Perhaps a Personal Day

Scholars of Arlo & Janis are excused from today’s post, because I’m going to tell a story many of you know already. Hey, it’s Friday! I was reminded of this bit of trivia in round-about fashion by the title of today’s post. What is the family name of Arlo and Janis? It’s “Day.” Why Day? Well, the working title of Arlo & Janis, before it actually launched in newspapers, was (drum roll, please) Arlo & Janis. However, my new handlers at United Media in New York City felt we could come up with something more clever than that. Folks at the syndicate put their heads together and suggested I name the family “Day,” and we could call my new feature Day by Day. I wasn’t crazy about it, but what did I know? I only created, wrote and drew the thing. I said, “OK.” But an anonymous researcher in the bowels of the United Media offices, which were then in the Met Life Building in midtown Manhattan (Ah, the glory days!), found that there was a defunct newspaper column out there entitled Day to Day. Now, newspaper syndicates are nothing if not timid, and it was feared the risk of a legal dust-up was too great. It was decided, “What th’ heck? Let’s just call it Arlo & Janis.” I was glad. The name Day stuck, for some reason, although I have never been fond of it. Perhaps we should have a contest: give Arlo & Janis a new surname!

41 thoughts on “Perhaps a Personal Day”

  1. I like “Johnson.” That way Janis could be Janis Johnson, which surfs within an inch of what I believe to be her inspiration, Janis Joplin. And Arlo? Well, AJ and JJ aren’t that far apart, are they? And Jimmy, stop peeking in our windows! I don’t mind, but Kathy is a bit on the shy side. Thanks for your genius. Best regards.

  2. One morning some years ago, when I was still at the Skunk Works, I found myself speaking on the telephone with a nice lady named…Janis Day. I successfully fought off the urge to ask, “How’s Arlo?” I’m still not sure if I was more afraid that she wouldn’t get the reference or that she would.

  3. New surname?? Hmmmmm. I would stick with a version of Day. The first thing that came to mind was Dayton. But then online, I found Dayland, Dayworthy and Daywell – all off which have some “meaning”. What else can the tribe come up with?

  4. Some things are best left unnamed. “Arlo and Janis” allows us to maintain whatever regional, family experience and background that we bring to the table. It also allows to feel as if we know them on a first name basis, so they have become our friends. Please do not change a good thing.

    • I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I have never emphasized the name “Day” and grit my teeth when I must. I can’t imagine changing this approach regardless of their surname. I did think it might be a fun exercise.

  5. Nice job with the Day & Night puns, guys. Daysail sounds too much like Diesel, JJ. To continue the wordplay, I guess if they ever split up, their name could be Daybreak. But that’s never gonna happen, right?!

  6. I suppose you could go with something theme related like Hendrix or Morrison.
    Or you can go off the board with the likes of Schimmelpfennig or Macadangdang.

  7. “Daysail,” said some editor, would be too forced—or so I imagine. What about Grimsley? 🙂 Nah, that’s taken— Young? Too related to another famous comic couple—gee, this is tough! One comic strip artist named his characters after his friends’ names—

  8. Now, to be scholarly, is it “Arlo & Janis” as Jimmy types here and in the “About” section at GoComics, or is it “Arlo and Janis” as GoComics tout it? I’m serious! For once—

    • In the past, I preferred “Arlo and Janis” when referring to the feature; over the years, I have come to prefer the ampersand version, “Arlo & Janis.” I’m not sure why, but I think it might have had something to do with the blog. When I refer to the characters themselves, I write “Arlo and Janis,” but to distinquish when I am referring to the feature, it’s “Arlo & Janis.” Plus, the ampersand was a better choice when I redesigned the logo a few years back.

  9. Beats me, but G&S is preferred, or Gilbert & Sullivan, rather than Gilbert and Sullivan.
    Of those who have visited the UK, how many have seen Belgrave Square and Seven Dials? [Iolanthe, Act I, “Blue blood.”]
    Peace,

  10. You could call them the Chadwells. (In joke. It’s the name Ted Forth of Sally Forth defaults to whenever he wants to start over with a new life and a new name.)

  11. I don’t remember the last time work was directly mentioned here, so, alternatively, Arlo and Janis had cartoon jobs at two cartoon multinational corporations that outsourced their jobs to Mumbai. Fortunately, they were both offered great cartoon severance packages, including cartoon bonuses and continued cartoon healthcare coverage until they reach Medicare age. Also, they met a cartoon multimillionaire on the coast (a customer of Meg’s Eggs) who made them a cartoon offer on the cartoon schooner, providing them with a nice cartoon nest-egg that will allow them to live quite comfortably until they begin to tap the cartoon 401(k) monies they rolled over into cartoon mutual fund IRAs. The four hundred thousand cartoon dollars they won on the Louisiana state lottery ticket they bought while visiting New Orleans didn’t hurt, either.
    Ain’t cartoon life great?

  12. For whatever reason, I’ve always liked surnames containing more than one “word”. Two which come to mind are (from the basketball family of 1950-2005) “van Breda Kolff” and from the Prussian statesman of 1750-1830 era who had three given names, the title “Reichsfreiherr”, and the surname “von und zum Stein”. [some write “vom”] It may have taken a while to sign documents.

    More to the point here, please omit from consideration all names from pop culture of the past 65 years…just my preference.

    • Some of the pop culture referenced was a little more popular when the strip starred a younger cast. Arlo (Guthrie), Janis (Joplin), Eugene (McCarthy) would all be excluded. Ludwig has an old soul, though. If the rhythm of a staccato name or just the short wordspace is a consideration, maybe Bach or Gluck could strike a chord in a small space.

  13. Yes, I like “Day”, too. It has a bright and happy feeling, and brings to mind a basic unit of life. Years ago, I think Jimmy was testing us or taking guesses on their last name, and I guessed “Daley”– which wouldn’t have been a bad choice, either! (I think Jimmy connected it to his daily deadline, while I had been inspired by the frequency with which I read A&J… two sides of the same coin!)

  14. Re 8-11-19 real-time cartoon: Pro tip for Janis – If you hear the thunder, it’s because the lightning has already missed you.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting a hug, of course.

  15. Exceptionally hot today in Tulsa, so didn’t go anywhere. Got a few things done around the apartment. Cleaning, and so forth. Got my inexpensive security cam set up to watch my car. The $20 camera is much cheaper than repairs or replacing stolen items. Look up Wyze cam. Same company also now makes door, window and motion sensors that connect to the camera to make up your own security system. It’s controlled from an app on your smartphone.

  16. I am terrified of storms. Now I mostly sleep through them since Ghost is here. He definitely sleeps usually. Storms don’t seem to frighten him.

    Maybe I can do that for a hug?

  17. Keeping up with my reference to a different family comic…. maybe Arlo could be related to Toni Daytona. A distant cousin, I’d say.

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