Not Reality - May 1993

Not Reality

I'd like to think that the 1992-1993 season of the Hartland Eagle was the greatest year in the school newspaper's history, at least from a cartoon perspective. I highly doubt that Hartland High School had a better combination of writing and drawing talent on the newspaper staff any time before or since. I know that sounds arrogant, but I don't mean it to be -- just honest. (Well, did your high school newspaper have anything like Not Reality or Dessins? I rest my case.)

Jon's writer's block shown in this cartoon is more literal than you may guess. It was the end of the school year, and Jon had a bad case of senioritis. With the newspaper deadline looming, I swung into action and hastily threw together a script. Indeed, of all the Not Reality comics, this is the only one which I both wrote and illustrated (a fact which I make subtle references to throughout this cartoon). For the most part, however, this was our little secret and we let everyone at school believe that Jon wrote the script. (Well, why not?)

The girl in the seventh panel who gushes "The artist must be a genius!" is actually a caricature of Melissa B., whom I had a crush on at the time. As I recall, this line was the only nice thing she ever said to me -- which is pathetic, considering that I wrote it myself. This was, however, typical of my one-sided adolescent infatuations. Thank goodness those awkward days are over -- happily married am I!

There is a pun in this cartoon, which I didn't quite succeed at pulling off. I tried to extract some feeble humor from the word else and the name Else (a variant of Elsie). In hindsight, I think the reference might have been too obscure, as the only person I know of who spells her name like that is Else Holmelund Minarik, author of the Little Bear series of children's books.

And thus with this (admittedly weak) ending, the Not Reality saga drew to a close, at least officially. From time to time in our post-high-school days, Jon would write up a new NR script and show it to me, but I never did get around to drawing one. Although it was fun while it lasted, Jon and I have happily moved on to bigger and better projects.

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