Aby-a-Day – August 4: Junk Mail (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today’s cartoon is a bit unorthodox, as it not only doesn’t include an Abyssinian, but it doesn’t even include a cat! However, the reason for its posting will become clear in the next few days’ posts.


On the left is a cartoon drawn in 1990 by my friend Björn Hellqvist. The one on the right was drawn by me around the same time. But I’ll let Björn explain it: “To elaborate further, let me tell you how it came to be that a girl in California and a guy in Sweden got in touch in 1992. Back then, both of us were active in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). We both drew cartoons, I for my local newsletter, Koshka for both her local newsletter and the society-wide quarterly, “Tournaments Illuminated” (TI). In 1990, I drew a cartoon based on a pun, and had it published in the local newsletter. A couple of years later, I was surprised to see the same pun repeated in TI. Looking closer, I saw that the new cartoon was drawn in 1990. The artist’s name and address was published in the back of the magazine, so I made a photocopy of my cartoon and sent it to her together with a letter. She replied, and by comparing notes, we concluded that we had drawn our respective cartoons within a three-week period back in 1990. We got along really well, and started writing each other, sending letters, photos, small gifts, etc. After a couple of years, we had our first phone call, and in 2000, Koshka came to Sweden and visited me and my then-partner for a week. We’ve kept in touch through the years, sometimes a bit too long between a few occasions, but always coming back for each other. We have both gone through some rough spots in our relationships with others, and when Koshka needed to chat a couple of months ago, she confessed that she had been secretly in love with me since her visit 15 years ago. I was surprised, but then realized that she was more than a friend to me, too. We want to live together, so she has filed for divorce and applied for a Swedish residency permit (similar to a green card). We are engaged, and will marry next year. Last week, I visited her for five days in Boston, and we just further confirmed that we are intended for each other. So, it started with a pun, but got serious eventually. Yet, we still laugh a lot together, and that is something central to our relation, together with love, honesty and respect.”

So. Here’s the 25-year-old cartoon that’s led to a fairly epic tale that will be unfolding here on my blog as well as in real life.