BY JOSH CLARK
I was sitting in the back of my high school senior English class doodling in the margins of my notes when my teacher called on me. I did not hear her. She proceeded to call me out in front of the class with several remarks, the most notable of which was: “Doodling is never going to take you anywhere.” I remember assuring her that the story of the knight from “The Canterbury Tales” would never take me anywhere either. As I sat out in the hallway, I put no thought into whether or not one of our statements would become increasingly ironic.
With that being said, I never intended to be a cartoonist and especially not for four years. Much like Jennifer Lawrence on her way to receive an Oscar, I stumbled right into it. When I arrived at The University of Mississippi, my older brother was the news editor for the Daily Mississippian, and he told me they needed a cartoonist. I was not enthused about the idea, but eventually I agreed to give it a try.
Four years, five awards and 320 cartoons later I am graduating with a business management degree and leaving for the real world.
The years passed so fast, and it seemed like just yesterday I was the long-haired freshman whose mug shot in the Daily Mississippian showed me doing a bad rendition of Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in “Risky Business” (seriously, underwear and all).
I must admit that my views about being the cartoonist have been fickle over the years, and I swore I was going to quit at least a hundred times.
Those threats proved to be as empty as Houston Nutt’s resume.
Now, as graduation approaches, I realize that I am going to miss cartooning about politicians, student athletes and my professors. I will miss drawing Obama’s ears and Dan Mullen’s blank expression. I will miss throwing gas on the fire that is the mascot debate. I will miss trying to make a cartoon of some type of inspiration after a national or local tragedy. I will miss spending my Sunday evenings in the fall cartooning about the previous day’s football game. I will miss my friends asking for a cameo in my cartoons. Perhaps most of all I will miss opening the front page of The Daily Mississippian and seeing my work.
However, I did not write my first-ever column to become nostalgic or even to attempt to make you laugh one last time. I wrote this column to thank you.
Thank you for reading my comics, for giving me good suggestions for my next cartoon, for giving me really bad suggestions for my next cartoon, for telling me which ones were your favorites, for laughing with me, for bearing with me through the days with no news and even for sending spiteful letters to the editor.
I have thoroughly enjoyed it all and consider myself blessed for the experience.
I hope that you did not take the satire or jokes too seriously and that I was able to make you laugh.
That is all I ever intended to do.