Monday, I received an email from Joe, a reader. The subject line was “Sunday, 8 September.” I can’t account for the European-style date, but I immediately was wary. It has been my experience over the years that when a reader references the date of a cartoon in a subject line, the reader will be complaining about something. I don’t know why, but it’s true more often than not. The opening paragraph of his message caused me further dread: “Dear Mr. Johnson, Your strip on Sunday, 8 Sept., made me wonder if you’ve ever had any sort of simple, partial seizure.” I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve received over the years that begin with a variation of, “Have you gone crazy?!” However, Joe’s letter went on to be something entirely different. And unique. Well, with Joe’s permission, I’ll let you read the entire thing.
“Your strip on Sunday, 8 Sep, made me wonder if you’ve ever had any sort of simple, partial seizure.
The comic artwork you created is a great allegory for what a seizure is like, at least for me. I stared at it for quite a while Sunday night and marveled at how well it captured what it feels like to go through the quick, dark, blustery moments of the brain-storm that marks that disorder. If you haven’t ever had a seizure, I thought you might find this interesting.”
To my knowledge I have never had a “simple, partial seizure,” and I did find Joe’s letter interesting. My intent was more pedestrian than Joe credits. The cartoon simply was a “hint of autumn” gag, a rather lame one and premature at that. I was stuck for an idea, but in my defense I did get that feeling the other morning. The autumn feeling, I mean. I want to thank Joe for writing and for letting me share his thoughts with you. I think he might be interested to know if anyone else out there can relate to what he’s describing. And, Joe: War Eagle!