The comic was scheduled as the lasts to run in The Diary Project Series on the back page of the Arts page of this Sunday's NY times. The editor told me that, after much deliberation, after rigorous discussion that went to the top of editorial, the center image of the burning cop car was too much. …something about "editorializing violence". They couldn't see it running anywhere in the entire paper. I was told I could remove the central image of the comic and they'd run it, but I've decided not to and to just post it online, here.
The editor was really nice and it sounds like they went to bat for me, but what do you want, It's The New York Times. They've offered me the first spot in their next series. I'll produce something something less "provocative".
Wimberly posted the full comic on his Patreon, and on The Nib. While I personally disagree with the assessment of "editorializing violence," I can understand why an editor might be nervous, or why those at the top of the editorial chain were concerned about provocation. I would argue that sometimes it's worth exploring that discomfort, maybe even embracing it, for the sake of art and conversation and culture at large, but then, that's probably why I'm not entrusted to make such decisions. 'Cause I think this comic is pretty damn powerful, and thought-provoking, without actually endorsing a participation in any act of violence.
(Full disclosure: I also do work for the New York Times Company.)
Street Lights [Ronald Wimberly / Patreon]
Do or Die [Ronald Wimberly / The Nib]