Black Is the Old Black


Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
Today, a true classic from 10 years ago. I ran across some discussion on the Web the other day about A&J. No, I did not Google myself! I used Bing. A few years back I had drawn Janis getting dressed, much as in the strip above. She was slipping into a camisole in the process of donning a heavy cable-knit sweater, and the very lowest sliver of her right breast was depicted. Big deal? Well, apparently. It generated a lot of internet discussion (“Underboob” it was repeatedly called.) and even a newspaper column about whether this was “appropriate” for the comics. I don’t have time to post a link to the cartoon, but I have every faith that if you watch the comments below there will be one within the hour. So, I ask, why is it okay to show any and all of the female breast above the nipple (after 5 p.m., of course!) but not anything below? Besides, I truly was not trying to be lascivious. I grew up reading comics 50 years ago. The women in The Heart of Juliet Jones and Apt. 3-G rarely wore anything but underwear! And the paper was chock-a-block with illustrations of lingerie available in the Atlanta department stores. Trust me on that one. Besides, there is a double standard at work here. I could draw Arlo in his drawers a hundred times and not generate one comment. I’m not saying this is strange; I’m just saying it is true. It is also true, I guess, what our mothers told us when we were young: “If you get a bad reputation, well… that’s it!”

62 thoughts on “Black Is the Old Black”

  1. Aha! I am not only person here who read Apt. 3-G but not for same reasons, apparently!

    No, I agree with Jimmy totally on this one, including last sentence.

    Village, let’s all laugh a little and Ghost, this is your wakeup call!

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  2. Thanks for locating the old strip, Dan. Both strips are bona fide classics. And what is it with men that they can “hear” lingerie being slipped on and show up just at the opportune time. It’s true! They must have another sense that we gals are missing. Not fair.

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  3. Well of course Janis will be in a state of undress….She needs to try on Robin’s clothes.

    So is Robin married? The story line reminds me of an episode of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing where Patricia Richardson (who played his wife in Home Improvement) moved in next door and the show was full of references to Home Improvement. Almost feel like Robin may be in a parallel universe. I think that it will be a great story to follow.

    Spoiler Alert! Yes, there will be dressing and undressing in the days to come. — JJ

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  4. Debbe

    Thanks for the info
    We “sent them for pot pies”
    And we did not need fumigation in those days – we soaked and scrubbed nest bottoms, new excelsior, sprayed nests and belts, cleaned and sprayed floors.

    When first married came home from dehorning heard of beef cows – wife took all clothes and
    threw them before I got in house.

    Mark TT
    Still have 3 Oscar Brand LPs from long ago, of the bawdy song persuasion.

    emb
    Were you in MN 50 years ago on the 17th? My introduction to MN. (Just started at Winona SC) New out of the Army I was looking for places to hide from shovel detail.

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  5. @Village Loon and JJ,

    I Symply have the evidence. Just got back from an extended holiday(5 Fargone weeks) without much connectivity(by choice)…have not been lurking at all ately and I return to a discussion about one of my most treasured pieces of art that is from our genial host JJ! It is framed and a most beautiful rendition of Janis from a certain angle that clearly shows the what Arlo is so happy to perceive from his vantage that we so sorely lack due to censors!

    @the Village

    An oddity regarding the dateline:

    It was odd leaving at 7 PM Saturday March 7th from Auckland, 20+ flight hours later we arrive in Boston on Saturday March 7th at 9:45 PM(2 hours and 45 minutes after we left Auckland), I go to bed, wake up the next day at 9AM , set all the clocks ahead 1 hour for daylight savings time…..and realize that it is not Monday the 9th, but Sunday the 8th! I have a concert to go to that night with New Riders Of the Purple Sage. Got to bed at 1 AM that night……

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  6. I remember that strip from 2012, but I don’t remember the “underboob” (and I would have noticed it), so I’m guessing that it was whited out for the newspaper. If so, shame on the editors.

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  7. ” So, I ask, why is it okay to show any and all of the female breast above the nipple (after 5 p.m., of course!) but not anything below?”

    Well, because we live in an uptight society with unrealistic views on morality. At least we don’t make our women wear beekeeper suits. (Yet.)

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  8. Two of Ghost’s favorite cartoons show up on the same day…there is a God! And why shouldn’t there be more cartoons of Janis dressing and undressing? I’d suppose she does each at least once a day, even when she’s not trying on a lot of new (to her) clothes.

    Also, it’s good to know that, as recently as a couple of years ago, Janis had the superstructure (and the confidence) to eschew a bra when she so decided. I feel quite sure she still does today. But I still wouldn’t mind some empirical evidence of that. πŸ˜‰

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  9. Well, Gal, just consider this A&J’s equivalent of Sports Illustrated’s winter Swimsuit Edition.

    But there’s always the possibility of a story-line where Arlo joins a gym and gets ripped working out, thereby providing some eye candy for the ladies when he appears in his drawers. πŸ™‚

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  10. Gene Rodenberry wrote about his battles with the NBC censors back in the 60’s. The costumes for his female actresses could have their delcotages cut almost to the top of th nipple without a coment from the censors. His biggest battle, though was over one costume that covered the young lady up to her neck but revealed less than an inch of “underboob”.

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  11. sideburns, excellent books, as are the Honor Harrington series. Have you read any of Charles Stross’ works? He started out as an IT specialist and got into writing. In particular I like his Laundry series.

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  12. “emb Were you in MN 50 years ago on the 17th? My introduction to MN. (Just started at Winona SC).”

    That would be 17 March ’65. We moved here in Sep. ’58. Robins were often back by then, and one year we got about 20″ of new snow in mid-March. Got into the 40s F today, with some sun. Lots of lawns are bare. Neither saw nor heard robins today.

    Peace, emb

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  13. “Perhaps the promise of spring can give me some much needed energy.” It worked for Nanki Poo and Yum Yum, not so much for Koko. Nap! emb

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  14. sideburns, the Laundry series is sort of H.P. Lovecraft meets Len Deighton, or John LeCarre with some dry, offbeat humor thrown in. Give one a try. There are a couple of short novellas in ebook form.

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  15. Harking back to those Rich’s and Davison’s newspaper ads of yore, you weren’t looking at women in underwear. You were looking at women in body stockings with the bras and panties work over the body stockings. Don’t believe me? Go look at the online archives!

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  16. Jimmy:

    I use Bing on occasion myself and have been using it more frequently lately, but I have found that Google still wins most search contests.

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  17. Brother Jimmy, since you suffer from the same handicaps that all men do, you are acutely aware that you are shooting proverbial fish in the barrel where any hint of boobies is involved. You have mined that vein of ore and gotten rich returns over the years. From “There’s just something about a peek” to Janis removing her bra from underneath her bulky sweater and putting it on the sofa as Arlo smiles happily (Janis’s single-word thought balloon: “Men!”), it is, to quote Darth Vader, “All too easy.”

    And look at the uproar over a simple penstroke that looked like a parentheses on its back. “Men!”

    Vive la difference. On doit toujours chercher la femme!

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  18. For a change of topic from bobs to food as probably the third thing on men’s minds, I got daughter to eat prime rib at Mrs Mac’s Kitchen and I got grilled crab cakes with a tiny bit of honey mustard sauce. Tomorrow I try for brunch but I don’t think she will allow lobster omelet She has my credit card

    Mark I love your cats, especially Domino

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  19. Thanks Jackie. Bama and Lucy are no longer with us. She died suddenly about 2 years ago. She was about 16. Bama developed an oral cancer that was inoperable and had to be euthanized just a few months after we lost Lucy. He was over 17. He was my favorite. Domino was very small when we adopted her, but she has certainly grown since then. My ex says since the three older cats died she has become much more affectionate.

    Glad you are able to eat solid food, (and keep it down). And how is boobs to food a change of topic?

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  20. Jackie, you “got” your daughter to eat prime rib? What, you had to hold your gun on her? Perhaps I do need to to apply for that driver’s job. I have no objection to either prime rib or lobster omelet.

    Debbe πŸ˜‰

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  21. Good morning Villagers…..

    Old Bear, you are most welcome, wish it was that simple…but with some 15.000 cages, it would be a little hard to soak them. I’m not sure what they do with the ‘spent hens’….I’ve heard dog food. Two weeks before they take them ‘out’, they ‘sacrifice’ three or four hens, and take meat samples to send off to make sure they are ‘chemical’ free.

    Thought of you yesterday GR πŸ˜‰ …Andrew went to the hardware store to pick up a can of clutch cleaner…..well he returned with the can AND the swimsuit calendar….there sat Ian and Andrew checking out each month….of course I had to peek too πŸ™‚

    Anonymous….good choice of word for today’s real time strip.

    Jackie, you got your daughter to eat prime rib….are you sure they didn’t switch babies at the hospital?

    Gal and Indy Mindy….spring is here, a little early….we are to be in the sixties at least for a week. I wish this warm weather would hold out for the cleansing of the hen house. After the rain all day yesterday…the sun is out today…..AMEN

    Miss Charlotte….did you call your doctor?

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

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  22. Arlo says today that Janis is “as happy as a clam.”

    Never have understood that saying.

    I have seen many, many clams, and not one ever looked happy.

    Scared to death of starfish, yes, but never happy.

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  23. Jackie:

    Spellchecker can be the bane of us all.

    In regard to the topic at hand (pun intended), I have this to offer:

    A couple of years, the population of my office became heavily female, and boobs became a constant topic – among the women.

    Boobs this, boobs that, boobs stretching sweaters, boobs not stretching anything, boobs in the way, sagging boobs, disappearing boobs, and on and on.

    All of which led me to wonder how breasts came to be known as boobs.

    So, of course, I used “origin of slang term boobs” in a search engine.

    I was astonished to find that the first several entries were not pornographic or even salacious.

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  24. I suspect there’d be an uproar of another sort if Arlo was featured wearing briefs and a hint of his “junk” was visible, via curve or line. My partner’s recollection of his small-town newspaper’s editorial board came to mind when we read this strip: they used to feature the city’s men’s and boys swimming leagues in the sports section, and when the participants were lined up for a group photo, there was often a strategic dot, if you get my drift… Nothing comparable for the women’s and girls’ swimming league photos, though! Even back then, he thought it was a double-standard.

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  25. “emb – better 15 seconds too late than 15 seconds too early.” I scrolled back.

    You meant curmudgeonly ex-professor, “Methinks Arlo popped in about 15 seconds too late…!” Villagers confuse us, and we each find it complimentary, except when the other is wrong, but we each forgive that, because it says to.

    Peace, emb

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  26. Rick: I looked up “happy as a clam” recently. According to the reference source, the saying originally was “happy as a clam at high tide.” At high tide, clams are safely covered by the water.

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  27. Gal, isn’t it great to be able to easily look up things that aren’t in the encyclopedia? We are so lucky to live now. Happy, happy, joy, joy! πŸ™‚

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  28. Oh and Jimmy, I am not looking into your window. One of the nice things about this blog is that we are all different, but yet very similar. We are like an old married couple that can anticipate the other’s actions. It always blows my wife away when I do this… It proves to her that I AM actually listening!

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  29. Daughter is fast food addicted and does not eat anything with a bone or fat on it. As in a pork chop or chicken for example . The other daughter claims to have been switched at birth because she was born during a hurricane and hospital dumped out all patients hurriedly, baby identity method poor then. This one looks like me but even bustier than I. She is one who got her MBA while working as cocktail waitress and said place was crawling in PhD staff

    Ghost you can apply, position as personal trainer and diet counselor is open too.

    OK the pigs are not only flying by but swimming as well because I admit that Facebook is interesting and what has replaced forum chatting But not the Village although Jimmy either has a ghost writer or talks over there And I like the hat and beard too but I almost always like hats and beards.
    Love Jackie

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  30. Yep, Rick, over the years having an all-female staff has led to me learning things I didn’t know I didn’t know.

    Jackie, that must have been an interesting bar to visit.

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  31. Denise – yes, it IS great! I used to irritate my children when they were young by telling them to “Look it up!” They thought I was copping out. Perhaps I was, at times. But my main motivation was to expose them to the joy of learning. I think it stuck more with my daughter than my son.

    Now, if I find myself wondering about something, I do look it up. As an example, I worked an online jigsaw puzzle this morning. It was a picture of three (beautiful!) Scottish kittens. Then I thought – what is different about Scottish kittens? Lo and behold, there is a breed of cats, originating in Scotland in the early 1960s, that have ears that are folded, pointing forward. Fascinating!

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  32. Called Scottish Fold cats, most original name!

    Ghost she had degree in psychology and walked around with the surgeons at UT burn hospital in Dallas Went to St Louis and pay was half So she started as bunny suit wearing cocktail waitress at huge new casino Went upstairs to VIP room for high rollers and got to wear same uniform as barman Lasted longer than anyone and I am betting psych degree paid off Expensive club to join since it bases on your losses

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  33. Jackie – your comment about your daughter’s preferences reminded me of a story my sister-in-law told recently. She had friends over for dinner and prepared her standard baked chicken breast concoction. Her young guest was a bit bewildered when she began to cut it – she’d never had chicken with bones before.

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  34. Daughter won’t buy or touch boned meat so no deboning either. I will point our I have 4 hours of college credits in slaughtering and cutting up meat products, in other words, butchering, as well as meat judging on hoof and cut up, And on college judging team.

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  35. Galliglo in Ohio:

    Thanks for that origin! I had never heard that before.

    Still, I don’t see how a clam could be happy – starfish will still be after him.

    Also, I’ve never seen a clam smile, be it high tide, low tide, rip tide, or Tide.

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  36. I don’t know, in the parts of the web I go to, guys love underboob. It’s a novelty I suppose, a relatively new entry into partial-breast-baring fashion. That’s probably why the stick-in-the-mud folks don’t like it, it’s something they haven’t seen before, haven’t gotten used to.

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  37. On a closely related note, my all time Jimmy favorite is the strip for 08/06/2004. (It’s on the Comics site.)

    That’s how I first realized that that very short head baker at the place I’d get my coffee and pastry from in the morning (she was emptying the lower levels of what they call a speed rack) was also a very attractive woman.

    We’ve been married now for twelve years…

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