Are you pining for 2003? Starting at this link is the first time Bo worked as a mall elf for the holidays.
Archive for the ‘Christmas elves’ Category
I took a few days off for the holiday and when I returned to all things bloggy, I found that Bo Nanas Sunday strips are now rerunning on Fridays. Well, last Friday at least. We’ll see if it holds.
If you remember there was no Sunday the week before, possibly because a whole series of “Bo as mall elf” strips were rerunning (and still are.) This Sunday is holiday themed and strikes a bit too close to home. Our Christmas lights are still up. I’ve using the “we had a kid” excuse for a while, but it’s starting to look flimsy.
Y’know what’s weirder than having Sunday strips rerun on Saturday? It’s when they don’t. Not sure why. Perhaps it has something to do with with the Christmas strips that are rerunning right now. (You heard that right.) Click here and follow Bo as he becomes a substitute Santa.
Well, it is over at GoComics.com where the calendar is more of a suggestion than anything else. The next few weeks of strips are my take of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” starring Bo and the surly mall elves.
Bo is continuing to knock on apartment doors looking for the place he’s supposed to be waitering at for New Years Eve. In the strip rerunning today he is mistaken for a babysitter. One of the readers on Gocomics.com commented (speaking as Bo):
“and my references are that i worked in the tot corral at the mall”
He (or she) is referring to Bo working as a Christmas elf in the mall’s day care center just a week before. I would love to say this was some master plan I had cooked up, but until it was pointed out today, it had never occurred to me.
>Sigh< Another great opportunity lost.
With the Christmas strips winding down on Gocomics.com, I thought this would be a good time to talk about the Mall Elves. When I came up with the character of Bo (here’s the heartwarming “Birth of Bo” story) the first thing I thought of was making him a Christmas elf in some sort of shopping situation. It would obviously fit into his skill set of being short. (And, yes, there was probably some inspiration in David Sedaris’s experiences as an elf at Macy’s. Not familiar? Click here.)
And I wanted him to have some co-workers. One of the first gags was about their names not being elfish names like “Jingles.” But what names to give them? Well, I have a bunch of friends with normal but cool names – Gavin, Ian, Nigel and Omri (OK, the last one is out of the ordinary) – why not use them? And not just their names, but their faces as well? So I added their features onto my standard elf oval-shaped head a la Mr Potato Head. (You can see them all here. From left to right – Nigel, Gavin. Omri and Ian.) The boys loved it.
My plan was to do the Mall Elf thing every holiday season. The first year was just random mall/elf/kids/shopping gags with no real theme. The second was about a mall day care (rerunning right now). In the third all the elves and Santa got sick so Bo had to be Santa. For the last year of the strip I did an elf strike (with elf strike breakers and everything) told as a version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” That’s four years. I’m not sure how much longer I could have done it without it becoming tedious (if it hadn’t already).
Remember back a month ago when I mentioned a strip that may have been the only “Bo Nanas” strip that didn’t show Bo? Well, it almost happened again in the Christmas Elves/Mall Daycare storyline rerunning on Gocomics.com. The strip that’s on the site today was the revision – the original is above. My editor thought, rightly so, that it had “child abduction” stamped all over it. So I added Bo in the first panel (and dropped the third “pause panel”) so it would be clear what was going on.
The moral of the story: Sometimes editors are right. (Sometimes.)
Christmas is in full swing with the Mall Elf strips that are rerunning on Gocomics.com. In today’s strip I show a giant, ugly mall clock. A reader commented that malls don’t have clocks any more, which is true when I think about it. I guess this was an unconscious “tribute” to the malls of my youth.
There was a “so-ugly-it’s-beautiful” clock in an ancient mall in my hometown. Midtown Plaza was the first downtown, indoor mall in the US. It just got torn down and I hope the clock was preserved.
(sound of me googling)
Yep, it did. He’s a pic of the clock.
In 2001 I did the above piece for the non-defunct Rochester Magazine. It’s about a child’s memories of visiting Santa’s Mountain (I think that’s what it was called) and riding the super-cool monorail. It was a very common childhood experience where I grew up, yet I never did it. Although, I did work in downtown Rochester for a number of years and my co-workers and I would talk about trying to get on it as adults. (We were denied.)
(The last “real” job I had was right downtown and I’d often go over to the dollar store in Midtown when I was bored. And there I got some spectacular finds – some actually “famous” amongst my circle of friends – including the can of Tuxedo Crabmeat and the “Original Oil Painting.” These will be featured prominently in the “Virtual Studio Tour” I’ve got planned to post.)
The Christmas season has begun at Gocomics.com. Today they’ve started rerunning “Bo and The Mall Elves and The Adventure of the Day Care Center” from a few years ago.
The suspense is nearly unbearable.
The Sunday strip up on Gocomics.com today is one of those let’s-make-one-big-panel ones. This was impossible in the “olden days” of comic strips. Back then (which I don’t think was so long ago really) you would do the Sunday strip in three tiers, with specific breaks in the tiers so the whole thing could be reformatted as the newspaper wished. And the first tier had to be disposable. (You can see diagrams and explanations here, if you’re into that kind of thing.) I actually started doing my Sundays this way and, I’ll tell you, it’s a challenge to write a gag that has to have panel breaks in just the right places. I was very happy when I started doing the big-panel-that-I-can-cut-up-any-way-I-want-with-a-drop-panel-that -I-really-have-nothing-to-say-about …like the one below.
Casual readers will pick out Bo’s landlady Mrs. Yannes in line. More hardcore readers will recognize the top of the head of Gavin, one of the Christmas elves Bo worked with at the mall every holiday season. (So even though this is a rerun from September 2005, it is vaguely timely.)