Quitting Time is a webcomic by Michael Moss and Linda Howard. Both have participated at ComixTalk over the years as well as at a number of other webcomic sites. Michael Moss not only works on Quitting Time, but also Gods Playing Poker and Shadensmilen. (He also lives in the Outer Richmond neighborhood in San Francisco — I lived in the Inner Richmond neighborhood one year, many years ago, — a great neighborhood!) Linda Howard letters and edits Quitting Time, Gods Playing Poker and Kirt Burdick’s How to be Bulletproof.
Recently, they've released a print volume of Quitting Time titled "I Love the Smell of Corporate Evil in the Morning!". It includes a slice of the comics that ran up until January of this year. Quitting Time is about retail work and focuses on a fairly ordinary guy named Nate. Nate works retail jobs like coffee shop barista and a video game store clerk. He has a son named Timmy and a roommate named Frank. Frank is… not ordinary. There are also a number of other wacky characters that show up in each storyline. The best thing about Quitting Time is that Moss has obviously worked retail and when it captures a small moment of what its like to stand on your feet all day dealing with demanding customers and corporate doublespeak, it's at its best.
It's a strip that tries to deliver a joke every time and while the jokes sometimes feel a bit obvious, Moss does have a good handle on his main character and does a nice job with Timmy too. Frank is a bit overblown to be more than a source of crazy hijinks but in a sitcom style comic like this, I suppose you need a source of chaos make sure things stay lively. I like the strips most when it's using the retail experience for the jokes as opposed to just creating crazy situations.
The artwork is decent, if a bit sketchy. Since it uses a newspaper style format there's not much room for the art actually. Even so, it's one area where the strip can continue to improve with more attention to the backgrounds and panel composition. Which is not to say it's bad — Moss definitely delivers decent artwork and is pretty consistent with his characters.
I do like the main character — he's a decent guy trying to do the right thing, even when stuck in ridiculous situations like working with the Unibean coffee robot thing or just reading to his kid. Be sure to check out the webcomic and the book at their website.
The creators provided a free copy of the book to ComixTALK for review purposes.