This old cartoon from September, 1996, is the first in a series I’ll be showing you this week. This riff has an interesting little story behind it, one that relates to what we’re doing here today. I’ve told this story before, I’m pretty sure, but it’s been a long time, and I like it.
I first began exploring the idea of an A&J Web site the year this cartoon was drawn. Specifically, that is why this cartoon was drawn. My original intent was to draw a separate version of Arlo & Janis that would appear exclusively on the Worldwide Web. Befitting the wild and wooly online environment of that period, the parallel strip would be somewhat off-the-wall compared to the family humor of the newspaper strip. As I mentioned, my bold plan was to draw two strips. Yeah! Like that was ever going to happen! What actually happened was what happens to most cartoonists with material in the drawer. I drew several cartoons for my as-yet-nonexistent Web site, including the above, but as soon as the very next newspaper deadline rolled around, I went blank and remorselessly flung the “Web” comics into the breech. The series is noteworthy, because it represents the first time I incorporated such whimsy into Arlo & Janis. I received a lot of questions about what I’d been ingesting, and a few complaints. I enjoyed it, however, and have continued to return to the far-fetched on many occasions. I did not go on to develop a Web site at that particular time, but I eventually would. As you who are reading this know.