Who hasn’t been there? Some rando develops a crush on you and, instead of being flattered or kind, you’re annoyed and embarrassed. Because you’re just too good for the rando, right? He or she has no feelings worthy of your monarchical consideration, the damned lowly peasant. How dare, etc.?
Of course, when you’re the rejected rando, How dare becomes What, ME?!
As you get to know the strip and its inhabitants, you’ll see the relationship between Jeri and Johnson evolve in very surprising ways (with a few Shakespearean twists and turns, as the Bard was wont to do. Steal from the best is just one proven technique for writers and artists. He certainly did).
A bit about Johnson’s name: I credit my husband – and Darryl Strawberry. Early in the strip’s life, he (my husband, not the storied slugger) and I were on our daily walk and we were kicking around the introduction of a new character as a love interest for Jeri. I wanted to come up with a name that conveyed nerdy niceness and settled on Johnson, the added “son” being fussy and a little pretentious. But somewhere in the back of my mind, because I’m certainly no sports fan, Darryl Strawberry kept surfacing. Apologies to the great ball player, but his name always struck me as absurd on a 6’ 6” giant professional athlete who scared the cleats off his opponents. And his middle name is Eugene!
Then I thought, clever move, man! It’s like naming your Doberman “Sponge Cake”. So, in the course of that walk, on a beautiful Autumn day in New Hampshire, Ro picked up one of the millions of pinecones cluttering the streets and lawns and said, “How about this?”
Perfect. Johnson Pinecone was born. Does he hit it out of the park, Darryl-style?
To paraphrase The Bard: Does nerdy make the end of it? Read on!