In the wake of 2011 book Go Fish: How to Win Contempt and Influence People, Philadelphia Weekly reporter William C. Smith recently caught up with the author, Dwayne Booth. The latter currently lives in Narbeth, Pennsylvania.
From 2003 to 2010, Booth–a.k.a. Mr. Fish–was a regular contributor to the pages of LA Weekly. In December 2005, as a commentary on the incendiary Danish cartoon controversy, he drew up an illustration of prophet Muhammed wearing a bombshell turban. The LA Times rejected the drawing, but LA Weekly said yes. Or so Booth thought.
After telling everyone at a San Diego cartoonist group event to pick up a copy of that week’s issue, the cartoonist discovered to his semi-dismay that the cartoon was not in the paper:
As Booth later learned, his Mohammed cartoon was pulled in a last-minute “stop the presses” order from the paper’s owner, Village Voice Media Group… The experience confirmed Booth’s longheld views on the media, free speech and dissent. “My being censored didn’t surprise me entirely, nor did it alter my expectations from those who control the mass media of this country. I’ve had cartoons about Bush, the U.S. military, Israel and the Pope pulled, too.”
The Weekly probably did Booth a favor by not dropping that image into the 2005 Muhammed mix. However, if you pick up a copy of the book, you can view said illustration, one of a number of unpublished works included by Booth.
[Booth will hit the west coast next month for appearances at Revolution Books in Hollywood (February 9), San Francisco's e6 Gallery (February 11), Vroman's in Pasadena (February 14) and the West Hollywood Library (February 16, in conversation with Robert Scheer).]