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Folks from the Funny Papers Offer ‘Cartoon Aid’ To Africa

July 17, 1985 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) _ Doonesbury, Garfield and Betty Boop are picking up where Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and Paul McCartney left off, getting together with other funny-paper folks in a serious effort to help Africa’s famine victims.

Cartoon Aid - following Band-Aid, a rock band formed in Great Britain to raise funds for Africa, and Live Aid, a massive U.S.-British rock concert televised by satellite - was the brainstorm of greeting-card artist Barbara Dale, who has brought together 100 cartoon characters on a $1.75 card to raise money for the starving.

All profits will go to USA for Africa, a charity organization that earlier lined up top rock stars to record the hit ″We Are the World.″

Dale, whose cards are sold by Recycled Paper Products Inc. of Chicago, said Wednesday her idea got an enthusiastic reception from other artists, card companies and syndicates that distribute cartoon strips.

Almost all donated drawings for the card - a gesture that required some complicated legal maneuverings over copyrights.

Among the handful refusing to participate, Dale said, was the Kansas City- based industry giant, Hallmark Cards, Inc. She had sought to enlist Snoopy for Cartoon Aid.

″It’s not a negative comment on the worthiness of the project. We at Hallmark handle our philanthropy in our own way,″ said spokesman Charlie Hucker. He said Hallmark contributes 2 percent of its pre-tax profits to charity.

Cartoon Aid went from an idea to a finished product in less than a month, Dale said in a telephone interview from her Baltimore home.

″This is sort of a historic piece of art. Never in anybody’s memory have all these characters all been on the same piece of paper,″ she said.

″It was an unprecedented effort of cooperation ... They’re fighting every day for that space in the newspaper,″ Dale said.

The four-panel, accordion-style card shows a crowd of black-and-white cartoon characters under a ballon that reads ″We all got together to help.″

Jiggs, of Maggie and Jiggs, is poking Beetle Bailey in the nose with his cane. Bullwinkle is resting his chin on Cathy’s head. Doonesbury chats with a wan, leotard-clad young woman by Jules Feiffer.

And Hagar the Horrible holds a sign urging ″Help USA for Africa.″

Recycled Paper Products has shipped more than 20,000 to about 1,200 shops across the country since July 1, said Mary Tobin, vice president for marketing, estimating that more than 200,000 cards will be sold.

She would not predict how much money will go to famine relief. Part of the proceeds will cover the company’s costs, she said, but the bulk will help buy food and medical care for the starving.