BC SealBoston College Magazine Fall 2005
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Cartoonist Jeremy Yuenger '99

Photo by Lee Pellegrini

Photo by Lee Pellegrini

At some point each week, cartoonist Jeremy Yuenger '99 descends to his basement, a darkened wood-paneled re-creation of his college dorm room that his wife calls his lair, to work on his comic book series Filefish. Surrounded by distractions—television tuned to sitcoms, miniature remote-control robots, Harriet Tubman action figurine set, Return of the Jedi poster, and (a new addition) burbling baby monitor—Yuenger takes up his project of 16 years, begun in the seventh grade.

The cast of Filefish are classmates from his public-school days in Manchester, New Hampshire, five miles from his present home. The characters are called by their real names, and most are frozen at age 21. Yuenger has written 106 volumes. He mails the 15-to-50-page installments to friends and posts the comics on his website, www.filefishcomics.com. While an undergraduate communication major at BC, he temporarily adapted the strip for the student newspaper The Heights, calling it Over the Counter Culture.

By day, Yuenger works in a hospital as a computer network specialist. A year ago, he began a new strip, Leave, Freeze or Die, to which he now devotes every Monday night. The strip appears at NewHampshire.com, an affiliate of the state's largest daily newspaper, the Union Leader, every Tuesday, and in several local weeklies. In it, Yuenger comments on subjects "innately New Hampshire": Governor John Lynch's efforts to eliminate the state's property tax—created to help fund the public schools—inspired "Crazy Johnny's No-Tax Bargain Emporium." When state officials argued for months over a new highway toll-collecting system, Yuenger drew a "State of New Hampshire Temporary Transponder" with the words "I.O. N.H. Money" scribbled across the front.

Yuenger came to the attention of the Union Leader when one of his high school classmates, a Union Leader PR manager and daughter of the publisher, Googled her name on the Internet. Surprised to find herself cast as a character in his comic, she contacted him. In his new strip, Yuenger has license from his editor to poke fun at the influential newspaper, but his former classmate, he says, "made me promise to update her character's hairstyle."

Cara Feinberg


To see an example of Yuenger's cartooning, and to enter BCM's caption contest, click here.

 


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