ISABELLA BANNERMAN, one of the co-creators of the strip “Six Chix,” has many threads of experience that culminated in her leading the tapestry of comics celebrating Unity Day today.
As a mother, she recalls the worthy “emotional intelligence” and conflict-resolution programs that her kids received while in grade school. She draws upon student-welfare strategies of the Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun-violence campaign launched by parents after the school massacre there. And she considers the ways in which PFLAG helps LGBTQ youths deal with bullying and social isolation.
So when Bannerman encountered the organization PACER and its National Bullying Prevention Center, she reached out to the group with the idea of teaming up on a comics campaign.
Today, “Six Chix” and many other King Features strips are raising awareness about Unity Day by spotlighting its themes of kindness, acceptance and inclusion.
“I hope that our cartoons will give people new perspectives on the topic of preventing bullying,” Bannerman tells The Washington Post, “and I hope some readers will look further and read some of the materials that the PACER organization has on their website.”
For example, she notes, PACER emphasizes that “kids who bully are sometimes dealing with difficult issues at home, or with mental-health issues.”
PACER Center Director Julie Hertzog praises the creative ways that more than a dozen King cartoonists are delivering their anti-bullying messages. The strips participating in Wednesday’s campaign include “Baby Blues,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Hagar the Horrible,” “Mutts” and “Zits” — all of which appear in The Post.
Besides Bannerman, the creative team behind “Six Chix” includes Martha Gradisher, Susan Camilleri Konar, Mary Lawton, Benita Epstein and Stephanie Piro.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month.