When it comes to my characters, I try never to invent, for the sake of discussion, thoughts or motives or actions or anything that has not already been revealed in the actual comic strip. It seems contrived to me, and, more importantly, I don’t get paid to do that. Although not always comfortable doing so, I am willing to talk about activity that already has appeared in Arlo and Janis, especially if it helps keep straight an intermittent narrative such as the one unfolding in newspapers today.
I know not everyone is a long-time reader of A&J, and those who are have more important things to remember. So, let me state for those who wonder, Gene is not the father of Mary Lou’s daughter Meg. That’s been established.
Mary Lou and Gene met at the beach when they were children. Mary Lou’s family operated a small motel where Gene’s family sometimes stayed. Bluntly but honestly put, Mary Lou’s greatest claim to comic-strip fame is that she subsequently became an unwed teen-age mother. In the old comic strip reprinted above, Gene is moments away from discovering his friend’s predicament. This is, by the way, the first appearance of Gus, Mary Lou’s father who figures so prominently in the story today.
For the benefit of any newcomers to this site, it always features an old strip from years past. I hope I’m not confusing anyone.