Hello, I’m Neal Obermeyer – Oct 22, 1999

from the Daily Nebraskan

This was the debut of the “Neal Obermeyer” character. I wanted to do a cartoon coming from me, but I was very much enjoying life as an ‘invisible’ celebrity. Everyone was quickly learning my name, but no one knew who I was. The last thing I wanted to do was compromise that.

It was completely as a joke that I asked my editor if I could draw myself as a large, muscular black man, as I was a frail, weak pasty white guy. It was a sarcastic plan of diversion, but he said yes. We both paused for a minute and were like “Yeah … let’s do that!”

I never thought for a second that anyone would think that’s actually what I looked like. Being familiar with my appearance, it was obvious to me that this was a joke because it was an obvious decoy. But for several years, many people continued to believe that Neal Obermeyer was a large, muscular black man.

As far as the point of the cartoon, the schedule of classes that fall had misspelled “University” on the cover.


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