Arnold (comic strip)
|Current status / schedule||Ended|
|Launch date||December 1982|
|End date||April 1988|
|Syndicate(s)||Field Enterprises (1982–84)
News America Syndicate (1984–87)
North America Syndicate (1987–88)
Arnold was a syndicated comic strip by Kevin McCormick that ran at its height in 56 newspapers, including the LA Times and the Detroit Free Press, from 1982 through 1988. The strip was characterized by an off-beat sense of humor and random interjections by the title character, Arnold.
The main characters were Arnold Melville, a strange, volatile child; Tommy Jordan, his well-meaning but clueless friend; and Mr. Lester, Arnold and Tommy's schoolteacher.
Arnold often yelled "AIEEE" at random moments, and both characters had run-ins with the school cafeteria ladies—specifically Arnold, who referred to mayonnaise as "WHITE DEATH" at the top of his lungs. Tommy had a particular aversion to "wet bread", occasionally brought a thinly veiled Christian attitude to his reactions to the other characters, and would often walk away from his football coach wearing his helmet backwards, as apparently the coach did not think much of Tommy's suggestions.
Toward the end of the run, a baby brother to Arnold, named Sid, was born. Sid frequently grabbed hold of others by holding on with his mouth.
In the last strip, a giant bird grabbed Arnold and flew off with him. Kevin McCormick wrote to the fans of the strip in Detroit Free Press, "I was extremely gratified and happy to receive all the letters from Free Press readers concerning the demise of Arnold. I even had second thoughts. But, alas, it was too late. The gigantic bird had already swallowed."
- Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924–1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.
- Interview with Kevin McCormick, Baking the Baker, Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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