Thank you!

September 11, 1986


The comic strip Arlo & Janis began life when it first appeared in newspapers 35 years ago today. I want to thank you, the readers, newspaper and online, for such a wonderful run so far. And I want to apologize for such a paltry celebration here. I had intended to make a much bigger production of the anniversary, but real-life events overtook me over the past few weeks. However, beginning today, I will show some older material here and repeat some of the stories from the early days. Meanwhile, in case you haven’t noticed, the current Arlo & Janis has been addressing the Big Three Five all this week. You can see it by clicking the GoComics link below. Or you could read it in your local newspaper. (What in the heck is wrong with little Gene’s hair?!)


41 thoughts on “Thank you!”

    • I, on the other hand do remember when I first read it – July 29, 1985 (yeah, OK, Jimmy’s helped me with the date the last few days – but I do recall reading the first strip.)

  1. Jimmy, how long has your blog been here on the net?

    I was in the radio business when A&J started and would have read it in the Nashville Tennessean.

    Thanks for the laughs, the deep thoughts the memories and more to come!

  2. Years and years ago I sent a box of some of the early strips as a Christmas gift. Wish I had rethought that! Still clipping though.

  3. Congratulations ! Still reading your strip in the local “funny papers”. If you ever get down this way, stop in and say hello!

  4. Re: today’s retro strip. I (like I’m sure many of you) also went to elementary, junior and senior high school all without air conditioning. That was here in Florida. School started after labor day back then so there weren’t as many weeks of 95 degree days as there are now in the school year. An effort was being made by the PTA to equip classrooms with air conditioning by holding fund raisers such as bake sales and spaghetti dinners. It took a lot of brownies and pasta to get one room cool but they did it AND it was always the grade rooms that I had completed the previous year.

    Since school started in September I never wrote August on an assignment. I don’t think I could spell August until I was 18 (OK, that is an exaggeration.)

  5. Just stopping in to say Happy Anniversary!

    I could swear I’d archived off a copy of that 2003 FrontPage site somewhere – but, like so many things, I can’t put my finger on it now. 🙂

    Peace,
    -McD

  6. Congratulations! I go back to the early days, whenever it first appeared in the Boston Globe. I bought the Globe for sports (remember them?) and comics, and read both sections thoroughly! I think the strip may be addictive. It’s certainly part of my day, every day. If I’ve missed a few strips over the years, it was probably due to, as you say, “real-life events.” As for celebrating, it’s fun to see the first installments. Just continuing to read A&J every day after 35 years is the best way of celebrating!

  7. I cannot recall when I first found A&J; wish I could. They’ve been the highlight of the comic page/site ever since.
    So happy you made Janis into such an attractive figure (pun intended) rather than keep her initial appearance. Not to be one-sided, Arlo’s appearance has also improved vastly over the decades. Ludwig’s addition was a tremendous plus, JJ, for anyone who knows cats (whether or not loving same). Just saw the history of his name and how it applies to his function: something to help A&J keep in touch with civil reality…as his eponym did for your dad.
    Keep ’em coming, Mayor; the Village will re-elect you this fall, I am sure!

  8. I started reading A&J back in May 1988 when I moved back to Texas. The Sherman Democrat carried it and I have been following it ever since. I switched to My Comics when newspapers started to shrink. I have loved Arlo and Janis view point on life. Keep up the great work. It is a highlight of each day that currently seems to have a lot of lowlights.

  9. I first saw A&J in the West Chester (PA) Daily Local (the paper that gave Dave Barry his start in the newspaper business) back in the around 1995. I can’t remember the exact date, but it was a Sunday comic: Arlo is shushing Luddie off the table saying “You’re not allowed on the kitchen table when there’s company”. Shortly thereafter came the Christmas Special “In the St. Nick of Time” and I was hooked.

    Thanks for 35 years of fun, philosophy, and peeking in our windows.

  10. Hi Jimmy,

    A question about Monday’s strip – Was that your cat making a cameo, or was Arlo covered in ink stains because he was giving Ludwig a Garfield stripe customization?

  11. Happy 35th anniversary to Arlo & Janis and thanks Jimmy for holding the mirror up to us for all this time! Look forward to the years to come with A&J!

  12. Between retro cartoons on the blog and having perused the on-line archive so many times, I am uncertain exactly how long I have been following A&J. It would have started from me seeing it in my local, small town, Deep South newspaper, where it has run for many years (and still does). From there I would have found my way to the old blog in the early 21st Century, and from it to the current blog. So, I’m guessing early to mid-nineties. However long it’s been, it’s been wonderfully entertaining. And that’s just from having met Jackie there! 😀
    Thanks for it all.

  13. In elementary school, each room had a long (ca. 8-10′) wooden window pole with a brass attachment in the shape of an inverted “L” at the top. The idea was to get the horizontal part of that shape into either a brass-lined socket in the window pane’s upper wooden edge or into a metal loop attached thereto. Then, one could raise or lower that pane. Upper panes were more difficult, as their upper edges were a lot higher and the holes/loops harder to hit.
    It WAS considered special to be asked to open/close the windows. [New York City, 1945-53]

  14. Thanks, Jimmy – and Village! – for the memories. Cannot remember when I first started following A & J, but it has been a fun-filled, and – at times – a sentimental journey.

    I look forward to all the good days to come!

  15. I do, occasionally, idly wonder what happened to the schooner Gus “sold” to Arlo and Janis.
    Here’s a theory. A casino corporation acquired the waterfront property where Gus’s restaurant was located and constructed a large casino on it, along with a 5-star hotel. Included in the project was a large marina for guests and locals to moor their luxe vessels. The schooner (also acquired by the corporation) is based there and is used by the casino to provide entertainment excursions out into the Gulf for its high rollers. (It has an all-female crew, of course). The schooner’s new name…”Daytripper”.

  16. Last night I wrote a heartfelt message only to have my Android phone turn off to update just before I sent it

    I must have read you in the 1980s in Houston in the Chronicle. I remember Gene with the goofy hair, Arlo’s snozzle and Janis’ insecurities. You were not my favorite strip then, smart aleck kids did not enchant me. Janis was annoying.

    But you persisted and got better. Your artwork and comic skills just continued growing and Gene grew up into a really decent hardworking young man somewhere Janis matured and Ludwig came to live with Arlo, his cat.

    It seems impossible 35 years have passed so fast. You created a family that I cannot imagine life without now. I wait up until midnight for the new strip just as I did tonight.

    Oh Jimmy, how you grew in those years! Thank you for consistently persisting to the mastery you have achieved.

    And thank you for Ghost who resembles Arlo more than one might imagine.

  17. If your strip was in the Chicago Sun-Times 35 years ago, I’ve been reading it daily since then. I started reading that paper at about 7 or 8 years old for the sports, White Sox baseball, that were headlined on the very back page, and the comics. Eventually expanding to the horoscopes as a teen, then the news as a draft eligible student in the city of Chicago in the late 1960s. The times today are somewhat reminiscent.

    I’ve often marveled at how much you/Arlo and I have in common. Maybe it’s just a ‘guy’ thing, but I think it’s not that alone. Regardless, you’ve entertained me for a very long time, starting my every day, and it is most appreciated. I’m not alone. You always get the most ‘Likes’ on GoComics.

    You have EARNED every accolade and praise you receive.

    CONGRATULATIONS! Here’s to both of us having another 35 years!

  18. “Half a ton of comic strips” put me in mind of a mechanic shop I used to bring parts to that had an attic full of somewhere around 20 years of paperwork (receipts and agreements for jobs, receipts for supplies, payroll, tax documents) for that shop as well as two or three other shops belonging to the same owner. One day the whole building cracked from the weight. Hope you’re keeping your originals somewhere safe.

  19. My husband and have enjoyed your cartoon for many years. It is art imitating life. My husband was definitely Arlo and I was a Janice. He passed away 3.5 years ago, after 45 years of marriage, but I still read you everyday and think of him and smile. Thank you

  20. The affection between Arlo and Janis just gives me a good feeling. I hope you feel like you doing good in the world by your work, because you are.

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