About d+pad

A video game store, the people who work there, and the customers they’re forced to serve.

Joe' Joe

This crudely illustrated comic is based (loosely at times) on my experiences working for a well-known chain of video game stores. The staff members of VGS were inspired by my real-life colleagues, and their encounters with customers, management and each other are often rooted in fact. Though it has been several years since I’ve worked in that store, the day-to-day nonsense I experienced while there has left me with enough material to keep the comic going. Sporadically.

When I’m not making d+pad strips I keep busy as a marketing copywriter, writing websites, ads, marketing materials, corporate communications and the occasional haiku. Yes, my writing is a lot better than my art, wise ass.

I also occasionally play video games…


Q. What’s a d+pad?

A. d+pad is a semi-popular webcomic about a video game store, the people who work there, and the customers they’re forced to serve. It’s also the cross-shaped switch—or, pad—found on video game controllers that you use to move your character or cursor in a specific direction, hence “d-pad”. Since the advent of the analog stick, some people have taken to calling it the “digital pad”, but that’s really secondary to its actual purpose.

Q. What’s with the tax jokes?

A. During my tenure at the video game store, literally hundreds of people asked me to calculate how much something would cost with tax. Some would even do it repeatedly, on multiple items as if they were waiting for me to say the secret password so that they could dump goo on my head. I’m not talking about little kids who had yet to learn their multiplication tables; these were teenagers and full-grown adults, some of them with teenagers. I had never before encountered this specific brand of stupidity (or laziness, or both). Yes, this is Canada, and yes we pay too much tax, but the rate of tax doesn’t fluctuate based on whether you’re buying a PC game or an Xbox game or a strategy guide. It was just one of the many irksome bits that came with the job and made for excellent comicry.

Have a question? Send it my way and I’ll add it here!

joe at dpad dot ca

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