Throwback Thursday

The cover of VeloNews, Vol. 18, No. 3, March 10, 1989, the first issue to contain an O'Grady cartoon.

The cover of VeloNews, Vol. 18, No. 3, March 10, 1989, the first issue to contain an O’Grady cartoon.

As I was dozing off last night it struck me that I missed an anniversary of sorts last month.

On March 10, 1989, I drew my first cartoon for VeloNews.

Good God awmighty. Have I really been cracking lame bike jokes for more than 25 years?


And my, how times have changed.

In 1989, I was still a real journalist (kinda, sorta) instead of a free-lance rumormonger, flailing away in a series of unsung editorial capacities for The New Mexican in Santa Fe, periodically shifting to a new desk in the newsroom as I wore out my welcome at the old one.

The VeloNews thing was my first real free-lance gig. I had applied for a job there, as managing editor, and happily for everyone concerned, I didn’t get it. But management liked the cartoons, and you know the rest.

Himself, in all his (ahem) glory.

Himself, in all his (ahem) glory.

Then as now, I drew in pencil, pen and ink, on Bristol board. But the ’toons were in black and white, and the originals FedExed from Santa Fe to Boulder.

At some point I scored a Mac SE, a 2400-baud Hayes modem, and an AOL account. But the early Innertubes were ill-equipped for transmitting the Old Guy Who Gets Fat In Winter from Santa Fe to Boulder, even in black and white, though VeloNews soon set up a BBS for catching incoming stories and was one of the early pioneers homesteading the World Wide Web.

I don’t draw for Velo, the slick successor to VeloNews. But I still do my “Shop Talk” strip for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. And those bad boys are digitized, colorized and shot through the Innertubes like ICBMs (Intercontinental Burlesque Missiles) to Laguna Hills, California, along with my “Mad Dog Unleashed” column.

All of which means I can have an editor mumbling, “Aw, f’chrissakes, lookit this fuggin’ thing,” in seconds instead of days.


"Shop Talk," the strip I do for BRAIN. Mostly it features the Mud Stud and Dude; occasionally, the Fat Guy and other characters appear.

“Shop Talk,” the strip I do for BRAIN. Mostly it features the Mud Stud and Dude; occasionally, the Fat Guy and other characters appear.

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24 Responses to “Throwback Thursday”

  1. Doug Glondeniz Says:

    I miss getting my regular dose of your ‘toons. I was hooked on the Fat Guy stuff. Anyway, Happy Belated Anniversary !

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I keep meaning to post more ‘toons here, Doug, but somehow it never quite gets done. I’ll try to do better in future. It’s not like I have to beg anyone for permission to reprint (unless you count the voices in my head).

  2. sharon Says:

    That reminds me I need to go to Amazon and buy a copy of your cartoons. I feel bad though that the author will not get a cut this time around. But I’ll buy the next installment directly from the source. BTW, might be some funny stuff coming from new LA testimony.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Not to worry, Sharon. I made a buck or two off the thing; enough to pay back the advance, anyway.

      Old Whatsisface just can’t seem to stay out of the news, eh? I see all his old comrades are making themselves hard to catch. And what a band of brothers they were once.

      I feel certain that once his silent partners are brought up to speed, they’ll be happy to pay back all the money they earned off the fairy tale they helped write. Or not.

      Oops, there goes my pot calling someone else’s kettle black again.

  3. Chris Says:

    Ah, the old “threat or menace?” gag. Nice to see it still in circulation.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Ah, great cartoons!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Pat. Glad to hear you had a good time camping. I need me some of that.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      It was very nice. That campground is super popular from March till the end of May. Filled up around 1200 both days we were there. Lots of Europeans there. Guess Muricans just got to have cell service, hotels, and restaurants. No services within 35 miles of this park and no cell service. Pay phone right outside the bathroom! Next time I will take the mountain bike and explore the forest service road, Pinery Canyon road, right outside of the park gate. I have not been up there in years.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Man, oh, Man. Memory lane is so fascinating. 1989 seems so long ago. I had just gotten to the U of Hawaii in October of 1987, via a previous life on the East Coast, and was still trying to figure out what planet I had landed on.

    Looking at that ’89 VN front page. Is that a Maynard Hershon cartoon on the “What’s The Cost of Sponsoring a Team”? Looks a little bit more like MH’s cartoon figures than yours. I snagged a subscription to VN in the early nineties as I embarked on a short and inglorious career in USCF racing. My most enduring aspect of VN and USCF was being one of the various bozos who helped goad you into making that Fat Guy t-shirt into a jersey. Wow.

  6. Libby Says:

    Happy Anniversay and Congratulations! After 25 years The Fat Guy is remarkably resilient, roadworthy and ‘toon worthy. Hooray!

  7. David R Says:

    Behind your flippancy – which is impossible for you to not indulge in, thank god – I hope there is a strong feeling of…maybe not pride per se, but a solid, and real sense of accomplishment. Twenty five years of putting good stuff out there – week after week – IS something that should justifiably put a smile on your face. And, mostly, doing it on your own terms. I say: well played and good on ye.

    So… that’s all well and good, but what are ya going to put out there for us tomorrow, huh? Get crackin’ man, we’re waiting!

  8. James Says:

    Congrats Patrick! I can honestly say that I stopped reading, visiting or even caring about VeloSnooze when they decided that cycling was the new golf (same as the old golf?) and let your wit and skills lapse.

    Their loss really.

    Keep up the great work but I still wish you had the jerseys for sale. They get quite a few chuckles and comments.

  9. Ryan Says:

    Happy Anniversary POG! Thanks for posting the toons they always bring a smile. Your Old guys who get fat Jersey is still the one I get the most comments on mostly from middle aged ladies who want to get one for their hubby, but occasionally from other Old fat guys like me’self. Keep on pencil, penning and inking those toons man!


  10. Jon Paulos Says:

    And here’s to 25 more years! All hail the Sultan of Snark! The Senator of Sarcasm! The, the, the….. Well give me some time.

  11. Larry T. Says:

    1989 was a good year. LeMond won the Tour, I met my future wife, PO’G started with the ‘Snooze back when it was more than birdcage lining.
    BR&IN sends me only the electronic stuff these days so I don’t get the new ‘toons or column, can you post ’em here once the “statute of limitations/sell-by date” has passed?
    Still have “The Season Starts When?” on the shelf next to Maynard Hershon’s “Tales from the Bike Shop” and “Halfwheel Hell”.
    Khal, Jef Mallet (Frazz) did the illustrations for Hershon’s first book, I don’t know that Maynard ever did any cartoons, etc. but he’s still riding, even going to l’Eroica this year in Tuscany, where we get to host him and his gal pal for a couple of days.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Larry, I’ll try to remember to post the BRAIN ‘toons once the issue hits the streets. The one above is the most recent.

      And yup, that cartoon is by David Brinton, a.k.a. Brintoni, who still draws for Velo. He illustrates Dan Wuori’s “At the Back” column, where Maynard once opined back in the day.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Ok that’s probably why I thought it was Maynard’s cartoon. I didn’t know others did his drawing.

        I had coffee with Maynard and Tamar a couple months ago down in Fanta Se. They both looked great. Hope the Tuscany trip goes well.

  12. Ira Says:

    Congratulations on the milestone Patrick. I’ve been a fan for most of those 25 years, I never caught the cycling bug until the early nineties. Any chance we might see more Foaming Rants in the future?

    • khal spencer Says:

      O’G–Has BRAIN expressed an interest in the Foaming Rants, or was that strictly VN? OTOH, maybe that is something whose time has passed? If I recall correctly, you once mentioned that horse had been flogged enough.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        K, my column in BRAIN has rantish tendencies, though at 850 words it’s a bit long for extended foaming. I should start reprinting those, too, as it would be interesting to see what you folks think of them. I don’t get a lot of feedback from management, which is too busy trying to report the news to critique the shit I make up.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Ira … your longevity as a fan indicates a powerful need for psychiatric care. Alas, I think today’s and the Foaming Rant would be an odd couple. I’ll stick to the blog, my BRAIN column and the occasional Adventure Cyclist review. But thanks for asking.

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