The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 41.0°F | Light Rain Fog/Mist and Breezy

At 3:00 a.m., Jim Filled an Important Space in The Tech

Column by Stacey E. Blau and Saul Blumenthal
Staff reporters

Picture this: It's 3 a.m. in The Tech's production shop, and the driver from the printer has been waiting already for a half hour to take the boards away for the next day's issue. But wait! There's a quarter-page of blank space at the top of page 17. What are we to do? We surely can't leave it that way, because the next day everyone in the office will exclaim "AWS!" That's "awful white space" for those not involved in newspaper production.

Luckily, a good and trusted friend has always come to the rescue - Jim, of course. For five years now, "Jim's Journal" has been The Tech's comic of choice to fill space after all the stories have been laid out.

It was with great shock and dismay, then, that we learned of Jim's demise. Why - how could Scott Dikkers have stopped drawing Jim? Even more confounding, how could he have drawn "Jim's Journal" for eight whole years?

The obvious question now arises: Who will replace Jim? Will it be Dilbert? The guy from "Life in Hell"? Those "Peanuts" kids? Garfield, for Christ's sake?

The answer is that none of these could ever replace Jim. We're not talking about how Jim is an irreplaceable campus icon. We're talking pragmatics. Why were Jims so cool? We'll tell you. Because they said nothing. You don't have to worry about the order in which you put a comic that has no plot. You don't have to worry about running the same Jim you ran in 1992. These are important considerations in The Tech's production shop at 3 a.m.

It is unclear what direction The Tech will now take comic-wise, but we welcome any suggestions.

Stacey E. Blau and Saul Blumenthal are juniors majoring in mathematics with computer science. They hope their professors will embrace the spirit of Jim when they hand in their problem sets late, and just say, "That's okay."