My highly confidential informant found the offending strip. It is called “The Meaning of Lila” and it is a silly little attempt to translate “Will and Grace” onto the funny pages. The challenges of extrapolating the gay guy/girlfriend routine are many and Lila makes the classic mistake of assuming she's “in” the group. Yes, Lila drops the H-bomb. Right in front of Blondie, Hagar the Horrible and those cute little critters from Mutts.
Here's the strip ..
The problem here is the classic heterosexual mistake of assuming that you are so gay-friendly, we won't mind if you use terms that are typically offensive. Like fag, dyke and homo. Those are pretty much “insider” terms which belong to us. Lila is obviously gay-friendly because her best friend, Boyd, is gay. Boyd was outed in mid-May. So it took less than a month for the writers to leapfrog from veiled references to full frontal fag haggisms. My goodness …
Maybe I spend too much time with homo-flinger John McIntire, but this doesn't bother me nearly as much as the inherent vacuousness of the whole strip — I read back a few weeks online and it is just … sad. There's none of the warmth and humor that permeated Will and Grace, which was equally vacuous in its own way. In color. With Jack. And Karen.
Lila, however, presumes too much when it used the word homo. It presumed that readers are thoroughly invested in a gay comic strip character (uh-huh) and that Lila's character had proven her gay street cred enough to warrant using the term (???).
Does the fact that so few people noticed mean that society is indifferent to the gay guy/girlfriend dynamic, that it is still acceptable to drop the term homo in everyday conversation or that very few people actually read this strip?