by Tim Greer
In 1997, following several years of worldwide success, Minutiæ’s comic strip Pudgy & Ralph shocked readers when the character Pudgy became the first openly gay cartoon character to appear in print. The strip was subsequently banned in the United Arab Emirates and across libraries in the United States, but celebrated in Ireland, for some reason.
Following the banning, the strip’s creator Jim Warren came out of the closet himself. It became clear Pudgy & Ralph was based on his life, with many of the famous Pudgy & Ralph story lines, including when Ralph worked as a discrete chauffeur for élite politicians, Ralph’s eating of pizza, and Pudgy’s constant wearing of sunglasses to mask the sadness and isolation from being scared to present his true self to the world.
Pudgy & Ralph ended three months later with three panels: Pudgy looking in a mirror. Pudgy removing his sunglasses to reveal tears. Pudgy stepping out his window and soaring into the sky like an angel.
Warren later sued Tony Kushner.