Oh, gross.

umbert.jpg
Anti-choice comic strip gone wild. Didn’t anyone tell this guy that someone is already on the creepy cartoon fetus thing?

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58 Comments

  1. Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    You know, I think I saw a webcomic that featured an ABORTED fetus as a character a while back…
    Also, if you read the actual strip– panel 2- paRENT, not paRENTS; and panel 4- dear god, fundie-ladies, if you’ve still got a kid in your womb when he’s ready to go to college, SEEK MEDICAL HELP!

  2. sgzax
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I love that Umbert is male. The woman whose body he is ostensibly part of is absent. She has no voice, but he does, and his voice is male. A perfect representation of the forced pregnancy movement.

  3. Voila
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    They plan to have a kid’s page for Umbert fans. That alone is disturbing.

  4. EG
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I like that he doesn’t seem to be inside a woman at all. He’s just in some kind of weird, circular, disembodied womb.

  5. VicSin
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    ick…I especially love the side notes on the page…visit out kids page! Run us in your church bulletin! If I saw that in my program on sunday I’d have to switch churches. It’s just icky…and if that ugly, annoying (sp?) thing was my unborn kid, I think I might just need to abort it to save the rest of the world!

  6. KarenElhyam
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    The first strip on that page mentions how kids until college need to live in their mother’s womb…
    Um, something tells me no one involved in this actually ever learned the birds and bees…

  7. TinyRobot
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I get it — a male artist creates a cutesy fetus character with a bad comedy routine.
    Spare me.

  8. redscorpse
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    i kind of want to photoshop it. i’m thinking:
    Umbert: I’m so glad abortions are illegal. Now mommy will have to have me! Thank god… (coat hanger comes up from below).
    Umbert: Uh-oh. (end of strip)

  9. Cedar
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I clicked on the links to read more strips. All I could find is this one, which makes no sense
    http://www.catholic.net/culture_of_life/template_channel.phtml?channel_id=7
    I don’t understand. The fact that they are fetuses has no bearing on the (actually not that bad) joke. In fact, the fact that they are fetuses makes the joke confusing and weird. And why is the spaceship labeled mom?

  10. JenLovesPonies
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    What the hell kind of plots could this even feature? If the fetus is in the uterus, it’s alone, unable to communicate with anyone… I don’t know of any strips with just one character all the damn time.

  11. johanna
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I like that it’s like Mallard Fillmore, as in totally not funny.

  12. DocEss
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    ” She has no voice, but he does, and his voice is male. A perfect representation of the forced pregnancy movement.”
    This term always rankled me. How is there a “forced pregnancy movement”? Did they force you to have sex?
    I’m pro-choice, personally, but I am irritated when people try to remove all responsibility from themselves and place it elsewhere.

  13. Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Come on, now. Where’s the cartoon fetus with a tail? With the eyes on the side of the head? With the ears not yet shifted to the appropriate ear location?
    Why can’t we get some realism in our stupidly anthropomorphised fetii?

  14. Peepers
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    EG: Yeah, the disembodied womb thing really creeped me out. It’s pretty telling, I think, as is the fact that the DW is referred to as “the” womb and “UMBERT’S OWN WOMB.” It is not Umbert’s mother’s womb, apparently. At least not anymore.

  15. LindsayPW
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    sgzax you hit it right on the nail. That’s the first thing I thought when I saw this stupid cartoon.
    Gosh, isn’t taking women’s rights away sooo funny and cute!!!!! It actually encourages people to pass this shit along, as if it’s some kind of Christmas gift the whole family will enjoy. How sickening that people are this obsessed with fetuses. What’s next? Fetus key chains and necklaces?
    Redscorpse, I think it’s your calling that you photoshop this.
    And DocEss it is forced pregnancy because you’re forcing a woman to stay pregnant against her will, rather than allow her to choose to terminate her pregnancy, because you know it’s not America’s body it’s the woman’s.

  16. kissmypineapple
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    DocEss, if you become pregnant, don’t want to be, but can’t abort, then someone is forcing you to be pregnant.

  17. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I think this is one situation in which you can give little kids credit- they’re not all as dumb as everyone would like to believe. I mean, the inflatable cow hanging from the cafeteria ceiling in grade school didn’t persuade me to drink more milk, nor did posters of smiling anthropomorphic broccoli make me want to eat green vegetables. When an advertising campaign is as overtly idiotic as this, little kids are much more likely to be turned off by the whole thing.
    Moreover, I wonder if this will backfire because 5 year olds will be asking Mommy what abortion is. I can see a boatload of angry parents being an unintended consequence.

  18. sojourner
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    “”forced pregnancy movement”? Did they force you to have sex?â€?
    Sex and pregnancy are not one and the same. They don’t force you to become pregnanty (though many of them would love to, those who are ani-contraception) they force you to continue your pregnancy, thus pro-forced-pregnancy.
    “I’m pro-choice, personally, but I am irritated when people try to remove all responsibility from themselves and place it elsewhere.â€? *Who* is trying to remove all responsibility from themselves? Seeking abortion is in and of itself taking responsibility. I give counseling to women who are about to get an abortion and I have never heard a woman say “those people made me pregnant, it wasn’t my faultâ€?. In fact quite often I have seen women blame themselves.

  19. EmJ
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I wrote an email to the address provided on the website asking “Who is Umbert’s mother, and where is she?” Here’s the response I got:
    E:
    If you’re referring to the recent outer space storyline, Umbert is imagining himself in space and is connected to the “mothership.” I’m doing a combination spoof of Star Trek and Star Wars. Go to http://www.catholic.net for the daily episode.
    If you’re talking about the way Umbert regularly appears, we are seeing Umbert from inside his mother’s abdomen. The bubble that envelopes Umbert is the placenta. I never show Umbert’s mother or anyone else in the outside world. Only the inner world of unborn babies is shown. Always assume Umbert is securely inside his mother’s womb.The rest is a huge stretch of your imagination.
    Thanks, I hope I’ve answered your question.
    Your Friend for “Life,”
    Gary Cangemi
    Oh, of course. That explains everything.
    What?

  20. EmJ
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I wrote an email to the address provided on the website asking “Who is Umbert’s mother, and where is she?” Here’s the response I got:
    E:
    If you’re referring to the recent outer space storyline, Umbert is imagining himself in space and is connected to the “mothership.” I’m doing a combination spoof of Star Trek and Star Wars. Go to http://www.catholic.net for the daily episode.
    If you’re talking about the way Umbert regularly appears, we are seeing Umbert from inside his mother’s abdomen. The bubble that envelopes Umbert is the placenta. I never show Umbert’s mother or anyone else in the outside world. Only the inner world of unborn babies is shown. Always assume Umbert is securely inside his mother’s womb.The rest is a huge stretch of your imagination.
    Thanks, I hope I’ve answered your question.
    Your Friend for “Life,”
    Gary Cangemi
    Oh, of course. That explains everything.
    What?

  21. EG
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    The bubble that envelopes Umbert is the placenta.
    I don’t know why I’m shocked that a pro-forced-birther doesn’t know basic female biology, but
    fetuses are not enveloped in the placenta. They are attached to the placenta by means of the umbilical cord. The placenta is, I believe, attached to the uterine wall, which is how it transmits nutrients from the woman to the fetus.
    And that explainns nothing. Inside the abdomen there are a lot of other organs.

  22. Jessetfan
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    [quote]What’s next? Fetus key chains and necklaces?[quote/]
    Actually fetus key chains are already available for sale. I saw one at City Walk in LA. The horrible keychain featured a woman’s body, devoid of head, arms, and legs, but complete with breasts and a vagina. It was clear plastic filled with water and a fetus inside.
    It was cleverly titled “A Womb with a View.” /sarcasm

  23. EG
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh EmJ–none of that was directed at you. It was directed at the cartoonist. I hope that was clear.

  24. EmJ
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Np, EG. I gotcha!
    I think it’s telling that he says “I never show Umbert’s mother or anyone else in the outside world.”
    Um, except Umbert’s mother IS that world. She’s not outside of it, it’s just a small part of her.

  25. Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Ignorance of female physiology and human psychology in general is the foundation of the anti-choice movement. If they knew anything about people, they’d be pro-choice. A fetus being dependent on its parents? No, just the woman whose uterus it’s using! College-aged students not being able to survive outside of the womb? I’ve been a college student for 5 years. *looks around* Nope, not in a uterus! Fetus living inside placentas? Uh, no. Yet these are the people who think they know what women want! They want to make decisions for us!

  26. idratherbedrunk
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Ug. Cutesy, safe humor to push the Christian-fascist agenda.
    Personally, I find it hard to read that strip without wanting to see Umbert aborted.
    Catholic.net actually describes the author as a creative genius.

  27. Posted October 31, 2007 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    That is seriously the creepiest fucking thing ever.
    Except maybe disembodied-Barbie-boobies.
    Yeah, this kind of physical ignorance about reproductive organs is really something the pro-life movement fosters. Once you know enough about the female body to understand pregnancy rather than just let “the doctors and the men” decide, it’s hard -not- to be pro-choice. It’s easier to keep women, children, and men ignorant of the true facts and therefore never be forced to answer the hard questions.

  28. Gopher
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I dont know how a comic like this could sell. Umbert only stays inside the uterus, and only blah blah blahs about aimless topics from a 5 month olds life experience. Umbert’s life knowledge has solely revolved around knowing nothing outside of the womb. Being that the vessel being used to project this message is an inexperienced male fetus says alot about the quality of depth put into the anti-choice ‘argument.’ Sounds hugely stupid.
    Also, Umbert must have been chosen, not the result of a broken condom, sperm cells on a finger, rape, incest, and a myriad of other circumstances. The mother must not be poor, have other children to provide for, or have to fear for her career becoming stillborn. Ultimately its assumed that Umbert was chosen, not a happenstance, even if the pregnancy resulted from an accident. How using a fetus in a comic says anything about persuading an anti-choice ‘right’ side of the argument is completely lost.
    Nothin but crap propaganda.

  29. Gopher
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree, idratherbedrunk,
    I can see alternative versions of the comic, where they find out hes the product of rape, or incest. Not too cutesy after knowing that, is it?

  30. Posted October 31, 2007 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    We all know that the comic strip making fun of rape was very appalling. This comic strip here is even worse than that. The people who made this strip are the ones who condone the mass gynocide that has occurred across the globe. More than 500k American women and 2m women internationally dead from the anti-choice’s Holocaust.

  31. Posted October 31, 2007 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I like that he’s white, too. No surprise there. This is so idiotic. I like that the “cartoonist” doesn’t even know what a placenta is/does–jesus, can he tie his own shoes? dumbass.
    Does it specify how far along Umbert is? I mean, zygotes aren’t really cute, nor the little fishy early fetuses.
    Oh never mind. This is just too stupid to keep thinking about.

  32. Posted October 31, 2007 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I love how the fetus is always male in these crazy pro-life fetus personifications. Honestly.
    The feminist in me is tempted to stand up for the female fetuses… Discrimination apparently starts early? Or do they just think that a male fetus will really hammer home the message better to pro-lifers/ patriarchy supporters?

  33. Posted October 31, 2007 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I love how the fetus is always male in these crazy pro-life fetus personifications. Honestly.
    The feminist in me is tempted to stand up for the female fetuses… Discrimination apparently starts early? Or do they just think that a male fetus will really hammer home the message better to pro-lifers/ patriarchy supporters?

  34. Unree
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Redscorpse, please photoshop and post the new cartoon! Cangemi will be grateful for the boost of humor you gave Umbert.
    Amanda R, yep, the fetus is always male. Same twist of the 50-50 odds that gives “barren” women in the Bible sons always, daughters never, when they pray for a child.

  35. AlaraJRogers
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    It’s not because fetuses are always male, it’s because comic characters are always male. Any anthropomorphized animal, plant, or pre-sapient human as a main character is going to be male — witness Garfield, Heathcliff, Snoopy, Marmaduke, and Marvin. (Or for that matter 99% of the cast of Bloom County.) I actually noticed this when I was *eight*, and started drawing a strip about a female cat, but since I can’t draw and no one gets my sense of humor, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere even if I had been older.
    Someday I hope to live to see a goofy anthropomorphized creature in a mainstream comic strip who just happens to be female, and the humor revolves around the fact that she’s a cat or dog or weasel or whatever, not around the fact that she loves to shop and hates to get fat and has a nagging mom or whatever, a la Cathy. In fact a political cartoon where the spokesperson is a snarky female animal, rather than a snarky male animal like Sparky the penguin, would be awesome.
    Hell, if Umbert the fetus was actually Umberta, I might even *read* it. As it is I’m finding it hard to imagine why yet *another* male character would be appealing, even if the structural problems of a totally ignorant character who has no one to communicate with didn’t seem insurmountable, even if the whole thing wasn’t anti-choice propaganda in the first place.

  36. annejumps
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Ah, don’t speak too soon — when the fetus is female in anti-choice propaganda, the authors are sure to put in an inane “equal rights for UNBORN women!” message (this is a commonly seen LiveJournal icon).

  37. SarahMC
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Oh my dog. Gary Cangemi! I took a cartooning class from him when I was a kid! He’s doing this shit from my hometown!

  38. redscorpse
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    also, the placenta-cum-brave new world uterus looks like a rolled up condom. or is that just me?
    current mood: trying to get ahold of photoshop

  39. sunburned counsel
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I have a cousin who is acdemically obsessed with the wingnut/forced pregnancy crowd, and he emailed me this a while ago. As I responded to him: overlooking all the badness of the cartoon, why the hell would you name the (ostensibly seeking to be sympathetic) fetus “Umbert”? It’s an incredibly uncute name, and shows alliteration run amuck.

  40. xxhelenaxx
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Between that thing about the Pope (I am SO going to Jerry Falwell’s hell…at best Mass is now a pain in the ass waste in my time for someone who could give a sh*t if a God exists….’cuz the world is a shitty place, and the excuse my devout mother gave me when I had a debate w/ her at 12 is that “suffering is a mystery/original sin/the City of Man would be pure evil without the City of God [as Augustine called])…but God made man. And God lets women get knocked up and allows children to be born to parents who really don’t/can’t fucking take care of them.
    The “Christianity” of James Dobson and all religious fundamentalism is a harbinger for the downfall of a rational, humane world that makes decisions based on the here and now, ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN, and might I add, children.
    Now! I went to Catholic school till age 18 (I hated the nuns, but otherwise, it was an all girl school with some smart, fun girls and some f*cking awesome teachers…my history teacher is was a feminist/progrssive and is my heroine). But my otherwise liberal Grenadine (religion) teacher would put this f*cking strip up in the hallway every week. I could not believe it.
    I know, I know…its Catholic school.
    There are people who can reconcile their faith with being progressive, including about the rights of women and children and the costs of FORCED pregnancy…I am not one of them. I am the hopeless (outraged, superfallen) opposite.
    And this shit repulses me and makes me angry to no end, all of it–f*cking licenses for pharmacists who have the gall to withhold birth control from women, this dipshit of dipshits as Pope, and then this f*cking stupid comic strip, giving the f*cking anti-choice movement a cutesy, pop-culture spin.

  41. EmJ
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I wrote back to Mr. Cangemi asking whether or not he felt it was important to acknowledge the existence of Umbert’s mother. Again, his response:
    E:
    I do acknowledge it regularly. Umbert frequently overhears his mother’s voice, and his father’s too. He is always aware of their presence and loves them.He often comments lovingly or humorously about his parents. He even defended his mother in traffic court when she was cited for driving in the car pool lane, counting her unborn child as a passenger.
    Again, my poetic device is to portray the babies from their vantage point and not the outside world. Just as we can’t see them, they can’t see us, but they are real, viable individual human beings with lives of their own and that’s the emphasis on my strip. Parenthood is fully embraced but through their eyes, not ours.
    Thanks again for your thought-provoking and very relevant comments. It gratifies me that my strip stirs such interest.
    Your Friend for “life,”
    Gary
    I’ve gratified him. Now I feel unclean.

  42. SarahMC
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    He doesn’t seem to understand what the word “viable” means, does he?

  43. piotrek
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Among various Christian denominations I think I like Catholics best because they tend to be absolutely dreadful as propagandists.
    This strip is a good example. It starts with the philosophical premise, Church teaching about human life, and some assumptions what constitutes a “comic”, and grimly perseveres.
    By the way, the Church seems to refrain from any statement about the moment when the immortal soul enters a fetus. Without a soul, fetus is alive, but any tissue is. Note that whatever they would say, they would be in trouble. For example, if the soul enters at the time of conception, then a big proportion of souls is destined by God to have no experiences whatsoever, as by far not all embrios undergo gestation, or it is sometime later, and then there is no reason why early abortion is wrong.
    Comming next: adventures of Rodolpho the Sperm. Rodolpho also is protected under the Church doctrine, and being more active, he would make a more appealing cartoon character.

  44. EG
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t St. Augustine consider that the soul entered the fetus at quickening, when the woman begins to feel it move? I thought I read that somewhere. I believe St. Jerome, Pope Innocent III, Pope Gregory XIV, and St. Thomas Aquinas agreed. There is also, of course, the abortion is murder tradition of the Church.

  45. Posted November 1, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    For example, if the soul enters at the time of conception, then a big proportion of souls is destined by God to have no experiences whatsoever, as by far not all embrios undergo gestation, or it is sometime later, and then there is no reason why early abortion is wrong.
    Not to mention the problem of tetragametic chimerism: the fusion of a pair of fraternal twins during the early stages of development(e.g. zygotes) into a single organism.
    Or the problem of identical twins: if the soul is formed at conception, what happens when the zygote splits?

  46. ShelbyWoo
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    they are real, viable individual human beings with lives of their own
    Lives of their own? WTF?

  47. lone phantom
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I see this crap lying around my mother-in-law’s house in Catholic publications…

  48. Q
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    “He even defended his mother in traffic court when she was cited for driving in the car pool lane, counting her unborn child as a passenger.”
    GAH! ***Pet Peeve Alert!***
    The carpool lane is NOT for pregnant women or any parent carting around a carload of toddlers or pre-teens.
    It is designed to TAKE A CAR OFF THE ROAD – therefore, if the person in the car with you can’t drive their own vehicle – you don’t deserve to be reaping the privilege of the carpool lane.

  49. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Rodolpho the Sperm! HA!! Piotrek, I almost burst out laughing in the middle of class (it’s a slow day).

  50. Mark Temporis
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Q, I was unaware of any age restrictions for the HOV lane. I’m with you that pregnant women don’t get to count the baby, but should get to count the BORN children.
    Then again, carpool restrictions that I’m used to are absurdly liberal (2+)

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