Cut to the chase


In honor of Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s new memoir, I am rerunning old cartoons that first appeared during our latter years together, which happened to be the earlier years of Arlo and Janis. The strip never was autobiographical, but it was highly personal, as it is now. I have never been perfect. (You can’t say I don’t deliver in the shocking-admissions department!) As a young man I was largely unfocused and highly social. A reasonable level of spousal supervision would have been only prudent. However, Rheta, as she cops to in Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming, possessed a level of insecurity that resulted in a dark circle of jealousy and suspicion. Excessive, I thought, but that’s my version. Anyway, the point here is, this aspect of our relationship often found its way into the comic strip. I thought of it as normal, even funny, at the time, but I admit those old strips are a little painful today.