December 21, 1993
Things have gotten back to normal in the current Arlo & Janis offerings, but we’re still rehashing the past here, particularly older strips involving son Gene and a young and precocious Mary Lou. Above is the first in a little one-week series that ran at Christmas, 1993, the same year Mary Lou was introduced; that would have been the beach series that reran in newspapers and on GoComics last week. (Try to keep up, now.) I was winging it when I wrote this. I always wing it, but the story revealed itself. Mary Lou’s father had sunk a lot into a little beach-front motel and was consumed with making a go of it. That would be, of course, Gus, who would go on to play a huge role in the strip in later years. Mary Lou’s mother, well… had issues. Mary Lou and an older sister were left basically to supervise themselves. Both the mother and the sister would retire to that nebulous place where inconvenient comic-strip characters go to disappear.