Thursday, August 19, 2010
TAGS, February 06, 1994
Sunday, February 06: Valen-time! Besides this being one of my friend, Dave’s favorite TAGS strips, there are one or two things that work about this one.
As I had previously commented, the larger format of the “Sunday” full page comics, drawn about 8 inch x 10.5 inch, offered more panels and relatively larger panels from the dailies. The dailies were drawn two at a time, about 8 inches wide, in the top half of a letter size sheet of copier paper. Here, perhaps better than ever before, is depicted a believable “back of house” kitchen environment. See the stainless steel counters and appliances. Note the stacks of plates and glass coffee urns. Observe the ceiling mounted bug zapper in panel two.
Less clear in the last four panels, are the front, serving area of the restaurant with ceramic tiles on the back wall, back counter and the front counter that Polly (penguin, 17th appearance) is cleaning.
In the first panel, Monster approaches a fallen box of broken heart shaped treats with a dustpan in one hand and a junior sized sweep in the other.
Murray (cheetah, 9) and Edie (squirrel, 7) make a connection here, but the thing I find remarkable is that three out of the four characters’ names are used in the strip. Edie is standing on a box in order to reach over the sink edge. But back to the exchange between Murray and Edie, it was written for them to make it a date easily, and from Monster’s point of view, it is unbelievably and unfathomably easy. I can’t say that it’s realistic, but it’s necessary for…
… Monster to formulate a thought, with the electrical circuit being a bit more complicated than it needs be. Then, without fail, he proves that he doesn’t really get it.
Although, not necessarily a milestone moment, I believe the drawings show a level of comfort that just about marks this as the definitive TAGS style.
Also of note, “Googleplex” is an intentional a misspelling of “googolplex” which colloquially is a very large number. Mathematically it’s defined as 10 to the googol power, where a googol is ten to the 100th power. This strip was written four years before the company known for its Internet search engine was founded.
15 years prior to the release of the Disney animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog” is introduced the idea that movie “The Frog Prince” recently premiered in the world of TAGS.