1990 (?) – “a guy sits in a bar…”

(1990) a guy sits in a bar...
“I really wish I knew where he was going with this…”

This cartoon fragment resides on one of the first pages of the sketch book I’ve been working in for…forever. Every time I take out my drawing supplies, I flip past this sketch to find a blank page.

That’s supposed to be me on the right (the hairline and facial hair may not be quite the same these days, but I’m sure anyone who knows me will readily recognize the looks of annoyance). Based on the drawings on the surrounding pages, this sketch is from 1990. Beyond that, I have no idea what’s going on here. I have no idea who the other person is (or even if it’s supposed to be anyone specific), what bar this is (strangely, even though the sketch doesn’t necessarily indicate “bar,” I know that’s the setting here), or where I was going with this strip. If I had to guess, I’d say this was likely to be some kind of I-don’t-want-to-hear-how-great-things-are-going-for-you-my-life-sucks statement. Or something similarly uplifting. I might guess this was during the time when my pal Eric was first dating his now-wife Laura—the other character here looks a little like a glassesless Eric—but (a) Eric wouldn’t have been inclined to prattle on about his good fortunes and (b) Eric doesn’t drink.

My beer is probably a Yuengling Lager or a Molson Golden. I was a bit of a label-peeler, so it’s amusing to see I found it worthwhile to capture that here. It was also extremely important, evidently, that I capture the precise position of the two snacks that escaped the bowl in each of the first two panels. And what exactly ARE those snacks? Goldfish?

Dialogue and theme aside, I like how this one was turning out. I wish I’d finished it.

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01-22-1986 – “Break time!” (Caldor)

A few minutes in the day of the life of a Caldor clerk (and his pals).

What’s Caldor, you ask? It was a department store, kind of like Target meets “Clerks” (the movie). By today’s standards, it’s hard to imagine that the chain (once the prairies were black with ’em!) ever stayed in business: imagine a Target where each department had 5–8 employees and cashiers had to enter all purchases on an abacus by hand. Anyway, it’s long gone.

This cartoon pretty much stinks. My insecurity about my inability to draw people to look like themselves was at its peak, so everyone here has a soundalike name (Derek = Eric, Kim = Lynne, etc). The few visual gags I threw in are unsubtle and unfunny.

I suppose I’m glad I have this drawing, if only as a visual record of the Caldor era.

caldor_cartoon_1986_2
Drakes cakes all around!