Murder, he wrote


We are close to the denouement of this old series featuring Mary Lou; this strip and the ones to follow in the next few days are the reason we’re here, to understand Mary Lou’s more-than-casual connection to Gene’s family, as depicted in the current newspaper strips.

This strip inevitably brings up the old trivia point: what is the family surname? It’s Day, and I’ve told you this story before, but at my age there are few stories I haven’t told. When I first sold the strip, the family had no name. The strip itself had no name! Preparing to launch, the syndicate brain trust decided, “Let’s make their name ‘Day’ and call the strip ‘Day by Day.’” However, it turned out there was an old, semi-defunct newspaper column called ‘Day by Day,’ and legally timid heads prevailed. The strip was named “Arlo and Janis.” I subsequently kept the name ‘Day.’ Why not?