Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Valued Customers: The End is Nigh

On Monday, one of the longest running and one of the best online comics out there, Our Valued Customers, announced that the curtain will be coming down.  If you follow one of my more modern social media outlets - say, fb or tumblr, you've likely seen me link to the strips on a very routine basis.

I'm taking a risk and posting this strip without permission, but I do respect a good cease-and-desist request

The one-panel comic was about those of us who wander the aisles of our local comic booke shoppes, but the humor was always universal.  The set-up of the strip is a caricature of a real person saying a real thing overheard by the folks working the register.  And, having spent time in many-a-comic shop, it all rang exceedingly true.  I believe he's got a network of other comics retailers sending him heir best stuff, but I don't know exactly how this works.  Just that it does.

Really, the strip embraced the schadenfreude of humanity's hubris and folly, 3/4's of the strips relying on the sense of entitlement, crippling lack of self-awareness of the comics' subjects and, often, the unfortunate hilarity of folks shooting their mouth off as they delve into this thing we call comics.  The remaining portion often captured the moment a comic dork experienced a moment of clarity, coming to terms with how the comics industry, the sci-fi entertainment industry and  affiliated businesses work.  Some of the funniest ones were either parents discussing their kids or kids commenting on

In short, it hit all the right notes for what I think is funny.

Over the years I've purchased print comics from the site and a commission of Superman which hangs in my own Fortress of Nerditude (I always meant to commission a Wonder Woman, but I don't think he's doing commissions any more)  What's amazing about Mr. Tim's drawing style is that he works in a certain chok-a-block aesthetic, but it was always a way to hang the various recognizable accouterments of  nerd-culture wardrobe, which often reflected back tremendously upon what the commenter was saying.  He really captures, if in hyperbolic terms, the pretension, the unfiltered exuberance, the misplaced disappointment, etc.. of the comics folk, who spend so much time on a hobby that boils down to reading by yourself and living in your own head.

Really, the strip has helped me keep some rails on how seriously to take myself and my own obsessions.  No lie.  That and Hoarders, so, you know.  I get my therapy and life-guidance where I can get it.  You can either get offended or laugh at yourself, I think.

I hate having to explain a joke, because you boil it away on the burner in doing so.  But, dang, if he didn't nail just the state of the industry and culture around it, but catch it in the moment it's going from mother's-basement outlier culture to THE pop-culture.

Mr. Tim has produced his comics for years and years now, and I've marveled at his consistent output.  But, now, he's shutting it down, and I'd be remiss if I didn't say something in appreciation for all his work.  I wish Mr. Tim the best in whatever he does next.  Even if that's just putting his feet up and calling it a day.

I am a huge fan of that Andrew Brennan comic, by the way.

everyone should be asked to read this before being assigned a Google account
We'll miss you, sir.  But thanks for everything!

The website

Mr. Tim's store

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