Difficult Chair

April 12, 2006


This old A&J is a favorite of mine. It is, by the standard of Charles Schulz, a true comic strip: that is, the joke cannot be understood without the drawing. Perhaps ol’ Sparky was being self-effacing and a bit rigid, but I’m sure I know why he held that position. The writing in Peanuts, the clever repartee among the ensemble cast, was the breakout element within the young strip, gaining the world’s attention. Peanuts was considered cerebral and psychologically complex compared to, let us say, Skippy. I know for a fact that after sealing this reputation, Schulz received a lot of personal satisfaction by returning to his medium’s roots and simply drawing “a funny picture.” As a cartoonist whose writing carried his comic strip through the early years and beyond, I certainly can relate.


26 thoughts on “Difficult Chair”

  1. Today’s “live” A&J – Hey Janis! Turn around and let us see what all the fuss is about! I’m sure Arlo thinks you look great.

  2. CIDU has a fascinating reference to the current 6/23 strip. If the statement there is true, I am surprised no one has yet posted the other version.

  3. Jimmy, when you send us back to an old strip, and then I get to clicking along from that point, day by day for awhile, two things amaze me. One is the consistent quality of the strip through the years. I go back to the beginning in the Boston Globe, and A&J has always topped my list. The other amazing thing is the small number of comments and likes on the strip years ago! The excellent “chair” strip from 2006 had no comments and 13 likes, before I got there anyway. I must have been still reading it in the daily newspaper back then. But with 50-100 comments and 100-200 likes every day in 2020, it’s hard to imagine a time when the interaction would be that small! Is something else going on, like old accounts being cancelled and their activities expunged, or did the online comic crowd just grow that much? Do you know the timeline of development of online comics? I would be fascinated to hear the inside story!

  4. Re the 06/23/20 strip & comments.
    When my brother was about 8 he spent time at the Jersey Shore wearing
    black & white check swim trunks — so he ended up with a checkered tan 😀

  5. Re yesterday’s “full monty” cartoon, go back to the 9 June strip to see what Janis thinks Arlo is seeing. To me, in light of how Janis looks clothed these days, the 9 June figure seems exaggerated. BTW, Janis is doing exactly what Elaine would have done to illustrate the same point. Fortunately, Elaine was not much into tanning. But her dermal sensory neurons were well distributed.
    Peace,

  6. Oddly, Jimmy, Jackie and I were just the other day discussing how much your art work has improved over the years. No offense intended (and, judging from your last sentence above, none would be taken), but we both agreed that had your writing skills not been so outstanding during the early years, you very likely would not be doing A&J today.

  7. Re the 6-23-20 real-time cartoon: It’s been almost 20 years (August 16, 2000) since the “Marriage is odd” cartoon. But I have no trouble believing Arlo still looks at it that way.
    Nor that Janis still shows it that way. 😉

  8. “Peanuts”! “Skippy”! Tough to talk about these cartoons. It took Johannes Brahms 15 years to write his first symphony. He said, “You have no idea what it’s like to hear the footsteps of a giant like that behind you,” meaning the long-dead Beethoven. Speaking of, I just got the first volume: “Percy Crosby’s Skippy: Daily Comics: 1925–1927.” It’s paradise. A&J is in that class, sure.

  9. So as for today’s strip, are you just gonna leave us hanging in suspense? Hopefully she’s not going for the “granny suit” now. 🙂 And Ghost, I agree…the “Marriage is Odd” strip is one of my favorites as well. Even ordered a print from GoComics which I have framed. It has become one of my wife & my favorite “go to” phrases when we jokingly “overshare” something… 🙂

  10. On the Amazon home page, I keep seeing a splash add for one of their services that is headlined “Alexa, show me the front door.”
    Apparently I’m so old that I can remember when “showing someone the door” had a completely different meaning, and so I keep hearing Alexa say, in her best Jimmy Cagney voice, “There’s the door. Now get outa here, ya bum!”

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