Winston by Johnny Sajem
Winston (29 December 1985)

Johnny Sajem is an American comics artist, who (co-)created the short-lived syndicated comic strips 'Seaweed' (1977-1981), 'The Evermores' (1982-1986) and 'Winston' (1985-1987).

He was born in 1937 in Barnesville, Georgia, and grew up in Atlanta. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Industrial Engineering. In January 1968 he became a corporate partner for the resources for Education and Management, a job he would fulfill until June 1993. Between May 1983 and June 1993 he was also the president and owner of Prints Charming, Inc. This company specialized in creating and printing custom T-shirt and sportswear designs. Sajem sold his first cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post in 1963. Between 1977 and 1981 he created 'Seaweed', a comic strip about fishes and other maritime creatures. In 1982 Sajem collaborated with cartoon legend Mort Walker who scripted the series 'The Evermores' (1982-1986) for him.

Seaweed by Johnny Sajem

'The Evermores' was a family comic and though it centered around the same father, mother and their children each episode was set in a different time period. Walker's initial idea was to show that all throughout the ages every family had problems comparable to modern families. His characters therefore appeared as cavemen, knights, pirates, cowboys, musketeers, ancient Egyptians... Though naturally anachronisms were included for extra laughs. Still, Walker quickly noticed readers didn't really like this constant changes. Some even had difficulty recognizing the cast in their different costumes. Having learned from past experiences with 'Beetle Bailey' Walker therefore looked for a more permanent setting. The newspaper organized a readers' poll to find out which historical time period pleased the general public the most? The end result was Ancient Rome and thus from that point on all episodes took place in that time period.

The Evermores (27 May 1985)

Sajem co-created 'Winston' (1985-1987), with writer Jim Burnett. The series revolved around a white bulldog, Winston, who wore a bowler hat, presumably as a wink to Winston Churchill. He lived together with a husband and wife and their black cat Garbonzo. In terms of design, Winston was similar to Jim Davis' 'Garfield' and the same could be said about the style of comedy. 'Winston' was distributed by News America Syndicate, before it eventually ended after two years.

Sajem has been a contributing gag writer for Guy Gilchrist on 'Mudpie', Jim Henson's 'The Muppets' and Ernie Bushmiller's 'Nancy' in the 1980s and 1990s. He furthermore wrote gags for Walt Disney's 'Donald Duck' newspaper strip when it was drawn by Larry Knighton (1990-1995). He has illustrated several children's books and management training books. In 1985, he started a screen printing company, Prints Charming, Inc., specializing in creating and printing custom T-shirt and sportswear designs. Sajem is furthermore the cartoonist for the official Atlanta Braves publication, Choptalk.

The Evermores (16 June 1982)

Series and books by Johnny Sajem in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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