Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TAGS, May 13, 1994

- Truth and Condiments -
India Ink on paper.

With a restaurant that operates sixteen plus hours a day including prep and closing and with a staff of close to a hundred crew members working overlapping shifts each of 4 to 8 hours long, the resulting combination of folks taking their breaks at the same time are at once random and limited. The break room setting became the most common device for mixing up the characters, exploring how the they might interact, especially when not dealing with the core “go to” characters.

In one such break room scenario, Monster sat with his imagined rival Even (Welsh Corgi, 5th appearance) with a discussion spurred by the appearance of Monster’s crush, Polly (penguin, 20). The subtext involved Evan, without realizing it, was the catalyst for Monster’s expressed insecurities. The failings of my Tags production schedule meant that there was only one strip prior to set up the Monster/Evan dynamic.

“The Apple Tree” dance was totally a high-school convention that had no counterpart in the operation of a major theme park or much less a restaurant operating within a theme park (which was where Tags was set).

There were a few strips where Monster was the quiet observer. Unfortunately, there’s no room in a daily strip series for a quiet observer unless he’s effectually a bit of property/ set dressing. If there’s one thing I like about this strip then it’s the opportunity to show Monster’s inner Charlie Brown.

Panel 1 (L-R as board pieces): Shirley (seal, 3), Suzie (deer, 3), Polly, Fern (kangaroo, 4), Bingo (snake, 3), Monster, Evan, Guy (dalmatian, 3). At the top is Monster in a Naval Commander’s uniform. The Submarine is of course designed after the Battleship game piece.

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