1228 Oh God Yes.

Honestly there’s no need to show Sylvia (I accidentally wrote Reggie’s sister’s name on the nametag at first. Victoria is his eldest sister, btw.) other than as a gift to long suffering readers. You’ve heard tales of her and had no face to put with them. By her appearance you can clearly tell that there is a lot more to her story than meets the eye. That will likely be touched on from time to time as the story progresses. There are other inferences to be made by this image, but I’ll let you come to them rather than just spell them out.

The stuff to do with Reggie’s aunt, as I have said before, is very much based on a real experience I had in retail. I’ve embellished the whole thing significantly, but I assure you I lived in the strange bubble this sort of thing causes for a long time. Having someone on the inside is insanely beneficial, especially if your store is not very good, or you have to hire from a population of thieves and scoundrels. Creating a team that won’t steal a store blind can take a very long time and changing leaders every few months doesn’t help. Which is how you end up with de facto leaders like Thomas, Carol, and so on. Over time a small group of people who trust each other will build up in the vacuum of hired leadership. Eventually a manager can come along and look great just by virtue of being the one who stumbled upon a fully functioning store. All they need do is have sense enough to merely tweak the balances as situations call for it. We had one such manager just before I left the store. Unfortunately his role in the company was as a “fixer”. So as soon as the company decided the store had been “fixed” he was relocated. I found out later that shortly after that he left the company altogether.
Of course I’d been there too long by that time and there was no way I was going to be allowed to remain an associate forever. No matter how hard I tried to just keep my head down and do my job they wouldn’t leave me be. I eventually took over a management position so that the one who was doing the job could transfer out of the store. From that point on it was just a matter of time before I left.
Most companies have very unnecessary manager meetings every so often. They are in far away places and are a major hassle. If they were actually useful that would be one thing, but they are never more than a few lines worth of information spread out across a multimedia presentation. What these things typically boil down to a is a chance for management to get together and get drunk. Which is pointless for me since I don’t drink. I went to one of these events before finding a position in another company. Had I not been forced to attend that event I might well still be working for that company. In spite of all the bullshit that came with day to day operations it wasn’t a bad job.
Unfortunately this was the series of events that eventually led to my mental health issues. Of course it also led me here, so I guess it’s sort of a win/lose kind of thing. I’m certainly not as successful as I was in retail, but I also don’t want to kill myself very often. I think that’s a decent tradeoff.

47 Comments

My first two thoughts:

1. I see where Reggie gets his nametag inspirations from.
2. She would totally make a great Phoenix Wright character. Villain, victim, or just witness, it doesn’t matter. She’s got the look. The name only just falls short of puntastic. Get the right case, and boom! Fits like a glove.

Piercing gazes doesn’t work on me most of the time. Usually its the silence that gets to me.

Stupidity is what cuts me like a rusty knife, that and people I don’t love or respect who assert authority over me. Plus, piercing gazes don’t work on someone with the hollow mentality of Mad Michael Myers; not to say that I’m fully like him. I do love cats, despite how dumb and finicky they can be, but I digress.

Also, if you really want to get to me, make me talk with a superior whenever I make a significant error in judgment. It’s difficult to act like I care about work, or about certain aspects of it, when it’s simply a means to an end. However, you begin to care when you spend 12 hours–from dusk till dawn–performing said job, getting to know everyone in your sector, and tackling every crisis as a team/secondary family. In the end, I guess I’m the only perfectionist, and thus the only man with a problem (with accountability).

Secret inferences? The only thing I can think of is that something personal went on between Mike and Victoria… OK, I totally ship them now. Or maybe it’s to do with what Mike did to land his current job, but as far as I’m concerned he totally (inadvertently) slighted Victoria.

I am apparently an airhead, but when did her name change from Sylvia to Victoria?

When I accidentally transposed that name with Reggie’s sister.

Dang, shows that I read the author note thingy. I have seen several people also answering that now so it seems I am having some difficulty paying attention. Comment for the comic, those are some seriously cold looking eyes!

Vicky looks like she’d have a foreign accent, like say Arkansas Ozarks redneck accent. Fayetteville even.

I see…. her ears of slightly pointed at the top, intentional? She looks like she has a dumbell piercing throug the top of her ear? (I see a red bead in front, one behind and what looks like a bar between.) I see a severe bun of what would be VERRRRY sexy long blond hair. I she part asian, or just squinty? I see a pant suit, but no tie. I’d have thought a tie for sure. I see the mixed capitalization that REggiE uses. Hmm. Is VicToRiA supposed to be ‘one of the little people?’ (I mean to relate to them.) I see the severe hands-on-hip pose adopted by many “leaders” who use that pose to infer that not only are they always right, they are never ever wrong.

Someone should remind Mike that as a manager, such speech can be construed as work-inappropriate and sexually harassing.

And so freakin’ true…

It might just be me, but Reggie’s aunt Sylvia looks like what I’d imagine a grown up child of Reggie and Nina would look like.

Does that make it more awkward or less awkward that Reggie likes Nina?

Well, Sylvia Boothe looks to be as tall as Reggie, which means that Carol probably won’t fear her in person (unless the Frost Queen has something [besides authority] to put ThunderJugs in her place). It also means that Nina is obviously the tallest of the ladies–and most likely the staff–in this series. So, if anything, Reggie is attracted to Nina because she’s blonde and chiseled like his aunt. Except if his aunt was a statuesque, amicable, (virtually) all-loving sweetheart.

Just by her look you can put together an outline for a back story, especially if you know a little about retail, old school management and what happened to that management during the bad times for retailers that survived.

She is established as being quite high in the management pyramid.
He dress shows that she is not old school suit and tie, yet is still “prim and proper” in her style.
Her demeanor and the respectful fear that others have of her intimate that she has no mercy for crooks and incompetents. Now is Reggie the olny one to benefit from here setting things right after all is said and done? Who knows but that would garner a hefty dose of respect to go with the fear.

So – I wonder how close to the mark I got with my psuedo-psychoanalysis?

Terrifyingly sexy. Agreed.

Also, I guess Reggie decided that Aunt Sylvia has the right attitude and decided to alter his behavior.

“Of course it also led me here, so I guess it’s sort of a win/lose kind of thing.” Well you lost-we win-by virtue of having this comic to enjoy. I only hope you experience a tiny bit of the joy you bring to others- a tiny bit for each reader. Do you suppose we comprise a kind of widely distributed and admittedly low commitment support group? If you eliminated everyone well adjusted and demonstrably sane, I’m afraid your readership would suffer-I know I would miss it as one of the first to go.

No complaint here. I’ve always had a thing for women who could utterly destroy me if they got the slightest inclination to do so.

… Oh, come on, like you don’t think that’s incredibly sexy!

About the management thing in general: It’s kind of sick, isn’t it, this hierarchy thing? Seems there has to be a better order for people to exist/work.

Sylvia looks kinda like an evil version of Alice from Shadow Hearts, right down to the hairstyle…

I was thinking of a younger, hotter, Southern version of Dean Hardscrabble from “Monsters U”, but perhaps Sylvia only resembles her in personality (i.e. the arrogance and lack of respect for most people). However, I can definitely see Alice from “Shadow Hearts” now!

Thank you for panel one. Up until now Sylvia has just been a nebulous concept, I thought she would remain a vague plot device forever. The way she is drawn adds a lot of character to her (and it’s dead sexy). Both her and Reggie look positively fierce here. I’m not sure what else to say here (without rambling forever), I really like this panel.

Yepp, the Gestapo gene, I knew it. All in Reggie’s blood line want only one thing – To Rule Zee VURLD! XD

It’s moments like this that truly humanize characters like Reggie for me. Even when he was first introduced I figured there would be more to him than just “that arrogant douche.” Having seen how he was in the “before times” (Jo’s wording on practically everything is amazing, by the way), and now this turning point, adds so much depth him. I can’t even really dislike him when he says something mean or insulting now; I’ll remember these events and just feel a little sadness instead.

Another example would be Handsome Jack from the Borderlands series; in the Pre-Sequel you get to see his evolution from wimpy programmer to the terror of Pandora. His story (which I will refrain from spoiling) makes me feel so much sympathy for him.

Yeah. As regards the whole sanity now vs when you were in retail, Crave, I have to say that I disagree about your perspective with the “win/lose”. I mean, sure, you lost a good chunk of income and contact with some friend-coworkers (I guess), but now you have a business that sustains itself and can be run from your home and near as I can tell from your blogs you love running it (because that’s mostly drawing the comic).
You’ve also gained a loyal fanbase of readers. I’m pretty sure the only reason you’re not (or don’t think you are) successful is that you don’t put stuff out there enough. I think if you gave your fans a little more attention, they’d respond with lots of votes and money. Like merchandise. You’ve mentioned a couple of T-shirt designs in blogs, but I haven’t seen you actually get in touch with a printer and have them made. You even mentioned some potential figurines way back in the olden times. I think if you made them available, people would jump at the chance.
My point, of course, is that I think you’re a lot more successful than you give yourself credit for and that I think you can expand on that a great deal if you want to. So don’t question the choices that led you here. If nothing else, you’ve accomplished something by brightening the days of your readers with your delightful characters and their stories. And that’s nothing to scoff at. People make it a lifelong pursuit to make people happy and achieve less than that.

If you’re wondering why I think you can expand so much, I think you should look at the history of your fellow webcomic author (and from what I hear, personal idol?) Jeph Jaques of Questionable content. From my experience (having read through both comic’s archives), it would seem that your art is more or less comparable to his (though, by comparison, your backgrounds could use some work) and you characters have a similar attractiveness and the humor is good on both as well. Near as I can tell, the main difference betwixt you is that Jeph knows how awesome his readers think his comics is and he sells T-shirts, while you don’t. If you look back at his progress, the time he was able to quit his day job and start drawing comics full time was just after he started selling the T-shirts his characters wear.
Given that you don’t seem to have really started up with any merchandising, my guess is that you feel a bit lost when it comes to that department. My advice, for what it’s worth, is to get in touch with Jeph and ask him to mentor you a bit. Since you seem like pretty similar dudes with a lot of common traits and whatnot, I think he’d be happy to lend a hand (I don’t know either of you personally though, so I’m only about 70% sure).

Don’t sell yourself short. And keep up the good work.

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