The Holidays are over, hooray! How was your vacation? Lots of sun, sand and thongs we hope. Every single pleasant memory is behind us now, because it's time to get back to work. Monday, there will be pressure on you, because time will get suddenly get much more important. You won't be able go to bed at 8 am anymore, ‘cos you'll be supposed to say good morning to your boss at that time in the morning. Goodbye close-to-being-naked girls and boys that you'd met on the beach, and good morning suited-up America. And to help you keep a straight face during the days you'll be spending behind your desk, there's a web comic which knows how to make us smile about all that business stuff, which is why today's artist is Joe Combs the creator of this webcomic, Business Casual Comic !
Joe is 32 years old. After being born and raised in a small town in Hazard, Kentucky, he's now living in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and his three kids. He’s a computer programmer after graduating 10 years ago from college with honors from Pensacola Christian College, with a degree in Computer Science with minors in Math and English. He likes his job, especially when he gets a chance to express some his creative side.
His interest in comics started thanks to his Dad, who bought a newspaper every day and so Joe always got to read the comics page when Daddy came home from work. Joe still has memories of days where his Dad brought home the paper and pointed out to the family certain strips that made him laugh that day. That's how Joe started to love comics, such as Peanuts, Garfield, and the Far Side, all classic comics that we all love.
On the internet, Joe Combs is mainly known thanks to his webcomic, Business Casual Comic which was published for the first time in May 2003 when it was a weekly comic that he created for himself and his coworkers. Around March 2005, Joe left the job that was his original inspiration for the strip, and took a break from the comic at that time. A little over a year later, he realized that all jobs and work environments are full of material just waiting for him to put into comic form, and started up the comic once again. He has slowly grown the comic since the return, updating it twice a week in 2007 and then moving to three updates a week at the beginning of 2009. At first, the comic was created as an outlet for his job, and inevitably he gained a propensity to doodle during team meetings. During one doodle meeting session, Joe drew a couple of sketches and cartoons of his coworkers. After showing them around the office and sharing some laughs, the strip was launched with assistance from his wife on the actual title of the strip.
You'll love Business Casual, even though you may you have a job or not, or if you love your job or not. You'll find in this web comic the best and worst of the working world, whatever that may be. The heartless boss that don't even know your name, the coffee break that’s over too quickly, the irritating geek coworker that you suddenly love when your computer won’t display anything but "Windows Failed, sorry", and of course, time, passing way too slowly, making you ask yourself why in the world are you are stuck behind a desk playing online games, checking Facebook and getting paid all the while. Yes, at least you're getting paid.
In fact, today our artist is going to promote himself, as his description of his web comic says it all:
"Business Casual servers a synergy filled dose of business, office, and technology humor and has been described as painfully realistic by some of its readers. I even once met someone at a convention who walked away from my booth slightly upset because my comic reminded him too much of how badly he hated his own job. And now that I say it like that, my comic sounds a bit depressing. But I swear that there have been no suicides associated with my comic...at least not that I've heard."
But Joe doesn't stop there, he also started a single panel web comic named Rusty The Wonderdog which allows him to show a bit more dark and off-the-wall humor than you'll find in Business Casual. If you like mean, heartless, machiavellic dogs, you'll love Rusty. If not, go back to Lassie.
Now here is our latest question before the coffee break is over, why did Joe choose to send an illustration to FML and why did he choose this story?
"FML is a site that I enjoy reading, and I think that readers of FML could enjoy my strip and humor as well. Also, I've always thought it would be interesting for me to attempt to illustrate other's work horror stories and illustrating a FML is great practice for this. When I got the opportunity to submit an illustration, I immediately knew that I wanted to do a submission from the work category. I create a business/technology based strip, so I knew I had to wanted to find a FML that fit that general theme. Also, since I have 3 kids of my own, I'm just waiting for something like what's outlined in this FML to happen to me one day where the best of intentions lead to heartache and stress."
! click on this preview !
Ah, kids and work, as good a cocktail as Redbull and Vodka. Anyway, thank you Joe Combs for your great illustration!
Joe's "safe for work" webcomic is this way: http://www.businesscasualcomic.com/
And now here's a little instruction manual on how to be our next published artist: send an email to email@example.com. Here's an example:"My name is Henry Gale, I'm from Minnesota, here's a link to my website/blog where you'll find some of my comics: www.myislandisbiggerthanyours.com, bye". If you don't have a website/blog, attach some of your drawings. It's not that complicated, even the Black Smoke and your boss can do it, so don't waste any more time and send an email now!