Jan 10th 2018 09:01 am Hue, a Mouse!

There have been some interesting comments and questions about this colorization business. They’ve caused me to mull over the subject, and I realize I could write an essay. Maybe I will, but for now let me address a few points. I am, of course, referring to my bit of recent news that I am assuming the duties of coloring the daily A&J strips, something heretofore done by a third party provided by Andrews & McMeel Syndication. First, this really is no big deal. Most cartoonists already perform this task for themselves, indeed, would have it no other way. It is something I should have been doing all along. No one at the syndicate or elsewhere is making me do this. And I am not disgruntled with the colorization done on my behalf by others. I know there has been some colorful weirdness on occasion and perhaps a day-to-day sameness—think Arlo’s red shirt. However, let me emphasize: this all was on me. I hardly ever communicated instructions to a colorist, and I am a notorious deadline pusher. Rarely has there been much time for a colorist to exercise his chops. In fact, I appreciate all that has been done on my behalf by a long parade of anonymous toilers. Coloring the daily strips simply is something I’ve needed to take on for a long time, and now I have. I’ll talk more about color and its role in a general sense.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

Posted by jimmyjohnson / Vintage A&J

51 Responses to “Hue, a Mouse!”

  1. Debbe on 10 Jan 2018 at 9:29 am #

    1st :)

    Jackie….doing ok? I know yur not in the best of health….as I’ve said before, yu have the best prescription on yur side..Take care….I need your cheerleading.

    Have to go out and grocery shop…it’s all down hill tomorrow, and if you think I’m going to get out in this muck..you are nuttier than I.

    Thank you Mark…. I’ve add those to my bookmarks….and they were pretty darn funny.

    Feeling much better..after a 15 hour nap…and I mean a deep, sleep. See the phone rang, my sister, and why I got up to talk to her I have no idea….but hey, the floors looked grreat and I just has socks on…not my bubble sock….

    gonna bow out for a while…..

  2. Debbe on 10 Jan 2018 at 9:33 am #

    I would be interested in knowing if any Villagers have experienced seizures…and the after effect. Seems I don’t remember much..it’s frustrating

  3. Debbe on 10 Jan 2018 at 9:40 am #

    Back at you, Mark.


  4. JACKQULINE MONIES on 10 Jan 2018 at 9:52 am #

    Jackie got her last BIG BAD chemo and is feeling pretty good. Got up and went down and picked up breakfast at hotel buffet for Ghost and Dickens. They are both in bed again. I had half a waffle with honey.

    Must be feeling better as I am having one of my insane pre birthday fits. Think I will open a small business for my 74th birthday, a very small one. Planned it last night while having insomnia. Now to implement plan.

    Mark is part to blame for the idea but just part since I moved here 24 years ago with the idea.

  5. JACKQULINE MONIES on 10 Jan 2018 at 10:05 am #

    Jimmy, perhaps coloration is only important to those of us who consider cartoons an art form.

    I know you do but as a purist you drew for black and white in traditional inking. The colors were applied by the street urchins and impoverished women up in the airless and lightless garret provided by the syndicate. Think 18th and 19th century coloring.

    Seriously your coloring improves the strips for me and perhaps others. Thank you for doing it. I hated the syndicates coloring but it seems they may have had cause?

    Naw? Not foot dragging cartoonists?

  6. DJJG7 on 10 Jan 2018 at 10:11 am #

    At one time, not really so very long ago, there were big comic pages (more or less), not strips, like Outcault’s Hogan’s Alley. The strips were new, like Mutt and Jeff. Coloring strips every day is another innovation. Internet!

    Gee! What if A&J had to be one huge page!

  7. Mark in TTown on 10 Jan 2018 at 10:22 am #

    The big Sunday color pages DJJG7 talks about were originally done to promote the newspaper’s new color print ability. They turned into something so popular that the newspaper chains used to steal each other’s cartoonists. Things have not changed for the better here.

    Glad you liked those cat sites, Debbe and Jackie. Also glad to hear both of you are making progress. Keep it up. I’m still fighting whatever got hold of me the Friday before New Year, think it was the flu. I am improved but not back to normal yet (as normal as I get, anyway).

  8. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 10 Jan 2018 at 12:18 pm #

    See my post under the previous cartoon page for the Berry College eagle site. Two eggs are already being incubated.
    Might as well just resupply the address: http//www.berry.edu/eaglecam/ Enjoy watching them….

  9. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 10 Jan 2018 at 12:19 pm #

    insert : after http

  10. Bookworm on 10 Jan 2018 at 2:00 pm #

    Jimmy, are they paying you more for doing your own coloring? It does look so much better!

  11. mindful webworker on 10 Jan 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    Just checked out the A&J color dailies this week compared to last. Looks t’me like a more subtle, woodsy palette, shaded backgrounds. Nice.

    In ’96 I got a website, thinking to advertise my Matt Feazell-inspired xerographed, monochrome (of course) “mini-comics.” I scanned one comic as promo – and colored it – and as it went up on the web, the light bulb went on over my head. Easy color! World wide (potentially) distribution! No paper, xeroxing, staples or mailing! Print is dead!

    Yeah, seems like this color thing, and this web thing, might be here to stay.

  12. Old Bear on 10 Jan 2018 at 4:14 pm #

    Same Salmon colored sofa – only different Salmon.
    Subtle is good – more like the rest of us live.
    When JJ looks in our windows will he be checking the background
    as well as the action?

    Debbe if you fall protect your head – a friend fell and got concussed. It has
    been a year and she is not over it. She is getting better but it is slow.

  13. Llee on 10 Jan 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    Fever seizure or epileptic kind, Debbe? And did you get checked out????

    nope, I didn’t remember either but the sleep after was reallllllllly refreshing

  14. Judy in Conroe on 10 Jan 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    The coloring definitely gives a richer experience to the comics. I was interested to see a big change in hair color. Janis was a brownette and is now auburn (subtle tribute?). Arlo was lemon yellow and now is maize. Nice.

  15. Mark in TTown on 10 Jan 2018 at 10:53 pm #

    Some more funnies for the cat people: http://www.funnycatpix.com/

  16. Sideburns on 11 Jan 2018 at 12:58 am #

    Debbe, I loved that article. Did you notice that the itty bitty cat’s a tabby?

  17. Mark in TTown on 11 Jan 2018 at 6:33 am #

    Good morning Jimmy. I really like the new coloring, much more natural and less cartoony. Thanks for taking that over.

    Sideburns/Debbe, a cute little kitty for sure. Surprised how small it is but designed/adapted for its niche. Hope the article doesn’t stir up the pet trade to try to get hold of them.

  18. Steve from Royal Oak, MI on 11 Jan 2018 at 6:56 am #

    I went to the comics sight and clicked “Random” and came up with this gem. Boy did it remind me of my Mom.


  19. Debbe on 11 Jan 2018 at 6:58 am #

    good Morning Villagers….

    Sideburns, I can see the tabby markings in its face…and yes, Mark and you are right, they are cute bundles of fur. Mark, I am sure there is already an illegal trade going on…tragic how humans can’t let life be, be happy for what you do have…off my soap box.

    Need to pick up cat food and liter before this ice/snow comes this evening…and more milk and chocolate milk for Dad

    be safe

    GR….how is Jackie doing? I am faring better..I think

  20. Debbe on 11 Jan 2018 at 7:05 am #

    Steve…I’ve not used an alarm clock in years…but when I do, it has to be a Big Ben. Nothing says good morning like when your husband has to ‘peel’ you and a couple of cats off of the ceiling.


  21. Jackie Monies on 11 Jan 2018 at 7:35 am #

    Jackie is doing better than Ghost. Now I know how much snot a nose can hold!

    An infinite amount apparently.

    I worry and worry and he says ” It is breaking up Baby, I am getting better” and then he keeps on crudding.

    I love this man to pieces even when he refused to seek medical care, even third aid, forget first.

  22. sandcastler™ on 11 Jan 2018 at 8:38 am #

    Those mornings when getting up is critical, I just let our trusty live in Alexa roust us awake. Give her the time and type of wake up music; presto she does it.

  23. Mark in TTown on 11 Jan 2018 at 8:58 am #

    Haven’t used an alarm clock since I got a smartphone. Easier to set and to find a sound that will wake me up without sticking me to the ceiling.

  24. Steve from Royal Oak, MI on 11 Jan 2018 at 9:22 am #

    I use both my smart phone and the clock radio set to the all-news station. I get the sports right away and then traffic/weather by the time I go to my shower.

    I hate being awakened by a ring and if I wake to music, it can be a ear-worm. I have not listened to a radio music station for years as the banter drives me crazy

  25. JACKQULINE MONIES on 11 Jan 2018 at 10:01 am #

    Dickens is now officially the Ghost dog. I got up about 7.30 a.m. and went to kitchen. Just now looked in his dog bed and no dog under table.

    Found him in bedroom cuddled sleeping with Ghost! He never got up. Ghost is the alpha dog and he loves Ghost.

    Ghost says Dickens is a total chick magnet of course being so adorably adorable.

  26. Sideburns on 11 Jan 2018 at 1:05 pm #

    My computer is in my bedroom and being Linux, it’s always running. I wrote a little shell script once that sets up a one-time job to play Reveille when I need an alarm clock.

  27. Mark in TTown on 11 Jan 2018 at 1:29 pm #

    temp is dropping fast in Tulsa. It was 52 at 6am. Now it’s 29 with a windchill of 24. At least Weather Underground took the snow showers out of the forecast!

  28. curmudgeonly ex-professor on 11 Jan 2018 at 10:38 pm #

    I guess it’s so cold we all retired early….

  29. TruckerRon on 11 Jan 2018 at 10:58 pm #

    Because of medical expenses that wiped out our savings, I certainly won’t retire early, if at all!

  30. Llee on 12 Jan 2018 at 5:36 am #

    today’s- great Jimmy! never saw it coming……
    lovely shading

  31. Mark in TTown on 12 Jan 2018 at 6:32 am #

    So now we know the password!

  32. Steve from Royal Oak, MI on 12 Jan 2018 at 7:23 am #

    The temperature in my car dropped from 39° to 34° in 20 minutes as I drove west (into the cold front). The high at midnight was 45° and the low is expected to be 11°. It was fairly heavy rain this morning, so we were happy for the 39°. Possibly get 2″-4″ of snow today and cold to stay through the weekend. Hey it’s winter. El Nino is doing her magic.

    Yesterday it was 59° and it was delightful to walk during my lunch hour. Then I missed stepped on the edge of the sidewalk and thankfully did not twist my ankle, but lost my balance and fell to the ground. I was wearing beige pants, so I spent the rest of the afternoon looking like I slip into 2nd base!

  33. DJJG7 on 12 Jan 2018 at 7:47 am #

    Delicious detail today, agreed! How did Arlo ever find out? I don’t know any passwords like that.

  34. Mark in TTown on 12 Jan 2018 at 7:53 am #

    Steve from Royal Oak, MI: High in Tulsa was 58 Wednesday with overnight low of 52. Yesterday it dropped from 52 to the 20′s. This morning it was 14. And I thought Alabama had changeable weather. Rodgers and Hammerstein nailed it with the line about the “wind whistling across the plain”.

  35. DJJG7 on 12 Jan 2018 at 7:57 am #

    It’s 65 degrees where Arlo is playing cards.

  36. Jackie Monies on 12 Jan 2018 at 8:11 am #

    Love today’s new strip! Great art, color and funny! Total winner.

    Anyone else here besides me with three hours credit in college level meat cutting and meat judging?

    Home run Jimmy.

  37. sandcastler™ on 12 Jan 2018 at 8:59 am #

    Didn’t see the last panel coming in today’s offering. Excellent punch line, or as Batman would say, POW!!!”

  38. Trapper Jean on 12 Jan 2018 at 11:03 am #

    Okay, NOW I know why Husband likes to stop at Costco so often on his way home from work. That explains so much!

  39. Jackie Monies on 12 Jan 2018 at 11:12 am #

    Went back to check out details. Love the details, tiny amounts of colors that add to design and story.

    Like the dirty apron and the steaks, the red bell. Big results from correct use of colors to direct the storyline.

  40. Ghost on 12 Jan 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    I’ve never known of that in supermarkets. Auto repair shops, now…

  41. Old Bear on 12 Jan 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    Well we got up to 0*

    Growing Old:

    Actually I’m not complaining because I am a Senager. (Senior teenager) I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and my own car. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant. And I don’t have acne.
    Life is great!

  42. Steve from Royal Oak, MI on 12 Jan 2018 at 3:42 pm #

    Old Bear: Great attitude, but I have a few more things than when I was a teen. A new hip. Arthritis, no energy and I look pregnant! lol

  43. Old Bear on 12 Jan 2018 at 8:56 pm #

    You are a Bionic Man – $6 million won’t get Lee Majors very far these days.
    Are you related to a Seahorse?

  44. Mark in TTown on 12 Jan 2018 at 11:01 pm #


  45. Old Bear on 12 Jan 2018 at 11:25 pm #

    This fellow is making a Marble Machine
    but enjoy this:


  46. Mark in TTown on 13 Jan 2018 at 12:48 am #

    Old Bear, before the jukebox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OooSl-j0Uw8

  47. Llee on 13 Jan 2018 at 8:36 am #

    neat stuff, fellas!

  48. Debbe on 13 Jan 2018 at 8:52 am #


    been two years as of the tenth….sigh!

  49. Debbe on 13 Jan 2018 at 8:57 am #

    …and with the ice and snow….definitely a bright sight here in SIN…about 4 inches on top of how much ice??….now, to hope the garage door opens :)


    Good Morning Llee…. :)

  50. Debbe on 13 Jan 2018 at 8:58 am #



  51. emb on 13 Jan 2018 at 9:19 am #

    Back online for the first day [actually yesterday] since 6 Jan., 2 of those days with a dead land line. Tedious going through that many days of 17-20 comics on Gocomics.

    This was in this morning’s online paper [I also get the print edition.]. I’m thinking of sending a donation.