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.