Freelance Blues October 2008 Archives

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Thursday, October 30th, 2008

When the going gets tough…

You'd better hope the guy in the cubicle next to yours is Lance.

Time to roll those sleeves up and get into this week's update.

When you're the new kid in the schoolyard, you've gotta do something big to establish your reputation. This week I'm taking the fight to the biggest kid on the playground. Lance Bunkman is the Hardest Working Character in Comics, and Clark Kent is a lazy bum.

A wise man once reminded us that you don't tug on Superman's cape. Pretty good advice if you ask me, but no one's ever written a ballad extolling the virtues of Clark Kent: mild-mannered reporter.

He's got one of easiest jobs ever. All he's got to do is write a couple hundred words a day. Additionally, his alter-ego is the subject of most of his stories. Should be a piece of cake, but he can't even get these puff pieces of his in on deadline. One of the fastest men on the planet just sits around the office with an "Aw, shucks" look on his face, hiding behind a smile that says "Gee, I'd love to really do a "Super" job here today, but I can only type so fast on these primitive earth computers of yours."

I'm not suggesting that he bust out a kryptonian laptop in the Planet's bullpen, but how bout you cobble together a high speed pencil and hand in some long-hand notes? I'm not too surprised though; Clark Kent has been underperforming in his workplace for decades. Kent is the poster boy for "Giving it the smallest fraction of your potential." I expected more from the greatest hero in recent history.


For all Toronto readers, we, the writers, will be appearing at two upcoming events. The first is the Speakeasy Comic Book Show at the Gladstone Hotel on next Thursday, November 6th. If you`ve never been it`s a great chance to chat with creators in an informal gallery kind of environment while downing a few beers too. How many comic shows let you do that? Also -- upcoming at the Toronto Comicon show on November 30th. Hope to see you there.


Thursday, October 23th, 2008

Run Don't Walk

Have you ever been to a party during working hours? Sure, it's a chance to screw the pooch for a bit-- but is it worth it? Awkward small talk. Clean-cut snacks. And the one person guaranteed to show up is always a manager. And In Lance's world at least, that's a sure ticket to mayhem.

Case in point, check out this week's update!

If you've been a regular reader with us you might have noticed a few technical difficulties on the site. We've just been switching servers this past week, so but in the next few days we should back in our regular groove. Also Mike's taking to task of super-powered slackers will be back next week.

But in the meantime, in honour of our favourite non-office holiday we would like to share our own Vicki Tierney's Halloween treat: Iron Pumpkin!


Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Ever feel like you were "Out-of-the-loop?"

You're not alone this week as Lance gets a sinking feeling in his gut.

Check out our newest page right here.

You probably noticed that jobs play a pretty big part in our story. Workplace misadventures factor into many comic books, both big and small. From mild-mannered reporters to World's Greatest Detectives (I always wondered who signed those checks) the working lives of heroes has embedded itself into the popular culture. It's a little daunting to compare the work life of Lance Bunkman to some of these other more established, but here I go:

Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man. Unarguably one of the greatest heroes in modern comics. So how is it that he doesn't catch any flack for being one of the biggest slackers in any workplace? Firstly, he's a photographer, and a FREELANCE photographer no less. He doesn't keep regular hours. I don't even think he has a desk. Was camera technology so rare in the Sixties, that anyone that owned a camera and could stick it on a wall could get a picture on the front page of a major metropolitan newspaper? And yet whenever he needed to actually go anywhere for his 'crime-fighting' he gets the Daily Bugle to spring for it! For someone who got such a smooth ride, he sure spent a lot of time moaning. Parker, I'm going to expect more from you.


Thursday, October 9th, 2008

It's All Fun and Games…

Until you've got to explain to your boss that you've just broken another piece of company equipment.

Feel Lance's pain in this week's update… here.

Starting next week, the FLB team is going to do something a little different with these update notices. If you've been following Lance's adventures these last few weeks, you've probably noticed that Lance is a pretty hard working guy. That's not enough for us here at FLB. We're going to show the world that Lance is the hardest working character in comics. We're sick and tired of the slacker attitude that seems to pervade the working lives of other so-called "super" heroes. You're all officially on notice. I've got my eye on you, Parker...


Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Write What You Know

Hi. It's my turn to blurb this week.

I've been working in a call centre for the last couple of years. It's one of the toughest and most terrible jobs I've ever had. A buddy of mine got me the job and taught me how to excel at it. This week's update is a tribute to all the advice and inspiration he gave me.

Check it out here

The job is inherently adversarial. When we're making the calls we're trying to talk to executives, who've hired teams of professionals to prevent these calls from being made. Throughout the day, both sides score victories, some more decisive than others. Nothing would boost my own flagging morale more than hearing my buddy get into it with someone on the phone.

"Why aren't you listening to me?"


"I will, as soon as you do your job."


"Why won't you do your job? Can I speak to your supervisor?"

and once even

"I'm not sure that you know what the definition of 'help' is."

And dozens more on a daily basis that actually helped me more than you knew. Thanks a lot J.



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