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The Amazing Comic About Abuse Starring Bart Simpson and Chris Griffin

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Why We’re Covering This: We love work that re-contextualizes the touchstones of our modern culture. Not only that, but considering that many LGBTQ teens still face negative parental reactions when coming out — and 26 percent of the time, gay teens are kicked out of their homes — this comic may hit close to home.

Ah, The Simpsons and Family Guy — the first and third most long-running prime-time cartoons in history. (South Park is number two.) And it’s always hilarious when Homer chokes Bart, or when Peter Griffin treats Meg awfully!

Well, maybe not — especially with Family Guy where the treatment of Meg has long been a source of criticism. But abuse — even when you’re not the designated punching bag — tears families apart.

Tumblr user Panic Volkushka has created a brilliant comic strip that puts Chris Griffin and Bart Simpson together as an adult, gay couple. Unfortunately, their relationship isn’t going so well, so they’re at couple’s therapy… led by King of the Hill‘s Bobby Hill, whose parents — while not perfect — were supportive, loving and provided a good home for their son.

That’s why Volkushka’s comic is so great — it makes us think about what we’re laughing at when we watch The Simpsons or Family Guy; of course, those are cartoons, but cartoons can teach us a lot about the realities of abuse.

Read the comic strip below — but of course, be warned, it does feature frank language about abuse.

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In a second tumblr post, Volkushka had this to say about the comic:

This comic came about because I‘d read several commentaries comparing Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, specifically in regards to how they treat their daughters.

Almost everyone I know who takes the time to think critically about The Simpsons or Family Guy hones in on the fact that Peter physically and emotionally abuses Meg, whereas Homer is incompetent, neglectful, and absolutely does not understand Lisa – but he loves her and he tries.

In the commentary about how Peter and Homer treat their daughters, I didn’t really see anyone bring up the physical/emotional abuse of their sons.

To lay it out there – I loathe Family Guy. Fucking hate it.

I grew up watching The Simpsons and can have entire conversations purely through quoting the show. But as much as I love The Simpsons, I think the overall cultural attitude to corporal punishment (physical abuse) has changed enough that it’s time to retire the running “joke” of Homer choking Bart. It may have been a culturally acceptable joke ten years ago, but more and more research is showing seriously negative outcomes for kids that have experiencedany form of physical punishment. We need to stop normalizing it.

As for King of the Hill, Hank and Peggy are hardly perfect parents and both have a tendency towards stifling Bobby’s more flamboyant and/or “feminine” behavior. But they both love Bobby; they have both, at different times during the show, been able to connect to Bobby through his various interests. While not perfect, they are a much healthier depiction of a family.

As a queer transgender dude who grew up in Texas and is totally unsuited for Southern concepts of masculinity, I have a real soft spot for King of the Hill and for Bobby. It’s a far more real and complex depiction of family, compared to the pointless cruelty of Family Guy or the lesser cruelties of The Simpsons.

What do you think of the comic? Let us know in the comments!