Once upon a time, there was a weekly magapaper in Dallas called The Met, and it was the best thing ever because I say it was. I worked there for a time. So did a bunch of other smart people who used the publication to learn journalism and writing the best way there is: by making mistakes. Lots of em.
After roughly six years in business, The Met in 2000 sold to the parent company of the Dallas Observer, which promptly shuttered it. The joke was on them, though, because if they’d waited a few months, the recession would have taken down The Met without any help.
In any case, I forget how this happened, but the noted novelist Dave Eggers (then not yet so very much noted), along with a buddy of his named Harmon Leon, created a cartoon for our magapaper called Cindy! I think maybe it was because all of us on staff started reading and copying Might, which Eggers had co-founded. A correspondence was established. Eggers and Leon drew Cindy! for maybe six months in 1995. I can’t give you the precise start and end dates because flipping through the old bound copies of The Met that I have stirs up a type of mold or dusty nose ghost to which I’m susceptible. I had to cut my research short for my own health. My throat is scratchy even as I type these words.
Maybe Cindy! was one of those mistakes we learned from. Or maybe we didn’t learn anything. I remember it being a lot funnier than I found it this afternoon as I flipped through the old copies. Judge for yourself.
Below are two randomly selected installments of Cindy! that I am reproducing here in flagrant violation of Eggers and Leon’s copyright. Perhaps Eggers will restrain his lawyers when I tell you that my excuse for republishing these cartoons is so that I might promote his appearance at Deep Vellum this Thursday. It’s being billed as “an intimate evening of reading and conversation from his latest book, The Every.” It’s a ticketed event. You should consider buying one. Thirty dollars is a small price to pay for intimacy.