The now long-gone, innocent humor of Mutt
& Jeff, Maggie & Jiggs (Bringing Up Father), Gasoline
Alley, etc. has been supplanted by Doonesbury
(political), Dilbert (industrial) and Zits
(generational), etc. I enjoy A&J daily and its innuendo
Times do change, Bob. You have no idea how much grief would rain down on my head if I were to depict Arlo and Janis throwing rolling pins and inflicting black eyes and cranial lumps upon one another. Not that I would want to depict such scenes. I prefer illustrating a healthier, happier marital relationship, which of course would include s-e-x. Indeed, it is possible to address that aspect of marriage more openly in comic strips than would have been in the past.
A huge majority of my readers appreciate this, judging by my mail, but I do receive complaints. Almost always, these communications point out that children read the comics. I know this, but I do believe that any child who is old enough to grasp what is going on in A&J will encounter much less wholesome material on television, in PG movies, in music, in advertising, almost anywhere. And any child too young to understand is not problematic.
Anyone knows who reads A&J regularly that I routinely decry what I perceive as the degradation of our culture. I probably have a lot more in common with those people who write to complain about the "adult" material in A&J than they would ever imagine. I certainly do have standards. I would not deliberately draw anything I thought would further coarsen public discourse. I know there are readers with a different idea of when that happens.
I read your comic first when I turn to the
comics section of my paper. I have always enjoyed it
because you have many funny references to things that seem
to parallel the lives of my wife, son, and me (father).
You could not have visited this Web site before the hair poll, because it did not exist. The hair poll was a publicity stunt, to introduce the Web site.
The Web site has nothing to do with United Media--distributors of Arlo and Janis--or anyone but me, the strip's creator. I alone create and maintain it to entertain and inform my readers, as a token of appreciation.
As I have explained before, the vast majority of readers voted for a slight modification of her current hair style or no change at all. The majority will was taken into account, as I am now trying to draw her hair with a little more natural fluidity and less rigidity, as in "saucepan." Yes, there was some misdirection. The narrow winner in the highly unscientific poll was adopted briefly for effect and abandoned. It was intended as a plot twist. I have apologized to those who took this as a personal insult, and I apologize to you and your family. I hope you will continue to enjoy A&J in the future.
I really like your A&J website. It's part of my morning routine. If you'd care to share more insights into the comics industry, I've always been curious whether the text is in your hand or if they use a computer to typeset it on top of your drawings. If it is your own hand, how do you (and all the other authors) keep it so neat? Thanks!
At last! An easy one! Thank you, Eric. Most comic-strip artists and I letter our work manually. I do have a font on my computer that is my handwriting which I use sometimes if an unusually long passage is required, but this is rare. I am not very good at lettering, quite frankly, and it isn't easy keeping it so neat, believe me!