First, I want to thank everyone for all the messages of congratulations and encouragement, even those of you wishing me “another 25 years.” And see what happens when you encourage me? I’ve got an even dozen old cartoons for you today, from 1989 into the early 90s.
Even I was struck looking back through this period how large a role young Gene played. So many of the cartoons, or the better ones anyway, were little-kid gags starring Gene. Since Gene disappeared from the daily strips when he went to college and since his reemergence has cast him in a serious role, I thought we’d concentrate today on early Gene. I hope you enjoy seeing young Master Gene.
November 18, 1989
Several of you have noted the drastic change in drawing style between then and now. I was asked to comment by one poster. Well, the short explanation is: I learned to draw. By 1989, the characters looked much different than they do today, but they didn’t look as weird and misshapen as they did in 1985. I was making progress.
November 20, 1989
I’ve always liked this one.When it appeared in newspapers, I heard from several women still scarred by the memory of having to discuss pipe fittings with a strange store clerk.
May 31, 1990
I hesitate to drag religion into the discussion, but growing up down South involves something called Vacation Bible School. In my case, as soon as school ended, Vacation Bible School began. In other words, after being caged in a classroom for nine months, I had to go directly to… church!! Every morning for two weeks! I blame many of my heretical proclivities today on this wretched excess.
July 19, 1990
Baudelaire said, “Genius is childhood recalled at will.” I don’t know about that, but many an unvarnished memory provided the kernel for much of my early work, like this one. This happened to me one day, playing alone in the backyard. My father walked out the back door on his way to town just in time to witness my painful error. (Yes, people really did walk to town back then.) We lived on something of a hill, above the street, so moments later I had an unencumbered view of his pantomime as he recreated the event for a neighbor. I could tell they both got a good laugh.
November 23, 1990
The Green Revolution isn’t quite here yet, but they assure us it’s just around the corner. It must be true, because there are more “green” products to buy today than ever before. It’s almost scarey how some things never change.
February 10, 1992
Supposedly, Emma Goldman said this. Emma Goldman was the anarchist played by Maureen Stapleton in the 1981 movie Reds. You remember: Diane Keaton was Warren Beatty’s squeeze. It was about history or something.
March 7, 1992
March 25, 1992
April 1, 1992
When this was drawn, meat was steak, pork, chicken and wieners. Contemplation of the ingredients of wieners was universally discouraged. Now, there’s a raft of chefs and food hosts making a living on television telling us that stomachs and gristle are the best part of an animal. I’m not saying they’re wrong, mind you.
April 6, 1992
April 27, 1992
April 29, 1992
Do you remember me mentioning my father’s dry wit? Well, this is something he would have said. He didn’t actually say it though, so I said it for him. There was a lot of my father in the early Arlo.