In His Clutches
Original Release Date: September 1, 2009
I like these montage-style pages because they do a lot to spruce up what could otherwise be a visually boring sequence. Bob is giving Mike the business concerning his upcoming work assignment, and while there may be some appeal to seeing Bob pace around his office, making a lot of animated gestures and exagerrated facial expressions, this approach gives the page a little more variety, and gives the reader the opportunity to see what Mike will be going through without actually having to devote a page to his typical day at the office. So, the montage is good for both pacing and visual appeal.
I don't know if you can tell from this page or this storyline, but I wasn't very happy with my day-job situation. I was working in an industry that was suffering from recession and battling antiquity, so hours suddenly became long for some and cut for others, people were let go, departments were restructured, and the magnifying glass was on practically everybody's individual performance. It was not a good or comfortable place to work. There was a lot of bureacratic policy that was difficult to overcome, and the brass walked around talking about overcoming "new challenges," which was just a nice way of saying changes were happening.
One of Mike and the Ninja's most dominant themes is bureaucracy run amok, and Bob's business certainly reflects that by pairing each repairman with a repair manager. It's a completely unecessary tier in the hierarchy, at least in this case, where repairmen and repair managers exist at a one to one ratio. That's what I felt like was happening at my office--rather than solve problems, they just added new managerial positions, which meant yet another layer of responsibility and red tape that any problem or assignment had to clear. One time I alone got in trouble for missing an error that no less than three successive other people had an opportunity to correct. That tells me something is seriously wrong with hierarchy or workflow, and the last thing they needed was another manager. Yes, I should have caught the error; I won't deny that. But three other people should have, as well, but I was the one who got called on it because I was the last line of defense.
Next time, we'll talk about comics again!