Meet Umbert the Unborn, the world's first pre-natal comic strip character. He's feisty, outspoken, loveable and almost ready to take on the world.
The cartoon is making its debut in the Register's Culture of Life section this issue, but its creator hopes to see it debut in faith-based and other pro-life newspapers throughout the country this summer.
Umbert is an unborn infant of yet to be determined gender who lives in his mother's womb — “his own private universe, think tank and playground,” said creator Gary Cangemi, “from which he can anticipate life and the world that awaits him and ponder the primordial questions that plague us all.”
Cangemi, a professional cartoonist for over 20 years, has published many cartoons and columns in defense of unborn children.
Father James Paisley, pastor of St. Maria Goretti Church near Cangemi's Scranton, Pa., home, said he is proud of the cartoon-ist's new work.
“In an age where the unborn child is treated like a nonentity,” said Father Paisley, the cartoon “has given life, meaning and humanity to 'the child within.’”
Father Paisley brought the cartoon to the attention of Scranton Bishop James Timlin, who was also supportive of the project.
“I want to commend you for your unique approach to making people more aware of the plight of the unborn in our society,” wrote the bishop in a letter to Cangemi. “Anything we can do to humanize the unborn is most welcome and you have certainly done a great service through your artistic talent and wit.”
Cangemi sees the cartoon as his contribution to the pro-life movement. He hopes that its friendly but firm approach will attract more people to respect for the unborn.
“Umbert's purpose is to give life, personality and humanity to the unborn child and to change the hearts and minds of the ‘born’,” he said.
Father Paisley agrees — and sees an even greater potential.
He said Umbert can help “change the face of the pro-life movement as we know it.”