I worked at a corporation for five years before getting full-time into working in comics. I like to bring this up often because few comics talk about the corporate world, office jobs, and more, considering the number of readers within this sector. Although, it makes sense, as we are fully aware that this line of work isn’t as entertaining as reading a hero fighting a monster or a horror tale about a dark creature chasing a family. Nevertheless, we know that some crazy stuff can happen at the office. Comedy, drama, even horror, we can find it all, which is why I love it when I see books about office work.
It is a vast world. There are positives, like learning professional and personal lessons, knowing people, making friends (and more), and sharing with people similar to you because every profession has a profile, so your peers, bosses, and subordinates are likely to have something in common. On the flip side, there is a culture of disregarding the individual in favor of the company, long work hours, office drama, horrible bosses, and more which undermine the whole experience. The exciting part is that many things can happen in the office besides getting the job done.
Space Job #1 by David A. Goodman, Álvaro Sarraseca, Jordi Escuin Llorach, and Mauro Mantella tells the story of Danny Sheridan, a former chef’s assistant turned First Officer of a spaceship after years of working a shitty job. But on the first day at his dream job, something seems fishy, and he discovers nothing is as it seems.
First, the parallelism between the spaceship and an awful workplace is remarkable: inappropriate romance, inept workers, an asshole boss, inconsistency in decision-making, and more. Although the creators have mixed every possible lousy aspect of this kind of job into one setting, every corporate worker will feel they’ve lived an element of what is happening in the spaceship. For someone who has been there and done that, it feels relatable, on a level another book could never be.
As with any excellent office drama, this book focuses on its characters. We get to know the characters on a personal level more than on a professional, which is critical to being interested in them. Their love life, insecurities, and behaviors make them human, which is what’s great about a story of an average job. The art understands this, focusing on diverse character design, giving each person different characteristics. There are a lot of conversations showing a range of emotions for everyone, which makes them more relatable.
In addition, this kind of human story needs to be well thought out and fresh, so it doesn’t feel repetitive for readers that work at an office all day, all week. A futuristic and mysterious element surrounds the office drama, giving the readers another dimension of interest. For new readers, this will create a combination of a known aspect, work life, and comics aspect, more fantastic stories such as space mystery.
Overall, Space Job #1 is a promising first issue that combines office drama, mystery, comedy, and good character development to catch readers for many reasons, showing the flaws of the corporate world and individualism while setting up a fun story for the following issues.