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!
Another slice-of-life comic from a job where the day-to-day grind was thin gruel, indeed.
Not much to comment on here. Dawn’s name plate in the first panel shows that she had gotten married by this point, changing her last name from “Latshaw” to “Rabb” (yeah, I’m a little pleased that I turned that into “Drabb”).
One thing to note in all these Cubicle Count strips is that, though BIOSIS was a database production company, there were no computers to be seen anywhere. I remember being stunned by this and wondering if it was an ominous sign. (Spoiler alert: it was.)
Here debuts Tracey Beck, who I to this day continue to count as a treasured friend. It’s funny to see how she’s drawn here; she doesn’t look anything like this, and I don’t remember her looking anything like this. I think it’s the glasses.
I always misremember Tracey replacing Dawn, but in the third panel we see Dawn, Kilroy-like, watching the goings on here.
Not much to say drawing-wise. For some reason I edited in squarer panel borders, which I regret. I’m remembering how much I hated drawing those office chairs–I never feel like I got them quite right.
Check out the old-school rotary phone on Paul’s desk in the first panel!
Inspired by a new recycling policy, this is one of my favorite Cubicle Counts. The gag (such as it is) unfolds well, the different perspective in the last panel provides a decent wrinkle, and (I just noticed this) I like that Paul (the boss, Paul Grecian) does different things with his hands in each panel.
It’s weird that, though I’m clearly taking the comic strip pretty seriously, I’m still leaving the pencil lines, even for the speech/thought balloons. The open-circle Little Orphan Annie eyes are also not typical of how I draw. It’s almost like I was consciously trying to break with my usual drawing style.
Is there a more universal office trope than the thermostat war? I certainly can’t think of one.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot I was pleased with in this one: the perspective in the first panel, the characters looking up at the vent in the third panel, and how ice-covered Dawn came out in the last one. I’m easily satisfied!
One of the least likely developments at BIOSIS was the arrival of Tracey Everson, a friend who had been two years behind me at Drew. Tracey was an outdoorsy, nature-loving sort, and the mean (filthy) streets of Philadelphia always seemed a poor match for her.
I enjoyed having a fellow New Englander to commiserate with, but–alas–Tracey didn’t stick around all that long.
Comic-wise, it’s surprising to me how careless I was with the sketch lines: it looks like I made no effort to erase them after I inked in everything. That’s an indicator that I was taking some pains to not take this comic strip seriously.