Perk at Work blurb
Perk at Work is a comic strip about a cafe worker, Perk, and his interactions with his boss, his cook, and his regular customers.
The cafe is located on the ground floor of a downtown multi-story office building. Mr. Argyle owns the building and the cafe. Workers from the varied businesses in and around the building patronize the cafe when they need to grab a bite to eat, take a coffee break, or simply just want to step away from the desk and hang out.
So when you’re getting a little burnt out and the corners of your mouth need a lift, visit Perk at Work. He’ll get the job done!
Perk works in a cafe located on the ground floor of an office building. He works the dining area while Compa cooks all the food. Perk is always willing to serve and doesn’t mind if a regular wants to bend his ear.
Eugene works on the third floor for a design firm as a Graphics Designer. In his free time, Eugene plays bass in a garage band that has yet to get a paying gig. Eugene prides himself in his aversion to the establishment and it’s rules. He also plans to one day take on “Corporate America” if he can only, in his words, “find enough people to buy into the idea!
Moxy works on the first floor as an Advertising Representative for a publishing company. She’s young, attractive, and single and shamelessly utilizes these assets to increase her sales. And why not? “Work with what you got!” is her motto. Moxy is always working. If she’s out on the town, she’s networking. When she’s not networking, she’s exercising and managing her best asset: her looks.
Cal is a freelance copywriter, specializing in sports pieces. He is active and healthy and always on the prowl for women. Because he has sown his fair share of wild oats, Perk looks to him for advice on romance.
Wren works as a programmer for a software developer on the fifth floor. He is one part classy, one part nerdy. Yet he’ll geek out as much on watches and jazz as he will on Star Wars and comics. He has a zine called “BLAM!” which he describes as ” intelligent humor with a dose of nonsense.”
Henna is a gofer at a real estate company located on the fourth floor. She’s been working as a gofer for a while now and has no real aspirations of doing anything more. Henna is a bit of a hippie but without the strong convictions. Not only does she want to give peace a chance, she would like to give peace flowers or maybe a nice beaded necklace.
Compa works in the kitchen with Perk. He is something of a short order cook, though not a lot of orders come his way. Compa doesn’t understand why some people try so hard to achieve some strange form of success. To him, success is having enough money at the tail end of his paycheck to buy something “cherry” for his car.
Mr. Argyle owns the cafe business as well as the entire office building. What he lacks in formal education he makes up for in experience. Mr. Argyle would like to see average folks pick themselves up by the bootstraps and really live. Unfortunately, the majority of the folks he meets would rather kick off their shoes and kick back.
Sheryl would rather be anywhere but work. Sometimes she feels like she’d rather be on another planet far away from all the things and people that bug her. Sheryl works in an accounting firm doing data entry. Most of her time there is diligently spent finding ways to not do work. According to Sheryl, “Not doing your work can be a full-time job!”
Newly hired at the cafe, Candy was brought on to give some relief to Perk. Yet, that’s not what she does. If anything she can make life a little tougher for him. Candy loves the 80s yet was too young to experience the decade for herself. She justifies it by considering herself an “old soul” (even though no one else sees her that way).
Perk 1.0: Perk at Work started out many years ago as a comic strip about two dogs who would sit in a pub at the bar and talk. I called that strip “Pubbies”. One dog was a long-haired Chihuahua and the other was a fat dachshund. I very much enjoyed writing this strip but I soon grew concerned for the well-being of the characters – they spent a bit too much time at the bar. Plus people would pronounce the strip’s name pyew-bees. This was not good. Back to the drawing board.
Perk 2.0: The next go ’round found the characters in a coffee shop. This rendition was called “One Lump or Two”. I began adding some characters – Moxy was a squirrel, Eugene the grackle, Compa was a cat, Mr. Argyle was an owl (trite, I know), Sheryl was a poodle plus some other characters that got the axe. The characters would sit at the coffee shop, during their break, and discuss life as we know it.
Perk 3.0: While living in Georgia, I decided to start a small publication to feature the comic strip. I changed the name of the strip to “Perk at Work” and made the name the publication “One Lump or Two: Your Coffee Break Publication”. In this rendition, I finally named the main character Perk (don’t ask his names before).
Perk 3.5: This rendition was still named “Perk at Work”. I liked the characters’ interactions but one thing ate at me: they were all naked. Yes, they were animals and animals are usually naked but it still felt weird. I guess it was because the characters spoke about real-life situations but somehow still lived in an animal world. My solution? Put clothes on the animals. This had a strange effect though. The characters became a bit too anthropomorphic – they looked like humans with animal heads. Images of the Minotaur came to mind and I’m not a fan of that. Still, I labored on and created a lot of strips with these odd creature characters.
Perk 4.0: I took a break from the strip and flirted with the idea of making it a comic strip involving humans instead of animal characters. At that time I was into the marketing of the strip and catering to the audience. The books I read on the subject stated that people like animals and that comic strips about animals stick. I waffled back and forth. I wanted to have characters that would talk about issues that us normal folks would understand, everyday issues. But I also wanted some sort of success to come about of it (i.e., money). In the end, I decided to go with my gut and make the characters human. I figured that if I stay true to what I envision, some good will come from it.