That's what fiction writers do: create characters and do terrible things to them for the entertainment of others. If they feel guilty enough, they write happy endings.
Having stretched the boundaries some, I'm perfectly content now to work within them. 'Doonesbury' doesn't need to become 'South Park.' You won't ever see any singing turds.
There's always been some concern that adult subject matter should be quarantined from a page that attracts children. Unlike late at night, when 'South Park' and 'Colbert' are on, impressionable minds are wide awake when the newspaper arrives.
I try not to second-guess editors; they're the clients, and I have no expectation that my strip is going to make it into every paper every day.
I found that not having a public profile was not hurting the work, and it freed me up to be the satirist I wanted to be.
I don't think so, but it's always in the back of my mind that many of the soldiers being wounded and killed in Iraq are about the same age as my kids. My godson is going over soon, so the war's about to get personal for me.