Hard to believe it took me this long to get Celia into the strip. Whatever heart and soul the BIOSIS fourth floor had, Celia was largely responsible for. I still fondly remember her clever holiday contests* and her plant- and vine-overgrown cubicle.
Anyway, Celia was (and still is, I imagine) an incredibly talented artist, and I don’t think she was favorably disposed toward my amateurish scrawlings. At least, I took the Family Circus comparison as an insult (I mean–come on–little Billy? Please.).
Cartoon plus: I like the attempt at putting myself in shadows in the second panel. And the “Not Me” punishment fits the crime.
Cartoon minus: Celia was not two thirds torso as I have drawn her here. Also, I shouldn’t have drawn the Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman poster in such detail in the last panel. It makes for too busy a background. But I did love that poster.
It occurs to me that, back in 1991, I wouldn’t have had access to the Interwebs to look up what the idiotic Not Me gremlin looked like. Not being an aficionado of Family Circus, I’m not sure how I would have figured that out enough to draw it (I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt and assume that the Not Me here looks somewhat like Bil Keane’s original). Only thing I can think of is that I probably hoofed it over to Borders on Chestnut Street (or was it Walnut? I can never remember, despite walking across them every day for 10 years) to look through Family Circus paperbacks. (Shudder!).
*One Valentine’s Day, Celia ran a “Limericks of Love” contest, where participants were tasked with composing bawdy limericks. The challenge was that the limericks had to incorporate random, decidedly limerick-unfriendly words: the ones I drew were “orange” and “meniscus.”
And here we meet Joe Riley, one of the good guys at BIOSIS. As we see here, poor old Joe had the misfortune of being temporarily reassigned to my department (happily for both of us, we would end up transferring out). This strip was likely a reaction to another of the BIOSIS shuffle-the-deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic reorganizations I alluded to in an earlier post. Maybe this was even part of the rebranding of the Information Authority Department!
At the very least, this was obviously around the time when the powers-that-be saw fit to turn the top-floor cafeteria into executive offices. Not to worry, employees: we’ve added a couple new vending machines to the hallway on the first floor: enjoy your new “vendeteria” (yes, they actually called it that, as the sign in the last panel shows). I guess that makes the “ch-ch-ch-change(s)” title all the more apt.
Paul’s getting a lot more panel time than I would have expected. And there’s the BIOSIS snack machine again! Yay!
Not sure what I think of the five-panel strip. I guess it was necessary for pacing purposes, but it looks odd.
A break from the Dave-inator storyline to give a little character development to Tracey.
Also: some panel time for Paul Grecian and Andrea Wilkins, another of the group leaders in the BIOSIS Editing & Indexing Department. I think the name of the department was later changed to the Information Authority Department. It was exactly the kind of superficial, meaningless change at which the company’s leadership excelled.
Anyway, not much else to say here. Note Paul’s information-management system (a clipboard).
Looks like I’m cleaning up the pencil lines at this point. Good for me!
Aaaaand here’s where we go off the rails. A workplace where everyone sits around all day assigning codes to articles from scientific journals only offers so much in terms of cartooning fodder, so perhaps this swerve was inevitable. Not that I regret this plot, mind you.
I’m amused to note the ever-changing arrangement of my cubicle (panel 1) in these strips: I have always done everything I can to put as many barriers as possible between my work surface and the sight lines of passersby–I absolutely hate the current open office trend. Note, too, that not only are there previous Cubicle Count strips on the wall, but I’m actually drawing one at work (which I probably often did, hence the need for the barriers). Finally, I remember that shirt I am wearing: black and green stripes. I loved that shirt.
The various images of Dave in panel 2 were obviously photocopied, shrunk, and inserted back into the strip–more productive work time!