While the world of IT may not sound like a scintillating place for an indie comic, writer Juan Espinosa make the daily antics of a bunch of IT support workers read like all action rollercoaster in the Adventures of A System Admin!
Publisher: SulaWeb Inc
Writer: Juan Espinosa
Artist: El Santa, Candela Grizutti
Price: £0.69 for issue #1 and £1.49 for #2 & 3 from ComiXology
If you’re looking for a fun read, then don’t be put off by the title of ‘Adventures of A System Admin’. This really enjoyable comic follows an eclectic group of workers in the IT department of a giant corporation. Chief among them is JJ Hernandez aka Gordidon, a university drop out who is looking to make his way in the world while also dealing with hacks, disapproving parents and the rest of his clueless colleagues.
Adventures of A System Admin has that same sit com vibe as Silicon Valley, Office Space or even The IT crowd – which it is perhaps closest to in terms of content, although is a lot less weird! Writer Espinosa does an enjoyable job of making hacks and tech support queries into exciting moments of melodrama. It’s packed full of geeky references and tech speak (just check out the issue subtitles), so if you work in that world then it is probably packed full of familiar concepts. In fact, we think it’s safe to say a lot of this probably comes from Espinosa’s own personal background as it feels very personal in places, – as if he is compiling moments of past experiences to make each issue. Yet despite this, he manages to smooth out the story to make it into something coherent and not just a series of sketches.
While it works for the most part, there are a few instances where the stories could have benefitted from a little ‘x-factor’ to really take them into more far-fetched territory. Part of the problem here is that some of the dialogue feels quite wooden in places, and the whole thing could have benefited with the kind of sparkle you see in other books about mundane service workers like Kevin Smith’s Clerks.
Fortunately the visuals definitely give the whole thing a real shot in the arm and the sparkle that is sometimes missing in the dialogue. Enigmatic artist. El Santa has a really expressive style, which gives the characters plenty of personality and even the driest of moments a real sense of action and urgency. Santa’s style is reminiscent of Chris Bachaco or Humberto Ramos and has that elasticity to the faces and contorted high impact physiques for it’s characters which makes even the driest subject (a WiFi hack) into a high tech thrill ride. The colours are bright and vibrant too and the whole thing has a really slick and very polished presentation to it.
While the topic may not sound instantly appealing, Espinosa and co have made the world of System Administration into a genuinely enjoyable place to set a comic. Thanks to some solid characters (which are backed up with mini fact files throughout) and some outstanding visuals, this is definitely a book which is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Without doubt, the most enjoyable comic you will ever read about high level system administration, this takes IT and makes it fun and exciting in ways as you never thought possible. At the end of the day this is one of those genuinely enjoyable and well put together comics that is just really good fun to read and we cannot wait to see what happens next.