There’s an old joke that goes like this: A boss was discussing the office dress code with her new employee. “Don’t dress for the job you have. Rather, dress for the job you want.”

The man came to work the next day. Dressed as Batman.

Arch Bros

Speaking of dressing for the job you want, the Arch Bros always dress that way. Here’s the latest installment of their adventures.

arch-bros_promo

Incidentally, this is another Arch Bros comic that sprang directly from the mouths of my sons. My younger son sprung this one on his mother, in talking about college:

“I’m going to schedule my classes for 11:30 a.m. I figure I’ll be out partying till 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. Then I’m going to need my 8 hours of sleep. So I figure 11:30 is a good time to go to class.”

My mother-in-law said that he had told her the same thing, and that it was a result of advice that I had given him.

And it’s true.

I told him, “if you stay up all night partying, you’ll have a hard time making it to class in the morning.”

The dress code

My wife sometimes shakes her head. When she met me, I was a graphic artist at The (Canton, Ohio) Repository. (She was a reporter.) I wore a tie every day. And, usually, suspenders — the button kind, not those bush-league clip-ons. That was the guy she thought she was getting involved with.

Heh.

And — to be fair — that’s who I was at the time. Newspapers were still thriving, and I was part of a rising tide in that industry. Visuals were becoming a bigger and bigger part of news presentation. And I was doing some pretty advanced work for the time. I started accompanying reporters on breaking-news scenes. I did a ton of graphics that weren’t ordered by reporters. Much of my work stood alone as an entire news package — instead of supporting a traditional story.

Godzilla_2

And some of it was pretty good work. I was getting noticed. I had interviews with some very big newspapers — all with the intention of bringing my brand of visual journalism to their organizations. I was being groomed to lead entire departments. My selection of ties and suspenders widened.

Heck, that’s what brought me to Philadelphia.

But the industry has already begun to slide by then. Not only that, but management changes brought a halt to my upward progression. One fateful Friday, it was made clear to me that I had made it as far as I was going to go: deadline news artist.

That following Monday, I dusted off an old comic-strip submission that had been rejected by all six of the syndicates I had shipped them off to.

Most of them are out of business today. Coincidence? You decide.

By the following month — February 14, 2000, to be exact — I posted the first Greystone Inn on my own site. And for the next several years, without fail, I self-published my comics on the Web, six days a week. Evil Inc spun-off from Greystone in 2005. The strip was now five-days-a-week (nobody reads webcomics on Saturdays), but I was certain I had made the right choice. I had a future in comics.

I’ve left newspapers now. Or they left me. And I’m a full-time cartoonist — with a completely different dress code. My ties spend most of their time hanging in the closet (except when I teach classes at Hussian College). And I seldom wear suspenders to work.

They clash with sweatpants.