Richard LemmerCamarillo, CA
In the immortal words of Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the family’s favorite musical, “Who am I?” I’m a CPA, cartoonist, and calendar enthusiast. I may also have a highly superior autobiographical memory, as I can probably tell you what I was doing on a particular calendar date that you throw at me.
When I was six years old in 1992, I was cheated out of a Sunday birthday due to Leap Year. Since I really wanted to go to church on my birthday, this was a major disappointment for me. So, I tried to determine when my birthday would be on a Sunday. I calculated that it would be between 1997 and 1999. Thus, I began to be able to figure out the day of the week for any calendar date. Sure enough, my birthday was on a Sunday in 1998 … but we did not go to church, and it no longer mattered to me. (Since then, I have had three Sunday birthdays—2004, 2009, and 2015—and I have gone to church on all three.) In 2020, I will once again be cheated out of a Sunday birthday, and my next one is in 2026.
On Sunday, September 25, 1994, I saw a Garfield comic sitting on my friend’s desk. This led me to start drawing cartoons. My first cartoon was about a snard (from the Snardvark game) named Voloc, who liked to steal his owner’s coins, pull down his owner’s pants, and punch his owner. I was his owner, and my “dad” in this cartoon strip was Jon Arbuckle. In 1997, Voloc was finally replaced with a grey cat named Dicken, and Jon Arbuckle was replaced with a 35-year-old Canadian immigrant, Jason Mulberry, who has a beard and no mustache. Dicken had a little sister named Purrdee who, like Nermal, was preoccupied with her own cuteness (but it had nothing to do with Nermal. Purrdee was our pet cat, and we characterized her as “obnoxiously cute.”) In addition to Garfield, I drew a lot of inspiration from Animaniacs and Classical mythology. My cartoons can be found on Flickr by searching “hermanuslemmer” and then clicking on “People.”
My original career goal was to get my Ph.D. in the Classics and become a professor of the same. With this in mind, I got my undergraduate degree in Classical Civilization at the College of William and Mary and was admitted to the M.A. program at the University of Georgia. Clearly, my most egregious mistake was not taking enough Greek. In my first semester, I had to take a Greek survey class, which basically means, “Translate Greek until you forget how to read English.” With only one year of Greek, I was able to earn only a C+ in the course. So, I switched my concentration to Latin and decided to become a teacher. I got my Master’s degree, but struggled as a teacher. I went to a career counselor, who gave me a career test and promptly and without hesitation told me that I should be an accountant. So, I went back to school, fulfilled my dreams of teaching a college class (I was a T.A. for a 300-level finance class), and graduated from George Mason University in May 2015. On Thursday, January 17, 2019, I was licensed as a CPA in Virginia.
I am currently working as an accountant for AEM Corporation. Other interests include college football (my teams are William & Mary and Georgia, but I also root for Purdue, UCLA, UTSA, and Michigan), bowling (my average is about 120, but my high score is 234), thunderstorms, bow ties, and currency tracking on Where’s George. I currently live in Camarillo, CA with my domestic shorthair brown tabby cat Agenhina, whose name means “a person who has become a member of the family under Saxon law after spending three nights in the same inn.”