Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TAGS - Aug. 31 & Sept. 1, 1994

 08/31: Talking points 

 09/01: Gats out of the Bag 

August 31: I reckon that this set up and punch line must have been used in The Wonder Years, The Brady Bunch or some such family situation comedy. Oh well.

Not that it matters to what’s happening in the strip, I’ll talk through the visual details.

1) “Happiland” is, of course a stand-in for Disneyland and the themed amusement park in which the TAGS characters work. This I’ve mentioned as necessarily informative, but this is the first time I’ve shown the park’s logo here on a monument marquee*. In fact, I hadn’t a logo designed until knowing that these two characters would be sitting outside the Park and the layout seemed to necessitate a sign of some kind.

2) A monument sign for Happiland, even as a location specific, non-marquee one, doesn’t/ didn’t stand-in for any real-life feature. I just seemed appropriate - cozier, if that makes sense. It’s kind of like the one at the Walt Disney Studios at the Buena Vista Street entrance (Google it if you must). Saying that, however, is misleading, because I’m sure I didn’t have that in mind.

3) The building in front of which Monster and Rodney are seated, IS a stand-in for Harbor House, the Cast-Member (employee) entrance off of Harbor Blvd. At the time, Disneyland had mechanical time clocks, and each employee had paper time cards. Upon arriving and departing work, each Cast-Member had to get their cards time stamped in Harbor House. As a physical location that was the sole entry and exit point for a majority of Cast-Members, Harbor House was THE location of convenience to meet other Cast-Members, especially when cel-phones weren’t common. Now the process is digital with magnetic stripped I.D. cards.

4) In the right most section of the building sits a security officer.

5) The silhouette to the left of the marquee, would be a topiary of the Park’s raccoon mascot. Like the monument sign, the topiary more has a counterpart at the Disney Studios than the Park.

September 1: This is absolutely all soap opera stuff. With TAGS lacking the promise of, or I not having the commitment to making it become a long running series, teasing out Monster’s crush seemed a poor plan and instead I thought it ought to be resolved in some way. 

[cliff-hanger! Dunt-dun-dunn!]

*A little history: In 1994, the second marquee of blue and pink with white letters had stood already for five years off of Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim at about featuring an electric message board. Five years later, b.t.w., that one went away with the construction of Disney California Adventure. The first marquee for Disneyland had large individually boxed letters and stood along Harbor Blvd. through a few color palettes beginning in 1958.

Rodney, African Lion, makes his 6th and 7th appearances in these 2 strips.

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