By James Donahue
The basic premise of I’ll Kick Your Ass is that Ass-Kickin’ Jim kicks the ass of someone who has said or done something stupid. In the fast-paced world of social media, there is rarely a shortage of targets.
He has kicked the ass of Representative Todd Akin for using the term “legitimate rape,” Avril Lavigne for getting engaged to the lead singer of world’s-worst-band Nickelback, and the always frustrating Autocorrect feature of today’s smartphones. Those are all pretty straightforward, but sometimes it’s not so simple. When national tragedies occur, like the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut or the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, things get tricky.
I was asked the day after the Boston Marathon if I was going to draw a strip about it. My response at that point was that I didn’t know who the strip would be about since the suspects had not yet been identified.
That was the easy answer, but it goes further than that. I considered where the focus should be during such a horrific event. When so many have suffered, I shy away from drawing something that focuses the attention on myself or the strip, even if it’s well-meaning.
I drew a 9/11 strip this past year recounting my own personal experiences of being in downtown Manhattan that morning. I detailed my story and thanked the brave first responders. When I was done, I sat back and really questioned whether I was doing the right thing. Was this about me or the heroic actions that took place that awful day? I ended up putting the strip online and the response was overwhelmingly positive. But it was also 11 years after the attacks had taken place.