When Pepper Spray Isn’t Available

From August of 2014, a bit of survival advice. There is a momentous anniversary coming up. On Saturday, July 29, Arlo & Janis will be 34 years old. I am of two minds when it comes to observing such milestones. Of course I feel fortunate to have drawn, for most of my adult life, a successful newspaper comic strip in what is a very competitive field. Who could ask for more? However, older strips often are written off de facto as irrelevant and past their prime. I will admit, it doesn’t get any easier, but I do strive to keep the strip consistently worth your while. This may come as a shock, but cartoonists are human beings. Real-life distractions are the same for them as for anyone. It seems I have had my fair share of those lately, but I promise to keep doing the best I can for you. And thank you! Thank you for reading Arlo & Janis.

21 thoughts on “When Pepper Spray Isn’t Available”

  1. Wow. 34 years. That’s impressive when so many come and go. Congratulations. It got me thinking that Ludwig will be 27 in November. I haven’t seen many strips before he showed up (on 11/2). I think ’92 was when my paper started carrying A&J.

  2. You’re welcome! And you’re one of the best: as I have written before, as good as Red Skelton. You’ve learned so much over the years, that one supposes that your store of cartoon knowledge is rather uncountable. Nothing beats richness! And A&J themselves have developed from hippy yearnings to being a more mature American couple. But wow, those alligators. Or were they crocodiles?

  3. We find you more than relevant. That is funny strip today, as was yesterday’s. And so is retro.

    Thanks for continuing the strip and getting better with age, like a good wine.

  4. I will be married 37 years on July 31st and our son was 2 years old when you started. I can’t remember when I started reading your strip, but I would assume that it was 1990 or even before. Too many peeks in our windows to count. It quickly became a favorite.

    Not to be personal, but I don’t recall that you ever had children, which made creating the dynamic of Arlo, Janis & Gene kind of difficult. But you have mastered it.

    I found an interview from 2012 that reveals more about our “fearless leader”

    http://www.thecartoonists.ca/Index_files/2012pages/TC%20-%20InterviewJimmyJohnson.htm

  5. Robert B. Parker can’t be wrong when it comes to comic strips. I only read three: yours, Non-Sequitur, and Calvin and Hobbs. The list of comics is endless. I actually see newspaper comics about once every six months. None of them are funny to me. I must be getting old.

  6. I only read two strips I follow anymore, Arlo and Janis and Monty.

    In 1985 I lived in Houston and read Houston Chronicle which I am pretty certain carried A and J. I remember not liking the strip, dismissing it as a “cute kid with big mouth” family strip.

    When Arlo started “sailing” I was reading it and continued reading until I moved to Oklahoma in 1996. Switched to Tulsa World who didn’t carry it but discovered Yahoo comics about 2009 when our little dark hole acquired internet. Started reading again and found the blog later, the ONLY non-boating group I have ever been involved with until this year!

  7. The first A&J strip I remember reading was a Sunday comic in which Arlo chases Ludwig off the dining room table saying something like “I told you to stay off the table when we have guests”, looks shyly at a guest and than says “I mean, I told you to stay off the table.” I was hooked from the start.

    Although Arlo & Janis is my favorite strip,like many other Villagers, I still enjoy Calvin and Hobbs. For those fans, I would recommend a another strip- Wallace the Brave. It’s relatively new and looks at life through the eyes of a typical young boy. It is clearly inspired by Calvin and Hobbs and features whimsical art and solid gags.

  8. The best part of this comic strip is that it truly reflects our thoughts and actions. We can all relate to something that we have either thought, said or done, that shows up on this comic strip. Keep doing what you do as long as you are having fun doing it. You are indeed a genius!

  9. I think I’ve been reading for 20 years – started when I found you on my computer in my office – since I was self employed and it was MY office – I didn’t mind that I read A & J every day! – Now I’ve been retired 11 years, still my computer, still my office (but now at home), still reading (and enjoying) A & J. Congrats on 34 years – and thanks for the last 20!

  10. I’ve been reading Arlo and Janis for about 20 years too. You know there is something more than just ink on a page when we keep at it with you, Jimmy. Thank you for what you have given us and shared with us during that time.

  11. I started reading your strip daily when it debuted in the Chicago Sun-Times years ago. I’ve read it on line for years now, and this site too. I don’t miss any. You get the most ‘LIKES’ on Go Comics for good reason. You hit my life so often that I think you must know me. Today’s strip is another that happens weekly with my Lady. It’s great to believe that my life is so popular with your readers! Being delusional is one of my hobbies.

  12. We see ourselves over and over here. No other comic does that for me. I saw Ghost and I in almost all recently but then I am obviously Janis and he Arlo?

  13. My local paper began carrying it in the summer of 1986, and I have been a faithful reader since.

    My son was born 09.30.86, and Gene and he grew up together.

  14. My wife and I just celebrated our 35th anniversary. I remember reading A&J in our Halifax, NS newspaper in the early days of our marriage, say around 1986, so it was still a new strip then. For some reason, our paper dropped the strip after a few years but hooray for the internet. Arlo and Janis have been a daily part of my life for decades now.

    Happy anniversary, Jimmy.

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