I have to say, as a kid I was always a bit confounded by "Highlights," the more or less black and white magazine stocked in places like doctors' waiting rooms. Maybe it's because waiting rooms are typically nightmare realms stocked with anxious people and marred by the sound of awful adult contemporary or nu jazz Muzak, but I can't say I have enormously fond memories.

Leave it to Stan Sakai to change my mind!

Over at the Usagiguy message boards, Sakai posted his own version of the "Highlights" Hidden Pictures feature this past summer in "Usagi Yojimbo" #122. Turns out his inspiration was cartoonist Chuck Dillon who currently contributes Hidden Pictures to the magazine.

"Chuck Dillon is an Usagi reader from way back when Fantagraphics was publishing the individual issues. He would send in fan art for publication. Chuck still does art, but as a professional. He is a very talented freelance cartoonist, and one of his regular jobs is creating those Hidden Pictures for Highlights. He inspired me to do my own, with Usagi."

Thanks to Sakai and Dillon, I no longer fear my pending trip to the dentist.

[Via Twitter @jkparkin]