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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Vermont Cartoonists On Free Speech And More

Beowulf Sheehan
Author Neil Gaiman and cartoonist Art Spiegelman pose with Charlie Hebdo's critic-essayist Jean-Baptiste Thoret and Editor-in-Chief Gerard Biard during the 2015 PEN Gala in New York City.

  The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo - target of the deadly Paris attack in January - just received a PEN Freedom of Expression award, in a decision which some big-name authors have criticized. And just a few days earlier, two attackers were shot dead after opening fire on a so-called "Draw Muhammad" contest.

It's all brought the debate over free speech - and the line between satire and provocation - roaring back into the headlines. And cartoonists, from Art Spiegelman to Garry Trudeau to Vermont's own Alison Bechdel, are right at the center of that debate.

We discuss the issue with a panel of top cartoonists. Alison Bechdel is the woman behind the long-running strip "Dykes to Watch Out For" and the graphic memoir "Fun Home." Harry Bliss is a longtime cartoonist and cover artist for the New Yorker. And Tim Newcomb is a veteran Vermont editorial cartoonist whose work appears in Seven Days and across the county.

And in this season's final Dorothy's List, we learn which book Vermont kids chose as the award winner, and we preview some of the books nominated for next year’s award.

Broadcast live on Mon.. May 11, 2015 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

You can watch Saturday Night Live's take on the debate here.