Found this unfinished strip in a random box in my closet. The presence of Dave and “Riley-tron” in EID dates it to 1991.
Another Celia-driven EID holiday activity—the time-honored tradition of the Christmas gift exchange. I know all these presents were actually received by the people as shown here.
Note the Michael Jordan poster in Joe’s cubicle, as well as the poster of the swimsuit model (whose identity has been lost to time). Amusingly, from the Wite Out, it looks like I was having trouble “figuring” out a way to draw her…”gifts.” Ah, Joe, you rogue.
I like the way the cartoon was coming out and can only conclude that this was yet another strip where I didn’t have a clear idea of a punch line or ending (it’s weird that I didn’t always know what I wanted to draw when I started one of these). What’s especially odd about this is that this is the only Cubicle Count to span more than four panels (maybe this was the Sunday color strip). That’s a lot of drawing for no payoff.
Another weird thing is that I think I may have drawn this with pen and ink…as in, with a dip pen. I know that was something I played with at one point. I like the look here.
I’m sorry I didn’t finish this one, as it would have been nice to get John Parnell—who was probably Cubicle Count’s biggest fan (he always stopped by my desk to look for new strips)—into the “canon.” As the pencil note indicates, that’s John in panel 5.
Was the whole “Happy holidays” vs “Merry Christmas” battle the big deal in 1991 that it seems to be these days? I know it was something I thought about long before it became such a thing; it’s exactly the kind of thing I waste thought and energy worrying about.
So last night I had the extreme good fortune to reconnect with a couple of the old crew from BIOSIS. Appropriately enough, we reconnected over beers (though of better quality and lesser volume than in the old days), and naturally enough there were retellings a’plenty of the BIOSIS glory days. Hanging out with these guys never stops being great.
Of course, I took the opportunity to plug this little blog (I mean, really, if there’s ANYONE who’s going to find any value in these old Cubicle Counts, it’s these guys). But—quite rightly—Keith called me out on something I had myself noted in the commentary on another blog entry (“Interro-BANG!”): a lot of the most important people and events from the BIOSIS days slipped by uncaptured in the Cubicle Count records. It’s a gap that I intend to address (again, see “Interro-BANG!”); I have quite a few ideas for new strips already lined up. Indeed, I already have one almost completely sketched out.
As a show of good faith—and to ensure that two essential BIOSIS institutions (Keith and Cherry Street Tavern) get added to the Cubicle Count canon—I’m going to throw this preview out there.
Spurred largely by Todd Whann’s tradition of breaking out bottles of Southern Tier’s eponymous helles lager right about this time of year, there’s been interest in and amusement over the idea of Krampus (very loosely: the Christmas devil) among some of my friends. For the most part, the interest has manifested in nothing more than seasonal downing of liquid Krampus.
It mystifies me that Krampus hasn’t caught on in the US. Austria and Bavaria celebrate Krampusnacht (as near as I can tell, this is basically Christmas Mardi Gras) and Krampuslauf (described as an alcohol-fueled run of celebrants dressed as Krampus); all we in this country can come up with is Krampus: The Christmas Devil, a regrettable, plot-less, budget-less, badly acted “film” that didn’t even feature Krampus (note this is NOT the 2015 movie that got a theater release). (Though, to be fair, the writers of Venture Brothers—one of the funniest shows on TV, by the way—did drop Krampus in their Christmas special a couple of years ago).
Last year I took matters into my own hands and made a small effort toward establishing the proud tradition of Krampuskarten, the exchanging of (wait for it) Krampus-themed cards. How did Hallmark miss this?
Because my Krampus-mania was set into motion by Todd, and because most of my own “observances” of Krampusnacht have been at his and Beth’s house, it seemed only right that Krampuskarten should feature a Whann. So here, riffing on the tradition of Krampus hauling off wicked children, is Krampuskarten 2015.
Robby and Maia aren’t wicked, per se, and it’s rather easy to imagine that they would handle such treatment in the way depicted here.