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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Right, so I thought it would be a good idea to have Dave go work for my employer, Viz Media. That's why I had him get a job through Freddy, the avatar of my friend Jason Thompson, who at the time was the editor of Shonen Jump magazine. Thank you, Jason!

I think "I am trying to get fired" was a line in "The Simpsons," but around this time Jason Thompson really was preparing to leave his position as the editor of Shonen Jump

in order to become a freelancer and concentrate more on his cartooning. So it was a running joke in our circle of friends that he was trying to get fired.

Seriously, though, Jason is an awesome manga editor.

This strip went over well with web design people.

The conversation in the second panel is a real thing I overheard once. Dave looks kind of off crouched under the desk in the last panel, but somehow that makes it better.

The head IT guy is kind of loosely based on the then-IT guy at Viz. He also appears in this very early week of strips, applying for the job at Narbonics Labs vacated by Dave's death.

This is the strip where you can tell they're working at Viz, because the health plan used to include acupuncture, and that's what the windows look like. Also, Freddy whips out Jason Thompson's trademark hand gesture, The Claw. Everyone should have a trademark hand gesture.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Dave:  putting the "mangled" in "manga".

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

For anything so in-joked is from the editing of manga, whose job description, both then and now, is to hold, sort of, the mirror up to comics, to exchange left for right, front to back, and express the very heart of the story in pictures and kanji.

Matthew Mather (madtinkerer) says:

Macs make a difference as to how well you can make them into microwave/laser based MadSci? What, has Dave not heard of OpenGL at this point?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Let's Go Fly A Kite" from Mary Poppins, Sherman & Sherman)

With logos and menus maroon,
Can you get this finished by noon?
When our customers click,
They will quickly be dead!
But the managers said,
"Please don't blow up their head!"

   Well, well, well,
      Don't go blow up heads!
      Don't make the walls turn red!
      Make it nice, instead,
      And please, non-lethal!
      If all their heads go pop,
      Our daily hits will drop!
      Don't go blow-ing up heads!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Right out of Clientcopia....
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: I'd forgotten about this entire sequence. Dave-in-the-normal-world is a wonderful take on the fish-out-of-water trope. Only this time, it's a three-eyed fish out of its mutagenic pool...
Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

You may laugh, but this is the first above-ground desk job that Dave has worked since graduation. He's discovering that in most jobs you aren't very important at all, let alone the single locus of all its agonies and ecstacies.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"I reject your reality and substitute my own.  With the right keystrokes, I can make it a global substituition."

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I'm with Dave on this one - I head way too much crap like this during the day. When it's bad enough, I put on the noise-cancelling headphones and play Carmina Burana over and over.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: The horrors of small talk and marketing.
Jacob Haller (jwgh) says:

I curled up under my desk a couple of times at my last job.  It was oddly comforting.

John Ames (commodorejohn) says: For some reason, I inevitably read "Golden Girls" for "Gilmore Girls," but honestly I find that this strip is even further improved by it.
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

It's true! Pens *are* a great antidote for reality!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

This is sanity!  SANITY, I tell you!!

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

This strikes too close to home for me.

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I think a lot of people have the same trademark hand gesture.

When I picked three original strips that I thought captured what I liked about the characters, I picked this one for Dave, the "Plus I'm evil, so I get to do what I want" strip for Helen, and the one where Mel pops a paper bag to startle Artie into transforming while he's talking about using zazen to control his transformations.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

That sidewalk is pretty darn steep. You could dramatically walk into the sunset for hours on that thing.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:


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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile