Always, always, cheat.

 J. Thomas Blackwell

Thomas is the floor manager at the Marbleton branch of Megatainment chain of stores. He manipulates as much of what goes on there as he can for the benefit of the team. Thomas is looking for something that will give his life greater meaning. In his spare time Thomas writes and draws, but does neither particularly well as far as he’s concerned. Some of his work has been published under a nom de plume. People have a weird tendency to gravitate to him for help. Be it old ladies who need something off a high shelf at a store, or little kids who are desperate for attention.

I am what I am.

Edward Lincoln

Ed is the new guy. He’s short, and quick tempered because of it. It’s gotten him in trouble throughout his life. He’s an all around nerd, and very intelligent, though not studious. Jessica is his twin sister. He is very protective of her. For as quick tempered as he is Ed is actually kind of a pushover. It’s not hard to get him to do things because of his desire to be accepted. Jessie takes advantage of this to a degree that would be criminal if they weren’t related.

Perfect living offers no guarantee of a perfect death.

Carol Graves

Carol runs the store’s front counter… officially. In reality the rest of the team let her take care of anything they don’t feel like doing. She does so, virtually without complaint. Though outwardly abrasive she cares about her coworkers and their jobs. Her greatest weakness is ice cream. It pacifies her almost without fail. She isn’t particularly patient, and can decide she wants something right this second out of nowhere. God help anyone standing between her and whatever new goal suddenly pops into her head.

You be my sunshine and I'll be yours.

Nina Grace

Nina is the store’s optimist. Most of the time she can be found happily wandering around the book section, which she is in charge of. She enjoys life with a childlike glee, and is a big fan of Harry Potter. Though injured in her youth, Nina is still very athletic. Nina is about 6’3″ remarkably tall for a woman. Her positive nature gives little hint of how dangerous she can be when stirred to anger, or how passionate she can be when the mood moves her.

If you don't ask you don't get.

John Kepler

John fancies himself a ladies man. He’s not as quick on the draw as everybody else, but still manages to get a good shot in from time to time. The games section is what he’s been charged with operating, although it’s not an official position in the chain of command. John tries to act like he’s totally cool, but he’s secretly a total nerd. He is one of the few employees that still smokes. John is so used to striking out with girls that he actually gets weirded out if one comes on to him first.

You'll never see me comin'.

Jolene “Brooksie” Brooks

Jolene is the video manager, but she’s only been doing it a short while. She is shy, yet can be outgoing once she gets comfortable with her surroundings. “Brooksie” enjoys sneaking around, snooping on people, and not having to confront problems directly. Her knowledge of films is encyclopedic, and she is capable of reciting the dialogue of many word for word. On her breaks she enjoys going outside to smoke, usually with John. She has a plan to start making independent films by enlisting her friends to be her cast, crew, and whatever else she needs but doesn’t know about yet.

Teamwork is what happens when we all work... as a team...

Miguel “Mike” Hernandez

Mike used to be an assistant manager at the Megatainment home office. He’s having a hard time adjusting to being in charge. Most of the time he asks his staff for advice when confronted with a new challenge. Whenever he can Mike avoids confrontation. He enjoys professional wrestling. Carol has taken it upon herself to guide Mike in the ways of being a decent manager. Blind leading the blind…

There's too many damn people these days. Can't we shoot some of the homeless?

Reginald “Reggie” Watson Boothe

Reggie is a dick. Luckily he’s only around part time. He seems to have access to money, yet still wants to work more often. Though he tries to hide it, Reggie actually fears getting in trouble. If he was half as smart as he thinks he is he’d still be the smartest man alive. That said, he still listens to Thomas most of the time.

Once everybody likes something it stops being cool.

Wesley Asel

Wesley liked whatever you like before you did. He stopped liking it as soon as you started. If you ask him questions about whatever it is he’ll blow you off like he doesn’t want to talk about it, but in reality he just doesn’t know enough to debate you. He’s got a shady history with a lot of unconfirmed rumors in it. Wes is comfortable in most situations since his whole personality is based on adaptation. He becomes what he needs to be to ingratiate himself to whoever is around. On his own he fancies himself a hipster. Unfortunately he’s in Kansas, so he understands the culture in the same way your grandpa understands computers. Of course everyone else is about 5 years behind what’s cool on the coasts too, so he just seems a little douchey, which is what being a hipster is all about anyway, right? He’s the newest new guy after Ed, and is being trained by Reggie.

Strike firt. Strike fast. Strike hard.

Jessica Harlan Lincoln

Jessie is Edward’s twin sister. She’s in school but hasn’t decided why just yet. If it’s easier to get her way by acting cute and stupid Jess will go that route. In reality she is clever, but a bit clumsy. She’s not shy about her body, knows how good it looks, and is not afraid to use it to her advantage. On the other hand if the terms change suddenly she can be washed away in a wave of embarrassment. She tends to be a little shallow, but also seems to want depth in her life. If anyone can figure out how to have it both ways it’s Jess.


Wonderful comic, glad I tumbled into it again. I read a bit of it in the black & white days and re-discovered it a few days ago. No regrets in that respect. I call for more carcinogen consumption pauses! And if someone calls it that once, I will smile for a month.

Carol – Aries
Tom – Scorpio
Ed – Gemini
Nina – Cancer
Jess – Libra
Jo – Pisces
John – Capricorn

Reggie – What, you think I give enough of a shit about him for this?Wes – See above.

How can jess be a libra and ed be a Gemini, IF THEY’RE TWINS?!!

Yeah, that’s almost impossible unless they were born on the exact moment the signs changed.

And still impossible then as Gemini falls between Taurus and Cancer.

Let’s do some math here. (Horrible, I know.)
Assuming that these signs are all accurate, and assuming that Ed was born on the last day of Gemini, and Jess on the first day of Libra, there was:

9 Days from the end of Gemini to the end of June,
31 Days in July,
31 Days in August as well,
and 24 Days from the start of September to the start of Libra.

9+31+31+24=95 Days between the birth of these twins.

This may seem ridiculous to some, but it’s not. The longest period between the births of two twins that I could find on the internet AND get confirmed by at least 2 other websites was 87 Days.

What this horrible, HORRIBLE math has confirmed to me is that someone messed up the signs between these two characters.

The reason I say this is the twins I mentioned earlier, the ones born 87 days apart, had serious medical complications due to the birth they underwent, and almost didn’t survive. Now compare that to Jess and Ed, who apparently were born 8 WHOLE DAYS further apart from each other.

One or both of them almost certainly wouldn’t survive an ordeal like that.

Impressive work.

Which is all technically irrelevant since there are more zodiac signs than what we actually use today and it throws the whole damn thing out of whack.

I dunno – it might explain why Jessica is comparatively tall and Ed looks like a dwarf (like from Lord of the Rings, not Kenny Baker or Peter Dinklage)

Okay . . .caught up. . . .and added to my “check back often” line up. . .. can I have my free time back now?

Great comic.

Been reading for about a year and a half. Still in my top 10.
P.S. You know me as Takua4646.
P.P.S. Using a Wii to get on the Internet gets annoying.

Jolene wouldn’t happen to be named after Mel Brooks, would she? That would seem fitting to me.

No, her surname comes from Mary Louise Brooks. She was a silent film star from Kansas. If you ever want to read about an amazing woman her wikipedia page is a good place to start.

And the Dolly Parton song, or Jolyne Cujoh (either way they railroad back into the same thing, I s’pose.

Fell in love with the characters, thanks for creating this amazing story. Thomas’ character seems to describe my recent life almost perfectly. After reading and processing his thoughts on what it feels like after your world suddenly falls apart and you’re just left with sad thoughts and then looking at him trying again, it made me realize it isn’t the end of the world.

My most sincere thanks. Reading your work has earned a most dear place in my daily routine.

This comic reminds me of my time working at Radioshack in Reno/Sparks Nevada. Good times and fun memories.

Fun comic with some great personalities… I love them all already! (Well, there might be an exception or two.) You have nicely avoided any but the barest hint of a political thought and that is to your credit! Keep up the great work!

(For the record, you had me at “I want him to ride me like his quidditch broom.”)

the story you tell with these characters is amazing. I remember finding this comic by accident one day while reading another online comic. I missed click the next button and it popped me here. at first I was going to hit the back button but I did not do so. so from the beginning and till recently updated I been hooked. I personally hope to see more of their ghost hunts or other activities outside of work. Another thing that got me was Brooksie. They Shy little girl kind of fills me with a heart warming feeling

I’m glad your cursor slipped. XD Many of those things are planned for future stories, so you have that to look forward to. Thanks for giving it a try.

After three days of continuous reading, I can certainly say that I just fell in love with this comic. I’m not exaggerating: the story is great, the gags are hilarious, and all the characters are deep and almost real in their virtues and weaknesses…plus I find lil’ Brooksie sooo cute and adorable, would be such a treasure in real life. :3 :P

Congratulations from far Italy, man. Keep on with all your great work here. :)

Have you ever seen the movie clerks? This Comic reminds me so much of it… Especially with Carol’s last name being ‘Graves’ and the arguements remind me of something Randal would have with Dante.

Clerks, huh? It sure sounds familiar, but I can’t quite recall it. I’ll have to IMDB that one.

Ever seen anything with Jay and Silent bob? Same director, same actors. Hilarious by the way. There’s a clerks 1 and 2. both equally awesome, 2 may be a little better. (Which is Rare.) I think You’ll like the humor behind it based on your comics (which are hilarious btw, I really enjoy them)

I’m just messing with you. I have all the DVDs, even the animated series. Which is the best version of Clerks, in my opinion. Also, you should watch Empire Records if you haven’t. It shares some similarities with the comic as well.

Oh well gee. Thanks for making me look dumb haha Kidding! I watched the Animated series on Youtube, as much as I hate youtube, and I really did like it a lot lol I Haven’t seen Empire records yet though. I’ll look into it!

I’m pretty sure Clerks 3 has been written and cast already. It’s gonna be great. and personally, I thought the first one was the best.

This is by far my favourite comic! I also agree that this reminds me of Clerks >_> Not a bad thing! That’s actually my favourite movie… which fits in with my now favourite comic…. ramble ramble ramble…. I’m looking forward to reading more!

I really enjoy this comic. As I am from KS I *REALLY* enjoy this comic. I found this from a link on Girls With Slingshots so I was hopeful that it would good. Totally beyond all my hopes which is saying something because I might be more sunshine than Nina. Thank you!

So…yeah. Drop me right in Thomas’s spot and I probably wouldn’t miss a beat. Dude echoes me right down to the taste in women, for god’s sake. And guess who’s opposite him? Carol.

…Sorry about the drool. I’ll just…get a towel.

Most, sadly not all, of the other names are shaping up but I can’t figure out how Kepler relates to Abraham Lincoln. Can I get a hint? No? Well, I’ve been connecting cast members names with Abraham Lincoln for so long now my eyes BURN. Finding that article on Wesley Enloe (Wesley Asel) was very fun. But I find I must I surrender…. for now.

I suppose I missed a post somewhere in the comments and I’m the only one who doesn’t know about this right? LOL

It seems their last names are names of important or influential people such as: Johannes (which is kind of like John ;)) Kepler, Abraham Lincoln. People who changed the world, I suppose. If it’s anything more specific than that I’ll have to stare at it for a little while longer.

[…] Between Failures is about a group of twenty somethings trying to fill their time in retail with entertaining activities which usually amounts to romantic comedy. The majority of the main cast works at the Marbleton branch of the Megatainment chain of stores. The main cast consists of J. Thomas Blackwell, Edward Lincoln, Carol Graves, Nina Grace, John Kepler, Jolene “Brooksie” Brooks, Miguel “Mike” Hernandez, Reginald “Reggie” Watson Boothe, Wes Asel, and Jessica Harlan Lincoln. Readers can find more about each character on the website’s cast page. […]

Out of all the awesome things about this comic, I think I appreciate the lack of sameface most. Every character is distinct enough that one could probably tell the characters apart from just their bald heads in silhouette. (Hairstyle being a sole defining physical trait between characters has always annoyed me.)

Question: is there a page that archives all of the various art you’ve made of the characters that weren’t actual pages of the comic, including bonus comics?

Edward Baker Lincoln was a son of Abraham and Mary Todd, and Jessie Harlan Lincoln was one of their grand-daughters. I’m guessing John comes from Johannes Kepler, 17th century mathematician, and Thomas comes from the 18th century scholar similarly named. Those are just guesses. I’m stumped on the rest of ’em… and if there’s a common thread tying them all together, I’ve yet to find that.

Heh…I went with they’re all related to film. J Thomas Blackwell=C Thomas Howell; Edward Lincoln=Ed Norton; Nina Grace=Grace Kelly; Reggie Boothe=Powers Boothe; etc. I’m probably completely wrong, but there ya go.

Dude, I picked up your comic a few weeks ago and read until I was up to date in like 4 days, I was INSTANTLY hooked on these guys and their antics and wit.

The best thing about this comic is Reggie, when I first met him he was a character I could care LESS about, and now I want him in EVERY panel because of his growth. It’s the mark of a true story teller to introduce a character in such a way and have him change in a reader’s heart so greatly! :D

I’m hoping to start trying to draw my first comic soon (I don’t have much in the realm of drawing experience, hoping to use this summer to get some practice down) and I was wondering if you had any tips or words of advice for a beginning artist?

Don’t be afraid to be terrible. The best way to learn is to create. Make a schedule and stick to it no matter what. Even if you aren’t the best people will appreciate that you tried to bring them something to entertain them. Also, make a little buffer of pages so you don’t have to work right next to a deadline every post. XD

Were you a self-taught artist, or did you take classes? Should I just draw whatever comes to mind?

I learned the basics in school, but as far as cartooning is concerned I’m self taught. should draw whatever you’ll need to tell a story.

Amazing comic.
I started it with some reserve and ended up loving all this.characters with all my heart.
This I’d not love at first sight but it’s much much better. It’s pure awesomeness.

I’ve noticed Thomas behaves like Community’s Jeff Winger, if he fell in love with a redhead instead of going into law.
Brooksie seems like a mashup of Nepeta from homestuck and Abed, also Community.
Then Edward has some Elric in him, given his stature and aggression at injustices, not to mention the hair.
And is it just me, or does jessie have a little Vriska in her?

The character Edward has the exact same name as Abraham Lincoln’s second son, Edward Lincoln. Little is known about Lincoln’s son because he died at the age of four. Another character is named Reggie Watson Boothe. Now I don’t think this is coincidental, maybe the creator of this comic is a bit of a history buff.

As for who the characters are named after:

I’m going to guess they are named for famous philosophers (for their time).

Indeed so Larkle. Alexandria Melvil and Maddison Lewis (ao.) are missing on this cast page. ‘Mr. Wohlenhaus’ are you at home?

At this point any changes, even very small ones, have the potential to take the entire site down. So I’m wary of messing with anything.

I love the comic and have followed it for a long time, I always forget to post this comment
when the designs changed/updated, some of them looked MUCH better but some of them the older versions fit their characters better or they just lost some of themselves in the transition.
Edward/John look better overall,
Thomas looks fine but his new design gives off more of a goofy feel than a slacker feel.
Carol I think her old less round eyes were better and gave her more definition, beyond that shes much better.
Reggie is perfect but he seems to have lost some of that Arrogant charm.
Nina has the same problem as carol, the eyes gave her character
Wes, even though he changed he still feels the same to me, good or bad
Brooksie is without a doubt the BEST change in art design, there is nothing i would have left from the old design. 100% improvement
Mike looks better, not much to say other than his face now matches his body
Jessica looked better before in my opinion just because I feel like she matched her character better.

Not sure if this really counts as constructive criticism but I wanted it said

I think the author has mentioned elsewhere that updating the site is problematic, from a tech standpoint.

The girls in the strip are really cute with well developed personalities and the boys are also well developed personality wise.

Only character I dislike is Wesley, but that’s just cause I hate disingenuous people. Reggie I see myself in far too much to call out.

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