“You know, you could probably make a lot of money from this!”

– someone who knows nothing about the creative industry

Bonus images of the Post-It doodles I used to decorate my cubicle with at my old job can be found on this comic’s Patreon entry (it’s a public post, so no payment necessary to view them). Everyone else in my office would decorate their desks with photos, posters, and other colorful things, but that wasn’t really my vibe. But I also didn’t like how desolate my cubicle looked compared to everyone else, so the doodles were my way of livening up my workspace. Got me some positive attention too, but I was terrible at small talk, so I just kinda awkwardly said, “Thanks…” and went back to my work.


I originally planned to make this comic for But a Jape’s 2 year anniversary (which would have been back in April this year), but I just didn’t get around to making it in time. Instead, I decided to make it now – nothing significant about the timing, I just happened to be in the mood to draw it this past week.

In November 2019, I was laid off from the job I had held for almost 5 years. A job I had liked quite a lot, actually – not because I was especially passionate about the work, but because it was decently-paid, low-stress, and offered very good work-life balance. And as a former “smart but lazy” kid, whose expectations for post-college life was 40 years of ceaseless toil to climb the corporate ladder of an industry I cared nothing for, my first job out of school was actually far better than what I had ever expected.

While I was employed, I felt free to pursue my personal hobbies and interests (art, comedy, writing) at my own pace and according to my own preferences, completely disinterested in whether or not my creative output was marketable or appealing to mass audiences. I was doing it for myself, it’s not like other people’s opinions would affect my livelihood.

After being laid-off, I wasn’t too worried about immediately finding work. Between severance pay, unemployment benefits, and my own savings, I had a pretty comfortable cushion to take my time in finding another job. After all, my last job was at a very respectable company and I had a very impressive sounding job title (Business and Operations Manager: “I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like it was important!”). And surely, once I explained the nature of my joblessness – that the lay-offs were a result of relocating our job functions and I simply preferred not to upend my life and move across the country – no reasonable employer would hold my unemployment against me.

Fast-forward to April 2020 and I’m sure most people can gather what happened then. The world locked down, the economy tumbled, and I thought, “Welp, guess I’m not finding a new job any time soon. But I should be able to show any future employers that I was doing something with my time. Maybe I’ll put some of those old web design skills to work, pivot my career into doing computers like the rest of my family! But I’ll need something to put on that website. Maybe I’ll practice my art and writing skills too and make it a comic website!”

Anyway, butajape.com quickly stopped being an online resume for showing off my web design skills – I’m sure anyone who’s tried to navigate it in earnest could easily tell where it falters as a comic-hosting platform. And over two years later, it doesn’t seem like it’s done much for my job prospects. In fact, I often get the question from interviewers, “But you run a small business now! Why would you want to get back into the corporate world?” Dammit, I’ve been trying to get back into the corporate world! I don’t make any money from this (aside from the contributions of my very generous, and very attractive, patrons of course)!

– James