I was looking at this old cartoon from 1995, and I couldn’t help noticing the conversation is very animated, literally. I’m sure this was intentional, because, after all, I was drawing a newspaper comic strip featuring two people talking to one another. A little body English could only help. I employed this embellishment a lot, and it may have led readers to think of the couple as excitable and argumentative. A lot of readers back then simply thought Arlo and Janis didn’t get along. There is no doubt Janis harbored issues related to self-image and trust, but I think the hand-waving and vociferousness were defensible. As they’ve aged, such histrionics just don’t seem appropriate, and I think the strip suffers for it. For the challenge remains, how to make a conversation between two people interesting visually.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

12 responses to “Misread”

  1. Jimmy,
    I really enjoy the old strips along with your comments. GoComics only go back to May, 1994. I like they way your drawing style has changed but remained the same through the years. Also how the shape of the faces have changed in particular Janis and Gene, Arlo not so much.

  2. “…looking for you for over an hour…”? How 20th Century is that? Today, Janis would simply “message” Arlo on FaceTwitaGram or whatever. Or just use her phone to locate his.

    “Privacy”. What a quaint concept.

  3. Ghost, besides the fact he could have just “checked out” a book using the Overdrive app on his phone. Just like I am now doing with the Tulsa Library here. No running out to find it, or rushing to get it back before it expires. At the end of your checkout period it returns itself. But I miss the feel and smell of a printed book while enjoying the convenience of being able to pick the page color and font that is most readable for me. Oh well, always trade-offs in everything!

  4. Jackie advises me today is National Eat Your Beans Day. Makes one wonder if tomorrow might be National Hold Your Nose Day.

    Our early morning trip for radiation therapy was postponed due to equipment issues. Fortunately they let us know yesterday afternoon so we didn’t make a dry run, and now they’ve called wanting us to be there this afternoon. Multiple days when treatment was not available due to equipment failure was something we didn’t anticipate. But as Jackie points out, it has not impacted her as much as it has some of her fellow patients.

  5. JJ, maybe some thought of an argument between A&J arises from the large open mouth you drew on Janis. It makes me think she is screaming. Arlo speaks with only a minimal mouth size, and seems more serene.

  6. I do that while we are watching old movies all of the time. My wife thinks that I am about to make a serious comment about the movie and I will say something like: “Why didn’t they text them? Why didn’t she call him on her cell phone?

    There are a couple of movies that are dated due to the “current” technology that they use. Once is “The Firm” where the fax paper is at the end of the roll and falls underneath the machine and the other is Disclosure which is where Demi Moore tries to frame Michael Douglas for harassment. However the movie holds up pretty decent, on second thought.

  7. I had planned to send this as a message to Jackie but decided some of you might know others who might benefit. We were at a craft show at a local senior center this morning. I was talking with one of the exhibitors who shared that she is a breast cancer survivor and, like many, she suffers from lymphedema. She has found that crocheting (which she does for 5 or 6 hours a day!) relieves the swelling enough that she can go without wearing her compression sleeve much of the time. It’s also helpful for dealing with stress, plus the money she makes from selling her projects goes into her vacation fund.

  8. MB likes Murder She Wrote.
    Aside from Cabot Cove having a murder rate higher than Columbia (The country)
    It fun to look at the cell phones the size of a brick!

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