A Tale of Two Tapes


One of the joys of having unregulated Internet access at work is being able to fill the slack times with a bit of browsing. It became a habit of mine to have a daily 'fix' of the better comic strips at gocomics.com. I like comics and it is something that I would like to do myself but my art abilities stopped getting better about age nine so my attempts have been few and far between.

The nice thing about gocomics.com are that there are a lot of different styles. Without doubt there are some really good draughtsmen out there but "Hey! That's just cut and paste!" I found myself saying, loud enough to be heard by my colleagues at the time. They were dubious, "Surely there is more to it than that?", they said.

"You just need an idea, Paint and Word.", I said. "Prove it!"", they said. The challenge was taken up. Write about what you know, is good advice. Well at that time I was involved with technical publications. Our master paper material was kept in polythene bags. The first problem was to open the bag that had been sealed with clear tape by our distribution centre at Llangennech. Standard clear tape sticks to polythene too well, the polythene will often rip before the adhesive lets go. So we used the "magic" variety, which looks cloudy but sticks "clear" and, best of all, peels off cleanly.

So we have our characters:

Clear Tape

That old office favourite, much loved by Llangennech and strongly attracted to polythene bags. Which leads us to bad puns and...

Polly Bag

Much used and abused as she passes backwards and forwards to the distribution centre and fought over by the two tapes. Her only relief is that she will be sent into deep storage in the Wansdyke archive. That will require the services of...

Doc Box

Never actually seen and a bit of a sinister character, Doc Box (document box [ugh!]) is a 'hard' cardboard box who will 'look after' Polly Bag during storage.

Magic Tape

The new kid on the block. Kind to Polly Bag and with a name that gives much scope for punning.

The Technique

Basically draw Clear Tape using Paint. Fill and flip to produce Magic Tape. Make several copies and keep them on a master drawing and modify as and when required. Arguably they should have been the other way around but "tough", too late now!

Make a standard three frame panel in Word, using five-column table. Save the master. Cut and Paste in characters as required. Speech 'balloons' come with Word, use as required. Stick in the dialogue and we are done. Crikey, on a roll, you could do a month's work in a morning, if only someone would pay for it!

A Tale of Two Tapes 
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