Pudgy & Ralph


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.