By Kenneth Books, Managing EditorBeginning in this issue, the Patriot will feature the comic strip,“Jenny, the Military Spouse.” Written and drawn by Air Force wife Julie Negron, the strip follows the day-to-day life of a young woman thrust into unfamiliar surroundings as the new wife of a young Air Force lieutenant fresh out of flight school. She finds herself having to adjust to new surroundings, new terminology, new ways of doing things and a new breed of people—airmen and their spouses.
The strip is often found in so me unsuspected places. Look closely at the refrigerators in the Lifetime TV show “Army Wives” and you’ll see “Jenny” hanging there.Negron started her comic while her husband was stationed on Okinawa. According to an interview published Oct. 7, 2007, in Stars & Stripes, “Negron, a self-taught illustrator, started her drawing career creating editorial cartoons for an Oregon newspaper when an opening suddenly came up. The previous cartoonist had just died.
“I read about it in the paper,” she said sheepishly. “And I went down the very next day.” She was hired the same day after a brief interview. She worked at the paper for a couple of years, drawing cartoons on assignment. When Negron moved, she drew cartoons for the base newspapers wherever her husband was stationed.Inspiration for the strip comes from things that have actually happened to her as a military wife and from suggestions from readers. In addition to Jenny, the strip is populated by Cassie, a blonde, beautiful and somewhat bubbleheaded wife of a fighter pilot, Patty Lynn, the spouse club president with a near-psychic ability to obtain information before anyone else, Jenny’s husband, “DH,” a slightly nerdy and sometimes clueless foil.
According to Negron, Jenny will always and forever remain a new military spouse, childless, naive and often lonely for a husband whose service obligations frequently outweigh his marital ones. She’ll always be surprised by what she sees and what people say to her.And she’ll be in the Patriot every week from now on.
Sounds good to me! ~ j