Yes, that's absolutely correct, The Wall Street Journal printed this cartoon on December 18, 1997 and apparently liked it so much that they printed the exact same cartoon again a year later, on December 22, 1998. As one of my sons asked me in '98, “Did you get paid for it again?” I'm almost certain that the answer was no. So it looks like you owe me one, WSJ.
Actually, over the years, this type of thing happened to me on several occasions with other publications (but only this one time with The Wall Street Journal). Whenever it occured, I always chalked it up to either incredibly poor record-keeping or innocent human error. I can't imagine that any publication would deliberately want to repeat a cartoon that it had printed before.
Well, “to err is human, to forgive, divine”. So all is forgiven, WSJ.
Case & Comment was a well-respected, old-line publication for lawyers. Its first issue was in 1894 and its last was in 1990 — almost 100 years! And best of all, in my opinion, it used cartoons to accompany and lighten up all that legal material.
This cartoon was purchased by the editors for a specific purpose. It was featured in a June 1988 promotional letter sent to their extensive mailing list of lawyers. I was paid a $100 bonus for that use.
Unfortunately, they must have sent it to the law firm that represented the “Toys R Us” merchandising group. As the editors later informed me, it resulted in a “cease and desist” letter and Case & Comment was forced to discontinue the promotion.
Aside: Four years later, The National Law Journal (another one of my markets, by the way) published essentially the same cartoon, but drawn by another cartoonist. The other cartoonist had the chutzpah to use the reverse “R” (Torts “R” Us), which I had been too chicken to use. I figured it was trademarked and would just be asking for trouble. I often wondered whether The National Law Journal received a similar “cease and desist” letter from the Toys “R” Us lawyers.
Hmmm. Another cartoon of mine published without my signature. But it's easy to see how this one happened. NBEW just chopped off the bottom third of my drawing, signature and all.