This week, we're reading Retail, by Norm Feuti.
Retail is the story of the overworked staff of Grumbel's department store, one of the anchor stores in an average American shopping mall. It follows Marla, now the store manager, her regional manager Stuart, their employees, and all of their agitations and anxieties as they deal with customers, lives at home, and the ever-looming threat of their arch-nemesis, the competing department store Delman's.
Norm Feuti worked in retail for fifteen years before pursuing his dream of becoming a syndicated cartoonist, and the stories he tells in the panels of Retail draw from his own experiences during that time. The result is a strip that reflects the best and worst days of anyone who has ever worked a register.
Marla is the manager of Grumbel's. Though she's often dreamed of striking off on her own to start a small business, her responsibilities to her young family keep her in her steady, salaried job despite her misgivings, and she's worked hard to become a good manager. Her staff is a genuinely fun ensemble of people from a lot of different walks of life and who reflect a whole lot of different perspectives.
We love Retail because of the big, fun cast of characters-- there's someone almost everyone can relate to-- and the way it mimics the real life of Retail employees so very well. If you or someone you know works in retail, you'll love Retail-- and even if you've never done so yourself, you're sure to have seen-- or been (uh oh!) -- someone awfully like some of the customers that are featured in the strip!