“Not for Indoor Use”

“Not for Indoor Use”

Since I seem to have a certain reputation in the funnies industry, I frequently am asked if my syndicate handlers ever change or reject any comic strip I submit. No, they don’t. I remember only once, in the earliest days of Arlo & Janis, did nervous editors at the old United Media require a change in the wording of a strip, and United Media prided itself on its priggishness. But I was a newspaper man before I was a cartoonist, and I had a pretty good sense of what would fly and what would not. Over the years, that sense has only sharpened. Plus, A&J premiered in a period when Universal Press (now Andrews McMeel Syndication) was eating everyone else’s lunch with edgier material, “edgy” being a relative term in the old comic-strip business. Think “Doonesbury.” I have always suspected I was an experiment at United Media, that I was given a bit more rope to see at what point I’d hang myself. Now, do I take advantage of the freedom of the Web to retroactively change things that would not have made the newspaper? I’m sorry; I don’t understand the question.

48 responses to ““Not for Indoor Use””

  1. I don’t believe it. First!
    Arlo should tell Janis that it is too early to put the leaf blower away. Leaves are just starting to fall here.

  2. Are you saying that in another place, another time, you might have authored a 10 – pager?

    I’ve said it many times before, but if you are ‘Arlo’, as is obvious, then we a great deal in common. That’s why you get the most ‘Likes’ on GoComics.

  3. When viewing the artistic details, is this the first real peek we the readers have had? The door frame is “detailed” with with the catch from the door knob.
    It is a perfect match to the slammed door.
    However there is a slightly provocative curvature just below the arms.

  4. I think what makes this strip so funny is the inclusion of the leaf blower. You are already giggling at Arlo when the leaf blower gets thrown at him. It reminds me of Bill Murray giving his female MP the “Aunt Jemima treatment” in the kitchen.

  5. I believe it is the “first real peek” we’ve had. Jimmy!
    When did this “strip” first run? And who leaves a leaf blower in the bathroom, & why was it there in the first place?

  6. It would not have any bearing (no pun intended) on Janis in today’s retro cartoon, but the GOTK (Great Oklahoma T***y Kerfuffle) continues, with State-level officials now opining that those of the female persuasion may perhaps not be able to ignore OK’s “indecent exposure” statutes after all. I suspect this is what commonly happens when one relies on social media for one’s legal advice. I also suspect this entire issue “needs work”.
    I wonder how it would fare before the electorate as a “State Question”. They do that in Oklahoma.

  7. Bravo, Jimmy! I hope this will be the first of many retroactive changes to old strips. And if you do decide to make an Arlo and Janis Tijuana Bible, you could sell a bunch to this crowd! By the way, did you know that the guy who drew the Bazooka Joe comics had years earlier been one of just a few primary artists for the Tijuana Bibles? Wesley Morse. He also was an artist for the Copacabana.

  8. The thing is… even in the original comic, the open door would have had the door knob well into the bathroom, not at the end where it’s shown, until it was closed (i.e. panels 2 and 3). So… one wonders if Jimmy was “getting one by” the censors from the get-go by disguising the naughty bits as a door knob that could not possibly exist on that side of the open door.

  9. I interpreted it as Arlo was trying to MAKE bubbles (Lots of bubbles)
    by blowing in the water – of course that blower probably emptied
    the tub. Instantly.

  10. Speaking of strips that would have been prohibited under normal circumstances, Gary Larson mentioned two of his.

    One was of two whales underwater, and some bubbles were floating toward the surface. One whale says to the other, “Bob! Was that you?”

    The other was of a spider wearing a fright mask. He said to another spider, “Did I scare you, Bob?” We viewed Bob from behind, and he had dropped a huge pile of web that collected on a leaf below.

    I think that Larson said that the usual censors were out that day for one of the strips and that the editors were in a tremendous rush another day and let it run without checking it.

    Larson said that the editor who didn’t check it posted the original on his office wall.

  11. Agreed I do weird things but tonight I was searching for REALLY well carved pumpkins. Every once in awhile I do and look at hundreds at a time.

    Why would anyone spend hours carving a detailed pornographic pumpkin? Tonight I realized I had seen it all, all combinations and acts immortalized on a pumpkin. Each to his own but that is as weird a seasonal appropriation as I have run across.

  12. “Marshmallow”? I don’t get it.
    Edda is pregnant
    , and her husband, Amos [also a favorite prophet of mine] is writing the coming child a letter. I’m not quite at this stage yet, still being able to read, though my failure to understand the significance of marshmallow may bode ill.
    P.S. Brooke may have put himself in a bind by having Edda disclose April as the birth month. As we all know from A&J and other strips, aging or not can be pretty elastic. Blondie was an A-cup flapper.

  13. Yeah, after pondering for a minute, I also concluded that marshmallow must be Janis’ safe word. Conjured up all sorts of images. Of course JJ would feign innocence and say that the meaning of marshmallow is in the mind of the beholder. Touché!

  14. I have to admit Ghost had to explain this one to me. At midnight last night I had images of marshmallows and marshmallow creme being used creatively. Or maybe it was Janis’ new bubblebath flavor?

    Bondage? Pumpkin porn next?

  15. On a rerun of an old Ed Sullivan TV show, I just saw a wonderful organ performance by the late Virgil Fox playing “Adeste Fideles”. What tremendous foot work! It makes me wish I had been aware of him during his tenure in NYCity when I was young. It would have been worth the travel to be there in person. Mayhap it is on U-tube.
    I did have the pleasure of knowing the eminent Canadian (after emigration) organist, Dr. Alfred Ernest Whitehead, whose main position was at Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral. He was also a professor, a painter, and a philatelist of note. We corresponded for the last ten years of his life. In the late ’60s, my wife and I drove from our home in the Blue Ridge of VA all the way to Amherst, NS, just to visit the gentleman. I was thrilled. You can google him for more about his works, musical & otherwise.

  16. Speaking of pornography (or were we?). Two kids broke into a shed that controlled the video on a billboard along 1-75 near the old Silverdome site. For about 25 minutes drivers saw something that would have led to very distracted driving! My first thought was “What is this world coming to?” but then it was “Wow if these kids are that smart, imagine what they could do to better society?”


  17. I can only think (and hope), he was using the leaf blower to create a Jacuzzi effect in the tub for Janis. Otherwise, Arlo, is a bit weirder than we’ve all given him credit for!!!!

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