letters are subject to editing. Mail to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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