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Published: 31st Oct 2014, 9:15 PM

Thralmart

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woohooligan 31st Oct 2014, 9:07 PM
woohooligan Rollback guy buys the same toupees that Donald Trump wears. ;P

Thanks to Jesse Kiefer of Tank Monkey for backing our Kickstarter last year. That's Tank in those first three panels there. I asked Jesse before I started this comic if he was okay with this cameo, given the political bent and the potential that he might not like the implication. Because even though I personally think there's plenty of evidence that the behavior of Walmart executives is pretty disgusting, there are still people who cry foul any time you point it out... in much the same way that some people still refuse to accept basic physics.

This particular strip however, doesn't require that I link to any news articles, for I have seen with my own eyes, the horrors of the Mart of Wals! Indeed, these first three panels are a verbatim conversation I had with a Walmart employee just a few weeks ago. It's a pretty safe assumption that Walmart earns a healthy profit on their credit cards, despite the "cash-back rewards", because why else would they offer it in the first place? If a product is profitable, it helps to increase sales, and what better way to increase sales than to actually encourage people to buy said product? So if you want your employees to give that little extra and encourage people to buy said product, you would imagine that offering them a small percentage of the expected profit might be a decent incentive. Some people have taken to call this sort of behavior "profit sharing" - I know, it's just shocking! So when I asked what the Walmart employee gets for busting his hump to sell me on applying for their card, what was his answer? A candy bar. What's likely many thousands of dollars of profit over the course of the years I cary this card, and in exchange, the guy who ostensibly sold it to me gets a twenty-minute sugar rush.

I think this week's bonus panel sums up the attitude of Walmart executives pretty succinctly. This seems like an excellent opportunity to mention 5th Panel Guest Strips, which is a pretty simple idea that Jesse and his friend Axton Kaler proposed a while back. It's really just riffing on each other's gags. So if you have an idea for a following panel or two on any of my comics (this comic seems to me like it's begging for them), just go ahead and draw it up and shoot me the URL to your image. I'll add it to the comments on the comic you're riffing on and I'll link back to you if you like. I will reserve the right to ignore any submissions that I personally find offensive, but given my own track record, you'd basically have to be applauding the Axis of Evil to get ignored.

Also, I'm pretty sure that webcomics are a lot like TV series in that they have "bottle episodes". This ain't one, apparently. The techniques are different, but the effect is the same. In TV they follow an expensive, special-effects-laden episode with an episode in which two characters are trapped in an elevator and that's the whole episode: one small set, two actors, no special effects and a shoe-string budget later, the books are balanced. As a cartoonist, when you've just spent a ton of time cranking out a comic or two with tons of detail and lighting effects (like my last two comics), you want to do something you can get out the door quickly. So you avoid adding little extras like cigars or monster stomach mouths. When I originally conceived this strip I figured it would be a quick four-panel gag. After adding the Tank Monkey cameo, paring the dialogue down enough to be legible was hard! Then I started coloring... god help me, I couldn't stop! ;P On the plus side however, I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out. As just one example of several, I'm kind of shocked at how nice that bottle of champagne looks. Woohoo! :D For a closer look at the art, the copy I uploaded to my DeviantArt account is a little larger.

What about you? Do you have your own funny story about a personal encounter with a giant, faceless, evil corporation? Or maybe you have a story about a corporation doing something good? Le-gasp! Share it in the comments below!

Stay awesome, Hooligans!
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