Saturday, January 15, 2011


"Jump the Net" was a cartoon that appeared in thursday in 1978.  But that was not the first time I had drawn it; earlier versions were drawn when I was still in grade school.  I was a struggling artist in a high school that had no student newspaper, but we did have a mathematics classroom with a bulletin board, so that's where my comics ended up.

When I got to MIT, there were two student newspapers (three, if you counted Ergo), but I was more interested in the radio station.  I didn't show up at the thursday doorstep until Spring of my freshman year, and I wasn't even sure I wanted to draw cartoons when I could write record reviews for the Arts section.  The last cartoon to appear on the campus was Nuts and Screws, which appeared in the Tech and featured Ferd the Nerd.  But I had a huge backlog of material I'd drawn in high school, and I was game.  The problem was, it was all about high school, which didn't quite work with a readership that was already in college and in one of the toughest college environments in the country.

But some things are universal; ping-pong had been an instrument of diplomacy between the US and Red China, long before China had become an economic superpower.  So ping-pong was good subject matter for Stickles.  Here's the way it appeared in thursday.
Here's the way it appeared on that math class bulletin board.
And this is the way it looked when I first drew up the idea.  The medium of choice was a Flair pen on loose-leaf notebook paper.
Here's more ping-pong of the high school variety.
And one that combined the other MIT pastime - killing roaches...

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