Molarity Classic 145-149

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Are all these strips about sex and death? You be the judge. Check out strips 140-144 of the popular comic Molarity, which previewed in The Observer in 1977.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

145. I have been told that all my material ultimately comes down to two subjects: sex and death. Sure, why not?

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

146. This strip introduces Dion to the Molarity world. I was looking for the right mix for the fourth roommate. Earlier attempts with Doug, the ROTC, never really gave me material. In The Observer, Olympic star Wilma Rudolph spoke before a group at the Black Cultural Arts Festival. In the last home game of the season, seniors Bruce Flowers and Bill Laimbeer led the basketball team to victory over East Carolina, 89-72.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

147. Dion was all about an elitism I encountered at Notre Dame. It was an elitism that was not isolated to one political view or another. He completed the core gang of roommates. Even though his style was influenced by some of my gay friends at ND, he was not gay, despite some assumptions made.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

148. Some said this was my most “powerful” cartoon, with Jim Mole expressing how the students feel they are being treated. In the final panel he is seen talking to a brick wall. I guess it was not all sex and death. It takes a while before students catch on that they are at ND for only four years. Administrations can outlast them every time.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

149. As regular readers may know, the current New Yorker cartoonist, Pat Byrnes, was the main other cartoonist during my run at The Observer. (At this time there was also an occasional strip called Noddy by Jim Canavan. Later there would be Simon by Jeb Cashin.) If the influence of Garry Trudeau was seen in my cartoons, Gahan Wilson’s influence was seen in Pat’s single-panel cartoons. I believe his napalm series began with “Cupid with Napalm” and went from there. Pat would occasionally get full page spreads with titles like “The Nuclear Page.” Catch up with Pat at captaindad.org (By the way, my cartoon in this paper ran in the wrong order too!!!!!)


See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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