Sigh. I know we’re a week behind on this one, but I didn’t want to let it go- so please bear with me.
The life and career of Harold Ramis not only brought immense joy to our lives, but is responsible for the beginnings of nerdom in mine. I think I originally saw Ghostbusters when I was 6, and once was all it took. I was hooked. Growing up, I spent a lot of time immersed in Ramis’ movie universe- and would like to think that his particular brand of comedy is something that I not only related to, but helped mold the type of storyteller I’ve become as an adult.
We don’t often deviate from the story at hand with Punching the Clock, but Jeff and I both felt the impact of his passing so very intensely that we felt that a tribute was in order- to honor one of the few people responsible for inspiring us professionally, and as fans.
I chose the nametag for a couple of reasons. Obviously, the overall tribute and symbolism, but more so because it is tied to our running gag in which Jeff constantly wears fake nametags to hide his identity from customers. It just seemed fitting that retiring the “Egon” nametag is something that Jeff would do under these circumstances (he has worn it before- 10 internets to the first to find it in a past strip!). We will still be commited to that joke, just as Jeff will be commited to switching out nametags- but “Egon” officially means something more now.
Admittedly, Manley made this strip much better than was originally written. The Stay Puft candle tribute in Jeff’s locker was all him, and I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it first. Seriously, the man is a damn genius (don’t tell him I said that).
I really wanted to spotlight his impact on our lives within our world, with our characters. I’ve seen a lot of Ghostbusters themed tributes floating around on the net… but felt like since he was partial inspiration for doing what we do, that including the loss into our universe was a more profound way to capture just how much his life and passing have impacted our storytelling. My apologies for not really bringing the “funny” this week, but sometimes you can’t move forward without taking a step back.
Be sure to join us next Tuesday, where we pick up once more with a less heavy-handed (and heavy-hearted) strip. We have a lot of ground to cover in the coming weeks, so be prepared!