Monday, January 18, 2010
TAGS January 10 & 11, 1994
01/10: Drawing a crowd.
01/11: Prelude to disaster... or something mildly humorous.
What Have I Gotten Myself into This Time?
These two strips, as I recall, were created especially for the first and as of yet only published collection of "TAGS" comics, and were not printed in my newsletter publication "monotony." All TAGS strips that will follow here in "monotonae" have yet to be republished in collected form. This I should do. This I want to do. This I haven't had time to do. Which is too bad, because volume two would have been markedly better in content than volume one, entitled "What Have I Gotten Myself into This Time?"
January 10: Monster engaged in the unusual, curious, but not necessarily complexly interesting act of drawing. Drawing can be a specialized skill and talent, but as an action, it's not all that entertaining to watch happen, because it's conceptually such as simple thing - making marks to look like things.
In the first panel, Craig (bald eagle) makes his first appearance. Panel 2, Tanya (otter) makes her first appearance. Panel 4, Jill (reindeer) joins the group in her first appearance.
Amongst the scratching, drawing sound effects is the word "squibbill" which has been the mark for my self-published greeting cards.
January 11: In the first panel, Shirley (seal) makes her first appearance. I had erroneously reported that Shirley was a doe (blog entry Sept. 2, 2008). The doe/deer is Suzie. Entering in panel three is Brenda (mongoose), also making her first appearance. Five first appearances in two strips, My motives were/are pretty plain, to have the whole TAGS cast actually appear in strips collected in the volume.
Shirley's inquiry in panel one is as artificial a lead in as I've ever heard in a sit-com. The gag of the strip parallels my experience of putting the first collected volume of TAGS strips. In fact, a lot of my projects begin with me not have a very good idea of what I'm in for.
As previously mentioned, the locale of TAGS is lifted from my situation in my first job working at Disneyland, CA - which was bussing tables in a themed restaurant in an amusement park. So as is done at Disneyland, TAGS characters wear costumes at work. I felt no reason not to simply copy the costume designs from the location where I had worked, The French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square. In fact, I didn't even question it.
The hosts wore bright cerulean vests with black trimmed pockets over a short sleeve shirt and black bow tie. The outfit was completed with black slacks and black shoes, but most of the TAGS characters are pant-less.
The hostesses wore dresses in the same blue with short puffy sleeves and high collar to which they affixed their oval name tags. Over the dress they wore an apron that was white with a crisscross of multi-colored stripes.
In the kitchen, hosts and hostesses wore "kitchen whites" (white coat, white pants, white apron) a scarf in restaurant unifying blue and all topped with a white paper hat.
Although all of the costumes for the New Orleans Square restaurants have since been re-designed, Monster and company will forever be swathed in bright cerulean blue.
If I were to further define the TAGS world and actually give a name and by association a theme to the restaurant that Monster and gang work in Happiland, I will have to retro them to the costume designs which I think are a generic 1890's design and not turn of the century New Orleans specific.