Safety in Slumbers

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I’m going to be trying something different next year. I’m going to attend a few carefully chosen “comic cons,” or comics conventions. I’m already booked into the Vermont Comic Con in Burlington, Vermont, next August. I might be in Boston a couple of weeks before that. That’s right. I’m finally going to make it to New England. It’s been a long long time since I was there last, and I’m looking forward to it. I hope to make a half dozen or so such events in 2016, so check back on that. There was a time when a cartoonist such as myself could lock himself in the spare room and make a decent living. That day is coming to an end. Marketing and promotion will be the new reality. I’ve never been strong in those areas, but I’m willing, even eager, to learn. I am looking forward to embracing my readers in person. Well, handshakes all around, at least.

98 responses to “Safety in Slumbers”

  1. You’ll do fine. People just want to (imagine that) they have a personal connection with something they care about. You’re way ahead of the game, Jimmy, having been on the web for so long. Hope I can get to one of your New England visits!

  2. If you make it to Dallas, I might just have to travel down there!

    A&J has never had much presence in Texas, alas. There are several comic festivals in the Lone Star State, but they wouldn’t be at the top of my A list. With the Web, though, one never knows where the readers are. Thanks for your willingness to consider the drive! — JJ

  3. Well, if you ever come to Michigan, I can offer a nice home cooked meal. I have never attended a Comic con. One time I was working with the Detroit Free Press Marathon and helped them with their booth ant the Mini-Indy Half Marathon. Next door was a Star Wars convention. When I went out for a break, I saw dozens of people entering in full costume. I did go up to a guy in a Chewbacca costume and asked him if he thought he might break 2:00 at the race the next day. He just said: “grrrwaaaaaarggggh”

  4. we’ll do what promoting we can with our shirts. I’ve already explained to a couple of hiking / walking friends – best comic strip, no, it’s not in the lame Houston Chronicle. You can see it in the Fort Bend Herald or

  5. oh yeah, and Arlo, well, you didn’t just leave the house and have Janis wondering where you were? It’s not like you have a ball and chain, just to let her know you’re going out.

  6. Bemidji has an appropriate bldg./, the Sanford Ctr. [same Sanford as Sanford Health Bemidji, S.H. Fargo, Sioux Falls, etc.] Plenty of decent hotel space nearby. Bemidji Pioneer carries A&J, and also my monthly column.

    If there’s a mtg. here, I’d definitely go, and might go if it were in Mpls/St.Paul. I think the Star Tribune carries A&J.

    Peace, emb

  7. Ref today’s retro cartoon: “Never get out of the boat! I gotta remember, never get out of the boat!”

    Ref today’s real-time cartoon:

    Wooden floors – Hard and cold, not to mention the danger of splinters. (Although I have known a few who were “splinter-worthy”.)
    Ceramic tile floors – Harder and colder.
    Marble floors – Get real!
    Flagstone floors – Get out!
    Linoleum floors – Tacky. Just tacky.
    Regular carpet – Two words…rug burn.
    Plush deep pile carpet – Now you’re talking!

  8. Jimmy
    I see that you say A&J doesn’t have much presents in Texas. That surprises me since my tiny paper Mineral Wells Index carries it; though we are down to 4 days a week. so I have to resort to gocomics the other days. My day doesn’t seem the same if cant get mt A&J fix first thing

  9. For JJ to give us this means of seeing his work free of charge is rare and generous. The local wrapper does not have A & J and only one or two strips that I ever glance at. The whole concept of a daily newspaper seems to be on the way out and computer subscription is probably going to be the only way to go in the future.

  10. I remember twice a day mail delivery and the milkman, pharmacy and dry cleaners all made deliveries. I remember also party lines on the telephone and our phone number was Sunset followed by a 5 digit number.

  11. Question for those who have received the t-shirts: By what means were they delivered? USMail, UPS, drone, dogsled, or what? JJ wrote that mine shipped Dec. 10th, but nothing has yet arrived and today’s mail is already here.

  12. curmudgeon same problem here. Which would mean USPS, “lovingly” and accurately known as snail mail. Of course I live in a holler, on a hillside in Appalachia and my place can’t even be found with a GPS.

  13. Everything we’ve sent or had delivered by USPS in the last few weeks has been received quite promptly. Only reason I haven’t ordered our A&J shirts yet is that I want to be sure they won’t come while we’re away.

  14. JJ: Maybe you should tell us what a Comics.Con. is like. Most of us probably are not contemplating a cartoonist career. Is there much for T.C. Mits* to do, or see? How much does it cost to register or whatever? [Been to lots of mtgs. that would totally bore or mystify non-cognoscenti, and several that had little of interest for me, despite being sci., biol., or zool. mtgs.

    *The common man in the street. His wife, T.C. Wits, has kept her maiden name. They both look with disdain or concern / T.C. Wots.

    Peace, emb

  15. Boston! Be there! Aug 12-14. If you can come JJ, the welcome mat will be rolled out! Your New England fans would love to meet you. And btw, both the retro AND daily strips today are universal truths. Perfect. Well done. It’s like we hit the Daily Double.

  16. JJ, I’d be more uneasy — if that might describe you — about meeting you. I’m always awed, to the point of being tongue-tied, by people I admire. I’m a Dallas-area fan. Your being at the Dallas comic-con would be the only reason I would attend (but I’d enjoy people-watching, too).

  17. Bookworm, you will be just fine. I was shocked when a fan came up to my wife Marianne (an author) and seemed a bit tongue tied. I was shocked because neither of us thought that she had reached that status. But once I recognized her uneasiness, we both quickly asked a bunch of questions and I offered to take her picture with her favorite author. Then I turned around and asked if I could have my picture taken with her as “I have never met someone with such good taste”. You can tell by the blog here, that Jimmy is not too big for his britches and meeting him will not be a disappointment. You could even kid him about Auburn’s football team! He won’t get mad at you…I think.

  18. Jackie’s latest post on FB: I am sitting up in ICU AND HAVE MY TABLET and phone. Still wired to everything and have refused sugars, salt, carbonated beverages and things ???? I DON’T consume. I am being as fiesty, refusing to eat or drink things so nurses may not like me. My intent is to recover and pick up where I left off.

  19. Jimmy if you think you can get by shaking my hand you are mistaken. I get to hug and kiss anyone I like at boat shows so comic cons have to be just as laid back.

    Yep, I am going to Wooden Boat School in Maine. I have to come visit NH and VT too. Love, Jackie Monies

  20. When I saw all the male nurses thought I had perhaps indeed died and this was heaven. But no, they were all dressed in black but could have been biker heaven?

    This cardiac ICU is full of obesity in the staff and the only semi attractive one objected to my profanity and seems mainstream prude so not good hunting grounds, Ghost. They keep trying to feed me foods like sugars, offered me sausage, bacon omelet after I stated I did not eat fats, white carbs, sugars or canned foods, was a more or less organic vegetarian and disbetic.when my cardiologist retires I won’t be back here.I have two cardiologists in Tulsa already. Will just switch it all there.

  21. I think Siri’s been talking to Hal. If you want proof it’s all a conspiracy by the phones to make us look bad, just go to DamnYouAutocorrect and read what they’ve been up to. Be warned, the users are inserting quite a lot of bad language, just like listening to modern conversations.

  22. “Hello, Siri.”

    “Hello, Ghost.”

    “What does proofread mean?”

    “Proofread means…read and mark any errors.”

    “Thanks, [sounds like Mitch].”


  23. Ask for the cardiac diet, Jackie. They ought to know what that means. And if not, talk to your cardiologist. I’m sure he could explain he wants his patients getting better post-op, not worse!

  24. Catching up: As a lifelong insomniac, I learned early on about Santa (our habit of celebrating on December 24th instead of 25th also contributed). Oranges in the stockings were pretty consistent in my younger years. Those were to be squished and the juice drank via a section of candy cane stabbed through the skin. (PSA – Do NOT attempt this with commercially-made OJ – YUCK!)

    Days one and two of vacation were quiet – too quiet. My clerks have been keeping me posted on the daily non-doings of my replacements. I will be calling my boss tomorrow and cutting my vaction short, so I do not walk in Christmas morning to a disaster so complete I would want to quit on the spot. Bless their hearts, my people are doing everything they can to help reduce the workload, but some things are beyond their control.

  25. Lady Mindy, an early out from your vacation would probably be an excellent idea, for everyone concerned.

    Jackie, I won’t ask “What are you wearing right now”, but are you getting some good drugs? 🙂

  26. Jackie, just be thankful they allow you to have your tablet and phone; many ICUs will not. Apparently, they still believe the scene on “St. Elsewhere” when sumdood’s cordless phone caused sumotherdood’s power wheel chair to try to kill him was gospel.

  27. GR6 and Jackie, the hospital I work for prohibits staff from using personal cellphones and tablets in patient areas. Possibility of accidentally violating the HIPAA laws if you took a photo or recording that contained a patient’s image. Hospitals also now have their own wireless networks for various equipment, which outside gear might interfere with. Wouldn’t want somebody’s pacemaker to stop or change speeds just so you could check your texts, would you?

  28. Almost all my experiences as patient here, [nurses, MDs, whatever] have been positive. My primary MD is always enjoyable and wise. Surgeons I go to or would go to are good surgeons and good communicators. Most patients I deal w/ as a volunteer seem satisfied, except for those determined not to be satisfied.

  29. Will leave the comments about 1 MD unsaid – all others have been more than positive.

    What do you call the student that graduated at the bottom of his medical class –

    From last of Christmas Card
    They really should have had some of that Lip Balm – We can’t keep it on the shelf.
    Perfect stocking stuffer. You can order on line and have it delivered to your store.
    No delivery charge if you can’t find it elsewhere.

    If you do not find it or Your T.V. will not order it, let me know the address of the
    chicken house and I will send it there.

    Keep the Jackie reports coming.

    You are responsible for your own health care – keep at them Jackie
    I was going to say most – but ALL the hospitals I have had contact with try to accommodate
    the patient’s tastes and needs.

  30. Mark, I get the reasoning (patient safety), but it still puzzles me that, if there are documented serious problems, some hospitals strictly prohibit what others don’t seem to blink an eye at. And as far as cell phone cameras and HIPAA, I don’t think most hospitals apply that to visitors. Not that I blame them…I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to tell a new grandparent he or she couldn’t take photos of their progeny’s progeny.

  31. Hey, all us high school band/orchestra players were a close-knit group in Memphis in 1971. Most of us quit playing long ago, a few made it big (university posts and professional orchestras), and I’m among those who play with community groups that’ll have us. None of us were jocks, a few went into the military (and a few even played in military bands), and some are doctors. We even can claim (reluctantly) a lawyer or two.

    The one thing none of us were in high school was popular with the nonmusical folk. But we had more fun on our tours than they’d ever guess!

  32. Good morning Villagers…

    Just realized today is my husband’s 63rd birthday….I’ll leave him a note as I leave the house. So much going on now, prepping the hen house for the new ‘chicks’, and I’m going in Saturday to clean my packing room…so much for a couple of days off.

    And it’s going to rain the first of next week…arrrgghhhh. The hen house looks sterile, and will be when the ‘bomb’ is dropped Sunday…nothing lives or leaves when that is done. Then by the time they get all the chicks in, the place is trashed, mud, poop, feathers everywhere.

    Then I’m still trying to get in touch with the ACA’s Marketplace….arrgghhhh!!!!!

    Glad to read that Jackie is using profanity……good sign she is going into full recovery 🙂

    ya’ll have a blessed day

  33. Old Bear…..going to call Rachael at TV and see if she can order it…if not I’ll give you Regal Mills address, we don’t have a mail box at the hen house and all mail goes to The Boss’s Mill. I want to get that lip balm for him….hehehehe. Thanks, you’re a jewel.

  34. Oh, and The Boss did hand out a compliment to Marleen (she’s 67) and me….he called to check on us, find out production (192 cases)…..told him we’re fine, just us two old ladies here…..he added “and the ones I faith in”. 🙂

  35. I didn’t know comic cons had daily strip artists too. I thought they were all DC/Marvel type comix and movie fans. I always enjoy the pictures from these events. Some of the costumes are excellent.

  36. JJ, if you aren’t big in Texas, you are probably unheard of, except for me, in Louisiana. However, we did actually have a comic con here, in Bossier City, a couple of years ago that was hugely successful. People were waiting in lines for hours to get in. What better way to market than to go where the people are? The local paper, Shreveport Times, did take notice of the crowd and ran a big story on it the next day.

  37. My step-sister designs and engineers medical equipment and for the most part, cell phones and other electronic devices no longer have any issues with their equipment. The main reason many hospitals ban them is that the people using them can be obnoxious and inattentive.

    When my sister-in-law received her Liver/Kidney transplant, the family really tried to keep the extended family informed. What they ended up using was a private Facebook page. My brother or niece only needed to post once a day and everyone could send up prayers. They did send immediate family a text the day before she died, but basically announced her death via the site. That did not sit well with some extended, extended family, but I tried to explain that this was the easiest thing for the family.

  38. The shirts came yesterday late. Huzzah!!! I was worried about size being too small, but I have lost a whole size in the past 8 months. Even by better half likes them. Luddie to volunteer in at the Salvation Army last night, sports car today. STYLING!!! What looked like a hand written thanks on the receipt. You’re welcome.

  39. Well, I am going home a full day sooner than the earliest even suggested. The power of annoying behavior and nudity. I refused to wear the hospital gown that did nothing but rub my incisions and tangle all the wires and lines. I agreed they could put it over me like a sheet, I was not who was offended. I could walk down a street.

    So, I am still fighting the issue of healthy foods. There doesn’t seem to be a cardiac meal plan. I got a vegetarian omelette for breakfast with a half cup of cheese running out, I scraped as much cheese out as possible. A bottle of water and a green banana. I asked for a cup of vegetarian chowder and a basil chicken dish with aside of Brussel sprouts. The concept that I don’t eat potatoes and bread is foreign.

  40. Jackie, I was told some years ago that many surgeons don’t give post-op orders for cardiac or other “special” diets unless absolutely necessary, the theory being that the body needs nutrients and energy to heal in the days immediately following surgery. I’m not sure if that was true, but if so, it may explain your difficulty in getting the foods you want.

    They making you wear your sports bra so your boobs don’t pull your incisions open? 😉 Or is that just for when you get up?

  41. Jackie – too bad your hospital isn’t like one of our local chains. It’s run by 7th Day Adventists and their food is primarily vegetarian. (It used to be they served no meat at all.)

  42. Home now and on bed with The Adventure Dog who was so excited I came back that he bit some of my hair off. I ended up not having to wear the sports bras but yes, I was given instructions to bring them if over DD to keep incisions from pulling. I think they changed mind from when Instructions were written
    . They said carotid surgery was excluded.

    Wearing black crepe pajamas and a python printed handkerchief tunic for inquiring minds.

  43. My aunt’s mom is in the hospital. She broke her skin around her ankle last week, and the fear of another battle with MRSA has earned her a couple rounds of IV antibiotics. Awaiting results of bloodwork. If all looks good, she should be home tomorrow evening.

    Boss is annoyed my employees called me and ratted out my replacement. Told her I was more annoyed things were going so poorly, and I would be returning Sunday. She attempted to protest, but as she had just fired someone a bit earlier in the day (which I already knew – not that she knows that), she conceded it helped her out. She swears this won’t happen next year. It will, but who knows where any of us will be by then.

  44. Jackie, I know what a python is (and what a Python is), but I have no earthly clue what a “python printed handkerchief tunic” is. Of course, I make it a practice to avoid reptilian or reptilian-pattern clothing items.

    I carried a friend to an office visit with a neurosurgeon (one of the 10% who does actual brain surgery, as opposed to backs and necks) and noticed he was wearing python-skin cowboy boots…with yellow snake eyes on either sides of the boots’ toes. Someone told me years ago that most skull crackers are a bit crazy, from having to deal with the majority of their patients not surviving. Makes sense, I guess…if you need the services of one, you’re probably in lousy shape to begin with.

    Good to hear you made it home so quickly.

  45. Ghost:

    You’d not like a favorite sweatshirt, bought in late ’50s @ Am. Soc. Mammalogists [now in dictionary] mtg. Light yellow, green tree python on front, M, still fits.

    Peace, emb

  46. GR6, I have stood in an OR suite during an open skull procedure, creepy. The surgeon was probing the brain with electrodes and you could see the patients’ facial expressions changing. Left a lasting impression.

  47. Ok, a handkerchief tunic is one with multiple points on bottom edge that looks like edges of fabric folding down gracefully. In pajamas they would be sleeveless with a scoop neckline. The python print is quite realistic I was wearing it as a nightgown in hospital to annoy them and because of all the wires left off bottoms.

    Seem to have come home with cold?

  48. OK, Jackie, now I understand perfectly. 🙂 And, unfortunately, a hospital is a place where you can also get ill.

    sand, even creepier is when the patient is awake with the top of her cranium sawed off, so she can describe the sensations as the surgeon probes different areas of the brain. Shades of Hannibal Lecter.

  49. emb, green tree python and emerald tree boa are two of the most attractively colored and patterned snakes I have seen. I like the sound of that shirt. But I would not wear anything made of real reptile skin. I’ve had reptiles as pets and would no more wear anything made from them than I would any other companion animal.

    For those who don’t know what one looks like:

    The markings can also be yellow or white, stripes or spots.

  50. Mark:

    Both pretty snakes. Sweatshirt = painting that matches your python nicely. Painting shows the surface upper lip heat receptors more clearly, which is how I’ve long known it is the python, not the boa. Other marking details differ also.

    Boas’ heat receptors are covered by scales, but apparently work as well. Hope fellow Villagers enjoyed the photos and details as much as we do. Also, green = a seasonal color. Ho, Ho, Ho! Need an illustration of a red-tailed boa, or West Coast red-headed garter snake.

    Merry Christmas, emb

  51. Red-tailed boa; not a Christmasy red. These can grow big enough to be dangerous, and there are too many available for zoos to take off people’s hands. Same even more true for Indian and Burmese pythons. People release them in the wild; S. Florida has a resident population. No records of any killing kids yet, but it seems inevitable. Peace, emb,_Va%C5%88kovka,_Brno_(2).jpg

  52. Sand and Ghost, being one of those patients (twice) was not that bad except when they first stick needles in your skull. After that it is strange because you can tell what they’re doing although it doesn’t hurt. It is funny when they do it on a tv show like ER because it is nothing like what they show.

  53. It is creepy that someone with a remote control can make your body do things beyond your control. I can sympathize with someone who has had a stroke.

  54. Mark
    Thanks for the pictures

    Keep washing your hands if you have a cold – don’t spread them around your
    body, since you have invasion points in your body’s armor.
    Gentle Hugs

  55. Good morning Villagers….

    To quote Indiana Jones “I hate snakes.” 🙂 Love the emerald green one though, the color that is.

    Jackie’s home, and Old Bear has given good advice…..and be careful, remember you just had major surgery and it’ll take a while for the old Jackie to bounce back. Don’t over due anything. That’s what you are paying your minions for.

    I was on my insurance web site, on my account, noticed a little envelope in the upper right hand corner…ah ha, I thought….so I pounded out an email, got one back….are you ready…they said they would be in touch with me. hahahahahahaha, I’m going nuts over this bs.

    Mark, thanks for looking up the lip balm, there is a Rural King on the south side of Jasper, but we will be making our usual trek into True Value today….on paydays we go shopping and spend the Boss’s $….maybe, just maybe we’ll venture outside our routine and go to Rural King….I sure do want to get that balm for the Boss…..

    ya’ll have a blessed day…..

  56. If you’re in New England, I need to know it. I remember that you thought you would get here in the Book Tour. Now you’re coming, and, wisely, in the summer. Let us know and we’ll put you up and give you many strip possibilities!

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