The case of the missing Observers.
280. To digitally restore the old Molarity cartoons, I work from photocopies I made prior to submission. The originals, which I did on a letter sized sheet of paper in profile format, have been marked up in blue and/or cut up as part of the ancient printing process for the Observer and for the original books. I scan the photocopies and adjust the brightness and contrast as circa 1980 copies were poor at rendering black. Then I copy the top panels and bottom panels into a Photoshop master file to create the horizontal format you have seen. I redraw the outline to make it consistent, white out smudges, pencil lines, and correct the spelling. Sometimes I have to blacken in large areas where the old photocopy reflected the black as white. To see this process, “like” Jim Mole on Facebook.
281. Since seeing the cartoon in print was always a charge, I saved a copy of each Observer for my records. It is from that collection that I have been able to recreate the original order and give you tidbits of contemporary trivia in these written explanations. The year I was in Rome, I could not do that, so my collection of Observers were a stack of checking copies I rescued from the trash that were used to make sure the advertisers were billed. But as that set was incomplete, I had to reconstruct this year with occasional gaps in the publication which forces me to fill in narrative for the occasional cartoon… like this one and the previous one.
282. This week’s Observers featured reviews of new albums by Linda Ronstadt (Mad Love_) and the Ramones (_End of the Century) and of the Jazz Festival at Stepan Center that featured Billy Taylor, Herb Ellis and Tony Williams.
283. The Doonesbury cartoon appearing below this Molarity (yes, below) featured Mike Doonesbury working on the ill-fated John Anderson Republican primary campaign. Anderson would later run as a third party candidate against Carter and Reagan.
284. This was my annual shoutout to my teammates on the fencing team. In sports, this week’s Observers featured an article about how Dan Devine really cares; fencer newcomer, Liz Bathon ’80, who placed third in the Great Lakes tournament; and how even in late March Cartier field was too frozen to use for football drills.
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.