Monday, 24 August 2015

Blaugust 24/21: Clerical Life

This post is post 24 of 31 for Blaugust 2015. This is the last time that you have to put up with my cartooning for the month.

When we last met our hero, he was enjoying the camaraderie of the group of deviants known as the IT department. Sadly, it couldn't last forever. For a while I was part of the IT team on paper, but moved out the back office to make more room or protect my innocence, it's hard to know which.

It seems that it was already too late for the innocence thing, as by this point the cynicism that had already filled my working life from that early age had infiltrated the comic too. Too a certain extent, it would have had to, as otherwise I never would have been writing a comic in the first place.

To this day, I can't draw someone with their mouth open wide in astonishment or singing a high note without thinking of that last panel and at least cracking a wry grin.

The clerical team at that point were a number of girls around my age, and in them I found the kind of associates that I thought I'd gotten away from after leaving high school. I won't say that we had nothing in common at all, some of them a good friends now, after all, but for the most part I found my time sitting amongst them to be incredibly uncomfortable. I wasn't one of the pecking order, and it was no fun for any of us.

I guess this shows the passage of time. Each three strips is about a week, though I wrote in spits and spurts throughout the run of working life, and those first few weeks were very up and down. I kept to myself for this little bit, and escaped to the sanctuary of the IT department whenever I could.

I've always enjoyed the juxtaposition of a cheerful message with contradictory pictures in comics, and inverse, too, which is why I always loved A Softer World. I couldn't ever really pull it off, given that the pictures in my comics convey so little through my lack of artistic ability, but I tried a few times. This was one of the attempts. I'd like to say that I learnt from it, but I have two or three other cartoons since trying pretty much the same idea, so let's just say that it was part of an ongoing process.

Well, these books won't read themselves, so I'd better be going. Have fun, and keep your spoons out of the microwave until we meet again.

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