Center of Attention

January 25, 2000

I think this popular classic involving touch football is a good companion piece for the current strip appearing today on GoComics and, of course, in newspapers. Arlo & Janis early on gained a reputation by acknowledging, rather innocently, that a comic strip about marital relations will, occasionally, touch on marital relations. All right, some acknowledgements have been more innocent than others. However, I think this strip would have to be one of the more overtly sexual strips I’ve drawn. I’m not sure I should admit this, but it was inspired by memories of hormonally charged neighborhood football games of my youth.


16 thoughts on “Center of Attention”

  1. I always liked the sexual innuendo as it proved that Arlo and Janis were human (well cartoon human) and that they really liked and loved each other. I always wondered why they only had one child, but the guy who drew them probably wanted the focus to be just on them and not a “Family” strip.

    Would like to see Gene again soon…

  2. I saw this strip and immediately flashed back to being, probably, 12 or 13 and part of a backyard scrimmage with kids in the neighborhood. I was the quarterback, the center was my across-the-street neighbor, maybe a year older. When she bent over to snap the ball, she did not know her tee shirt was untucked. It was my first-ever sight of a girl wearing a bra. The fact that I remember the incident more than half a century later speaks volumes….

  3. By the time our male hormones were kicking in and changing girls (in our eyes) from cootie-laden monsters into mysterious beings we wanted to be around, the girls in my neighborhood had mostly moved on to other activities and didn’t want to play football with us local heathens anymore.

  4. Mark: Thanks you may have missed from the tail end of yesterday.
    “Thanks, emb.
    I learned how to pronounce Betelgeuse from my first boss here [BSU]; he’s the reason I never considered looking for a more prestigious position, one of the better decisions of my life. Harold was an entomologist, but amateur stargazer. We thought we knew a lot about the universe then [’60s]. Expect Harold now knows even more than I do.
    Peace,
    P.S. Said Betelgeuse 3x yesterday; nothing happened.”

  5. Ahh yes, the ‘please let them pass it to Susie Derkins’ games. And no, Susie Derkins did not live in our neighborhood (I admired Calvin but wouldn’t have wanted to live anywhere near him plus I was a good 20 years older than her), I just can’t remember any of the kids’ names.

  6. Hey! I JUST mentioned this very strip over on the Facebook page as the reason Jimmy Johnson deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame! Hike! Hike!

  7. A few days ago some of us were talking about purchasing/owning A&J original panels. If I’m not mistaken, someone purchased the Shotgun Formation is Boring strip. I would have loved to have purchased that one myself, along with the strip mentioned a few days ago. The slightly naughty but sophisticated marital strips are what sets A&J apart. I like that Arlo is still grabbing Janis…but with no ulterior motive other than the game “at hand”??? Hmmmmm.

  8. Maybe the forthcoming book should be called “Arlo and Janis After Noon” to include today’s and and other recent daytime activity.

    Mornings deserve a book all their own.

  9. It’s likely old news here, but over on comicsidontunderstand.com, any comic strip with this kind of innuendo, even a “how’d that get past the censors” kind of thing, is called an “Arlo.”

  10. Ah yes, one of my favorites too. Best part of Arlo & Janis, a healthy, not perfect, but healthy marital relationship. Personally as I believed our Father in Heaven created it to be. Although both my marriages seem to be more about how much I make than who I am, I am still praying that while approaching 60 (don’t know how that happened) my second wife’s desires will shift for the better.

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