Once upon a time I had a job. Really, I did. It was in what you “Americans” would call an “apartment store”… No, that’s not right. “Department store!” Though they’re a whole lot smaller here than what you may be used to. Long story short, I worked there and it sucked but I needed the money. At the time I recall thinking to myself “Dude, this would so make a great webcomic!” Of course, I never actually drew one. That’s how I do things. I suss them out verbally and don’t follow through. I’m a peach like that. Anywho, today’s comic brings back to life my dream of seeing a comic about people working in a department store! And I gotta say, there be funnies to be had, chief! Also, New England Webcomics Weekend is on this weekend in Massachusetts! It’s the first one ever, hopefully everyone going will have a great time. Webcomics are neat.
Surviving Retail by Chuck Egan started (sorta) in October, but the comic didn’t really get going ‘til December (all 2008, people). It’s about the intertwining lives of retail employees, the trials and tribulations that it entails, and essentially how to survive working in a large department store. Be it the co-workers antics or the customers complaints, this comic illustrates (quite well, I might add) life in Bird’s Department Store. (I know I ended two sentences with “department store”, so sue me.)
This is a very well written comic, with several key characters, each with their own little quirks. The humour itself is mostly situational with the rest coming from the characters’ own personas, which are starting to develop nicely along with as the strip progresses. It’s one of those real life comics (not to be confused with Real Life Comics by Greg Dean) in that we can all kinda relate to it. We’ve all been in a department store at one time or another, either working or shopping, so it’s easy enough to keep up with. Looking back a bit, it’s what I’d imagine “Friends” to be if it were set in a department store instead of a couple of apartments and a coffee shack.
Hit me up art-master! Done in black and white (no shading), the comic is pretty good. It gets a thumbs-up from me, at least. The characters are all drawn quite well, and if I were pushed to find a fault, well, I guess the facial expressions could be a little better. I don’t know, they can come across as a little faceless, but only in the literal sense. But it seems to work as it is, guy. To coin a paraphrase, “If somethin’ ain’t broken, then there’s no need to repair it.”
And that brings us to the end of tonight’s show. I’d like to thank Frank and the Frankettes for providing the music. And a special thanks to you, the audience. Oh, and a reminder that the New England Webcomics Weekend is on this weekend. Chuck himself will be there, check it out if you’re in the area. I’d go, but I’m not on that continent. Remember, you can follow Surviving Retail every M/W/F. Here’s a sample to roll over the credits. Goodnight everybody!