What is Help Desk?
Help Desk is a webcomic that was published (theoretically) five days a week, Monday through Friday. It is a “tech comic” or “geek comic” that focuses on the excesses of and the corruption in the Computer Industry, in a (hopefully) humorous fashion. It’s mostly retired, though I reserve the right to add to it now and again, when I feel like it.
Oh, so it’s a “Microsoft Sucks” comic.
No, it’s actually a “The Computer Industry is a Pack of Liars and Cheats” comic. Yes, the company where the story takes place is named “Ubersoft,” and yes, a lot of the stories are drawn from Microsoft’s real-life antics, but that’s not because the comic is targeted specifically at them: Microsoft is the 800-pound gorilla in the industry, and when they do something it has real and lasting consequences… it’s impossible NOT to write about them.
But during the course of Help Desk’s run to date I have also focused on other companies like IBM, Apple, Iomega, Symantec, Intel, and Intuit (just to name a few).
So what, are you some kind of socialist freak or something?
Seriously. How much do you hate capitalism?
I don’t hate capitalism at all. I enjoy both buying and selling.
Be serious. What do you REALLY think of the free market?
I don’t know. Show me a free market and I’ll tell you what I think of it.
How did you get the idea for this comic?
Back in 1996 I found myself increasingly disgusted with the customer service I got from computer software and hardware companies. It seemed like any time I tried to call in with what seemed a perfectly reasonable and legitimate question, I wound up getting the runaround from someone who spent all his or her time and effort trying to convince me that the problems were my fault.
One night my father and I were swapping horror stories about trying to get technical support to actually provide support. The stories on their own were really funny, and I said offhand that someone should create a comic strip that focused on that.
Weren’t there already strips like that?
Well, sort of, but not specifically. Dilbert focused on corporate life — the projects and the customers were secondary to the inter-office dysfunction. I haven’t really seen too many other tech comics that focus specifically on the traditional “villains.”
Why does it look like you re-use the same graphics over and over again?
Because I re-use the same graphics over and over again. This is a clipart comic.
Isn’t that a cop-out?
Is Alex based on your personality?
He’s a lot more like my brother.
Which character IS based on your personality?
Mark, to a certain extent.
Have you ever destroyed a computer with a baseball bat?
No, but there’s still time.
Why is this FAQ so short?
I don’t get a lot of questions about the comic.