Where was I? I thought it would be nice to kickstart things with some vintage Gene. I enjoyed Gene the most during his “junior high” years, as we referred to them then. The earlier little-kid jokes were always fun, but they tended to be generic: “insert (any kid) here.” The “high school” years were all right, but at that age children begin to go their own way, ultimately resulting in physical and emotional separation from the parents. (We’re talking theory here.) As you readers and the artist himself know, this separation changes the family dynamic for cartoon families as well as real families. And for the former, it makes continuity a headache as well. That’s why the junior high years were the best. Gene was developing as an individual, becoming more adventurous and interesting in his own right, yet he remained solidly within the orbit of Arlo and Janis.