Monday, April 4, 2022


johnny optimism, medical, humor, sick, jokes, boy, wheelchair, doctors, hospital, stilton jarlsberg, comatose, paralyzed guy, Kathy, cancer, hiatus

And speaking of comas, I'd like to finally welcome everyone back to Johnny's world after a long and unhappy hiatus. Just after Christmas 2021, I took my wife Kathy to a standard medical appointment related to her ongoing leukemia therapy.  Unfortunately, the appointment turned out not to be so "standard" after all and she was immediately admitted to the hospital for more months of brutal chemotherapy...which failed.

When there was no more medical hope, Kathy and I moved to a hospice facility (I'd been living with her in the hospital and continued living with her in hospice) where she died 15 days later.

"Well!" some people might say, "Making fun of sick people isn't so funny NOW, is it?"

And my answer would be that I'm NOT "making fun of sick people" and never have been. Rather, I'm commenting on the sad fact that we're all largely helpless when Life chooses to beat the living snot out of us, but we can laugh a bit just to keep our sanity and bedevil the forces which attack us.

From that perspective, making fun of Life's cruelty and celebrating our sometimes feckless efforts to cope is still about as funny as it ever was...and so Johnny Optimism is here to stay.

For years I tried to avoid jokes related to cancer because I didn't feel I had the right to go there - I hadn't personally paid the dues. Now I have, in spades, so even that sad topic is on the table now. Because I want to mock cancer and laugh at it as an act of defiance. I want to celebrate the people (most certainly including readers here) who may be seriously ill but hang on to their sense of humor like a life preserver. 

And yes, Kathy gave me approval to move forward in this direction. She was my perfect woman and soulmate and I miss her terribly. Mocking illness, death, and hospital protocol is my odd way of trying to heal.

During the past weeks, I posted a couple of Johnny Cartoons on my other blog,, and just to get everything tidied up I'm copying those cartoons below. Moving forward I'll try to supply fresh cartoons on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday again - and hope you'll join us here!  -Stilton