Colorful Explanation

September 21, 2006


I ran across this old A&J comic in the archives and couldn’t help but be amused at how far off the mark the colorist was. This wasn’t the issue with me then that it would be now, because most newspaper comics 15 years ago were still black and white, and—in my mind—digital comics weren’t real comics. Yes, a lot has changed. It wasn’t all on the colorist; there was no communication between that anonymous toiler and myself, and this concerned me not. (See reasons stated above.) Still, it often was obvious the colorists did not actually read the strip they were coloring. I need not go into what went wrong. I have remastered the strip above, and you easily can see for yourself. And, no, it was not intended to be dirty in the least.


140 thoughts on “Colorful Explanation”

  1. Ala Gloria & Meathead! (But the years have been much kinder to our beloved Janis than they have to Sally!)

    I cannot help but believe you’re right, Jimmy; how could anybody who’d read the strip color it in such a way as to remove the entire premise? In the words of the immortal Mr. B. Bunny, “Wadda maroon!”

    Reply
    • I always assumed that the reviled colorists hired by the syndicate were from non-English reading countries. I thought they did this because labor rates were cheaper in these countries, but then again, how much were they paying in the first place- $50 a strip, maybe? I’m sure they could have found a struggling art major glad to color a strip for coffee money and experience. The maroons seem to be ensconced in the syndicate offices.

      Reply
  2. Glad that was cleared up. The cartoon mentioned has bugged me ever since I first saw it and noticed she was wearing his PJ top and also his PJ bottom…but only the top got Arlo’s attention. Inconsistent.

    .PS: eMb, how are you doing? We haven’t heard from you for a while.

    Reply
  3. These were the “costumes” for the old Broadway musical “The Pajama Game” – at the end [spoiler alert] when the management guy and union gal finally got together…

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  4. Jimmy, I believe you followed up on this “oldie” in recent years with a strip about whose *turn* it was to wear the top and whose turn to wear the bottom. That one also was not at all suggestive.

    Reply
  5. My random button brought up a VERY similar pajama top cartoon recently but it was not this one. I am too tired too look for it right now. We went to Tulsa to see gastroenterologist and I walked EVERYWHERE.

    You know I am exactly one month post surgery, not long, but I feel I am fallen behind for some reason.

    Gastro physicians assistant thinks my stomach is part of depression and needs a shrinking.

    Reply
    • I used a walker. I own four now, one no wheels, two wheels and slides. One fancy purple with seat, basket and cute. I am ready to break it out!

      Tomorrow I am going to nail salon. Today I went to hair salon. Trying to feel better.

      Reply
      • Jackie — If you look good you feel good.
        .
        Momma Bear’s Doc said to get out and walk. He also said
        she would get addicted to it – Nah! But we do walk around the barn
        once a day.
        .
        Was it here discussed that many at home workers figured out that
        they were more productive and felt better if they followed a routine
        getting up and dressing (even if casual). Rather than slouching in PJs
        or underwear.

        Reply
  6. c x-p: Went right to the end to post the above, so missed your inquiry. On the advice of my retired clergy son, his frau, & a beloved friend, I moved last Sept. from Elaine’s & my home of the previous 15 years [5 w/ Elaine] to a nearby assisted living apt. Can no longer drive [daughter drives my second Prius], no longer have to cook, am adjusting to not being the oldest person in the mess hall. Am one of the physically less compromised folks here; I use a cane to go easier on my scoliosis; most of us still have most of our marbles. My major handicap = degenerative tears in shoulder tendons. At least 3 former BSU staff here, one who came w/ a wife since deceased, & the latest a history prof who still has his delightful wife. Many of the widows/ widowers here came as married couples. Overall a friendly bunch, but we have our share of conspiracy theorists & xenophobes. My personal rumor has it that somebody in Wuhan sent the virus here to make life harder for unipolar depressives. Time to get ready for breakfast; I’ve gained 15#.
    Peace

    Reply
    • Six years ago I landed in cardiac intensive care in the then-local hospital (I had tachycardia over 300 bpm caused by AFib when brought in.) I was the youngest patient in the unit by at least 20 years. Then, last March, a stroke deposited me in hospital again. Not because I was having one, but because I had had one.) Hint for general consumption. Do not be in a hospital when a general pandemic breaks out. All of the medical professionals will be VERY distracted.

      Reply
  7. In so much pain in BOTH legs I slept all day and just woke up, nauseated all day from really bad bun Vietnamese food from a pho shop we never eat at. I can see why and not trying again!

    Do have on cute polka dot night gown and hot pink espadrilles, cheerful Janis style clothing. Ghost fed me vegetables for dinner thank goodness. I love squash but never get any. Another Janis thing.

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  8. EMB must have good cooks at his assisted living to gain weight! The food was not tasty at my mother in law’s facility and she ate pounds of candy, cookies, cakes she filled her apartment with!

    Glad to hear emb is doing well. Of course some ladies can still cook if they are furnished kitchens and those ladies all cooked for the single men and brought home made and bakery treats to their apartments.

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  9. I stumbled over a two week arc last night where Arlo loses his dinghy sailboat in the back yard. The storm and flood Jimmy drew were so accurate, as well as how his boat is destroyed. Having been around hundreds of little boats like that I give him A+ on everything.

    If anyone can post that here, it ran two weeks.

    Reply
  10. Mark the dinghy in the storm arc begins on May 12 2003 and ends May 24, 2003. A long but VERY well done arc and how Arlo lost his first little sailboat without ever sailing it. I thought Jimmy might sink the schooner too. I would hate that.

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  11. I loved Ludwig trying to alert Janis that Arlo was in danger and needed help a la Lassie with “Timmy’s in the well”. Janis tells Luddie that his food bowl is full!

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  12. I thought I’d chime in- and I apologize for carrying us all the way back to the beginning of the conversation.

    I’m lucky enough to have spoken with the latest two colorists on my comic strip, and I know why the coloring issues exist.

    According to Frank, the latest colorist (and a cartoonist in his own right) if you take the workload that the syndicates give the colorists, do the math around how many hours in the day that you can work on them based on the wage paid (NOT $50 per strip, or even close) then the colorist has, if I remember what Frank said, about three minutes to color each strip. Less than a minute a panel on a typical strip… if you want to earn enough to stay afloat.

    So that’s why Janis’ yellow bikini wasn’t yellow, all those years ago when I wondered about the exact same issue.

    Reply
    • Colonists go WAY back to when black and white prints were being produced for books like floral and biological illustrations, then hand colored by poor ladies and girls in attics for pennies. Some is beautiful work.

      Later popular artists were hand colored and sold from blacK and white prints to public. This was still going on in 1960s when I lived in New Orleans French Quarter and my husband managed art galleries.

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  13. Have been rereading or just now readiing all of Rick Braggs’ columbs archived on the internet This gas taken awhile

    Tonight I began on his books again, plan to read then in irder. I seem to own most of then. The first is heart wrenching, the poverty his family endured as he grew up

    Being from the South I know the accounts are true. His columns in Southern Living are usually humerus, the books not.

    Anyone else a fan?

    Reply
  14. I dearly would love to have taken a writing class with Rick Braggs at University of Alabama. I have wondered if Jimmy knows him?

    Jimmy writes so well himself. Just differently.

    Reading the posts the other night on old Village Mark posted made me so sad for many reasons. I just couldn’t go on reading.

    Reply
  15. The painful stresses and realities of running a struggling business in a competitive market during a labor shortage turned their dream into a nightmare. With no end in sight, it was less painful and damaging to their health and their marriage to surrender.

    Reply
  16. Really liked the rabbit on end of hedge.
    .
    Sorry about closing – the only thing worse than owning food service
    is farming – in my opinion.
    .
    In comments talked about “Day Care” — many places it is cheaper to stay home than
    pay Daycare. If there is another income in the household that is.
    The end of multi-generational households may be our downfall.

    Reply
  17. Gus explained to Arlo on August 5th why the Bistro would never make it. One should believe Gus in regard to foodservice as one believes Einstein in regard to relativity.
    Btw, August 5th was the birthday of my father, who knew a bit about foodservice himself.

    Reply
  18. While I read the Washington Post daily online, I do not read their comics. I was shocked to look at them tonight and see what they carried.

    Who reads Rex Morgan, Mary Worth and others of that genre? Dozens of the humor strips must be around a hundred!

    Reply
  19. Off topic of everything:

    I’m 68. I had my four wisdom teeth removed this morning while I was under full anesthesia. Came through it with no problem, and am fully lucid.

    The rotten part is that I am supposed to rest for two full days and not exercise. Yeah, right. About four o’clock in the afternoon, I am going for a walk if not a jog.

    Reply
    • I think my experience is highly unusual.

      I have had no pain whatsoever, no swelling, no tiredness. In sum, nothing adverse has happened.

      It’s as if the procedure never occurred.

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  20. Off-topic question:

    Either my hearing is degrading, or speakers of American English are changing the standard pronunciation of “especially.”

    I think that I am hearing “expecially” and “ekspecially” more and more frequently on radio and television.

    Has anyone else noticed this, or does the problem lie with my ears only?

    Reply
    • I’ve heard a LOT of words being pronounced differently by younger speakers today. I had thought that with TV, radio, etc., that the spoken language would become more standardized and static… but it’s still changing.

      Reply
      • It is standardizing to a degree, I think. For example, finding someone who speaks with a true, rich Deep South accent and dialect is becoming increasingly difficult.

        Otherwise, I think you are correct.

        Reply
          • The same thing happens to me when I speak with my cousin in Bowling Green, Kentucky (I was born there). It feels good both to hear it and speak it. It also feels good to be called Ricky, which is my birth name.

            Hmm… Perhaps I should change my screen name to Ricky from Bowling Green.

  21. Fortunately, in all my decades in Bemidji, NYC, NOLA+, Ann Arbor, etc., & overseas [USAF + Amer. tour groups], I don’t recall hearing “ekspecially,” from either students or their elders. Believe I have heard ” ‘specially.” Face masks are a benefit [required here by the MNDH] but they make understanding harder. Surprising how much conversation involves lip-reading.
    Peace,

    Reply
    • Thanks. Perhaps there is still reason to hope that the nonstandard pronunciation will not sweep the nation.

      I gave up hoping that “hopefully” would subside, along with using “forthcoming” incorrectly.

      Reply
  22. Rick
    .
    Momma Bear had her wisdom teeth out 52 1/2 years ago – she said she looked like a Pocket Gopher.
    .
    I had one tooth out because it was sideways 40 years ago , went to my regular dentist, other than Novocain
    not even aspirin. (Aspirin may be contra-indicated because of blood thinning.) (Salt water rinse)
    Still have 3 (well still have 4th, but it is in box) maybe that is why I am such a wise acre.
    .
    Son had his out 25 yes ago before he got braces had to go to Dental Surgeon.
    .
    So everyone is different.

    Reply
  23. Rixk I hope Ghost will not be angry I post this but his birth name is Jimmy. The famous writer was born Ricky, not Rick Braggs. It is a very Southern thing.

    So is the double name. None of my southern family call me Jackie but Jackquline. Many called me Jackquline Ann. I would love to hear that again.

    Reply
    • Jackie:

      You’re right. It is indeed a very Southern thing.

      My middle name is Louis (as was my dad’s), and I used to be called Ricky Louis quite a bit, even when I wasn’t in trouble.

      I have not heard it in decades, and I miss it.

      Reply
  24. When a kid heard both names they knew they were in DEEP trouble –
    no matter what section of the country.
    .
    Our grandparents used the middle name – a Scandinavian thing I believe,
    but then we had 3 generations at a time (5 total -with cousins 7) with the same first name.
    .
    And no it was not Old 🙂

    Reply
    • Yes, and that’s still true, sometimes. My sister’s dog is Sadie Elizabeth, but she only uses both names when the dog’s being bad. Mostly, my cat is just called Leo, but on rare occasions he’s bad enough to get called by his full name, Leopold! (The exclamation mark is part of his full name; a Know Award goes to the first person to explain why.)

      Reply
  25. Rick, Ghost middle name is a family last name that his family used for generations apparently. That is name they called him, not his first name. I found it all over on Ancestry. Com. I think that is another very Southern thing.

    My grandson has a last name for middle name. I know in going back in geneology generations it gets confusing. On my dad’s side they are all “Rufus,” All over America!

    Reply
  26. This is how my Mama said that I and my cousins pronounced my name Jackquline Ann Hodgson—
    “JacknenAnn Hoddy”

    I became nicknamed “Hoddy” as that was all some could manage. Some still call me that. Some still call me Jackqulineann – the Southern double name- despite that I quit at about 8 and went to Jackie.

    By the time I was 8 I was living outside the South and no one could spell my name anyway!

    Reply
  27. When I was young had a relative we called Sandrafaster – I thought that was her name
    .
    But she was grandfathers sister (faster= fathers sister= aunt) and I was in 30’s before I knew her name was Alexandra.
    .
    btw farbror is uncle

    Reply
  28. The “southern thing” may have contributed to my double name but there’s a simpler explanation. My mother was Ruth so I was called Ruth Anne. Similarly, my father was Robert and my brother was called Bob – which worked until I married another Bob. When my brother’s son arrived, they continued the first name Robert tradition but he has always gone by his middle name – although I don’t believe the Air Force went along with that 🙂

    Reply

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