IF: highlight

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This week’s Illustration Friday challenge word is “highlight”.

When I was a kid in the early 1960s, a trip to the family doctor was a dreaded thing. I did my best to hide every sniffle or stomachache, lest I be subjected to some poking and prodding from that creepy, bespectacled guy with the stethoscope around his neck and the unnaturally cold hands. A hard tongue depressor down the throat or the possibility of some sort of needle didn’t add favorably to the experience. The only glimmer of joy involved with a doctor’s visit was the promise of a few minutes perusing the pages of Highlights for Children.

While my mom thumbed through an old issue of Good Housekeeping  or Redbook,  I would eagerly select a copy of Highlights for Children  from several strewn across a low table in the waiting room. Then, I would happily bide my time trying to figure out “what’s wrong with this picture” in a drawing on the back cover. Inside, the issue was jammed with jokes and riddles, a page of hidden objects camouflaged throughout a jungle scene, the continuing adventures of the oddly-drawn Timbertoes family and my favorite — Goofus and Gallant.

Goofus and Gallant were two young boys who offered lessons in manners and responsibility through their contrasting actions. As their descriptive names indicated, Goofus was the self-centered, selfish sneak with no consideration for family and classmates. Gallant was the cheerful, helpful little priss who regularly earned praise from adults and was often named “Teacher’s Pet”. The lessons that Goofus and Gallant taught in the 60s were geared toward completing homework or sharing your toys.

I haven’t seen an issue of Highlights for Children  in nearly four decades, as my wife usually took our son to the pediatrician when he was little. (He made it a point to get sick after I had already left for work.) I imagine the subject matter for Goofus and Gallant had to change with the times, while becoming more direct in its approach. Here’s how I envision Goofus and Gallant today…
Let's go to the highlights!

Click illustration  for a larger version.

A footnote to this post:
This time last year, I made a resolution to create one million illustrations in 2011.
I fell 999,851 short.




  1. I like illustrations based on glimpses back to childhood experience. Imagine the outrage in the doctor’s office though if Goofus nailed the dog to a wooden cross and snorted lines off Jesus’ ass.

  2. Oh that’s harsh. But okay funny. I remember Goofus and Gallant and now I want to find a Highlights and see if they’re still in there. I think your Goofus and Gallant are perhaps a few years older than the originals. At least I hope so…

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