Sorry this comic is coming to you so late! Busy with work, plus I'm thinking of making the comic full-color.
Want to recommend Madoka Magica to your friends, but afraid what they’ll think of you? Fear not! I’ve taken the liberty of making Madoka suitably EX-TREME for American audiences.
It's the return of Cliffy Chance, the mid-level associate! Senior enough to have the faintest clue what the firm is about, yet junior enough to get stuck managing the fresh-meat summer associates. When a partner's time gets billed out at $900/hr and a mid-level associate's at $300, I know which one I'd stick on babysitting duty...
I sometimes feel there’s a certain cultural divide between the old generation of lawyers and the new. On one hand you have people like former ABA president William Robinson III, who willfully ignores six-figure student debt loads when he himself paid $330 a semester to go to law school. (Here’s another cartoon I did for Bitter Lawyer about him.)
On the other hand, at my swearing-in reception I was one of two new attorneys (out of about 13) who had a job. Even those lawyers who, against all odds*, find work often end up living with their parents. What else can you do on a $50,000 salary and a $160,000 debt at 7%?
For these and other reasons, it’s hard to feel that people like William Robinson III represent me. And it’s hard to feel that I don’t live in a world completely alien to that of experienced attorneys.
* This is not a figure of speech. American law schools graduate more than 46,000 new J.D.’s per year. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that only 74,800 new legal jobs will open up in the next ten years. That’s roughly six new lawyers for every new legal job, not counting the existing body of displaced lawyers, which is substantial.
Typically, a summer associate position at a large enough law firm culminates in an offer of more or less permanent employment after the summer associate finishes law school the following year. As new lawyers cannot typically get into prestigious law firms otherwise, this is one of the reasons that summer law firm positions are so widely sought after--with "student loan interest now accrues during law school" coming in at a close #2.
Today's comic is about Juan Pujol "Garbo" "Arabel" "Ballsy McSacks" Garcia, who was quite a character. Any old schmuck can conjure himself up an imaginary friend or two. Only Garbo could make up a whole fictional spy ring and pass his fake subordinates off convincingly enough to fool the best minds of Nazi intelligence. His espionage activities made him the darling of both the British and German intelligence services, and he ended up with both an Iron Cross and a MBE by the time the dust settled.
But... what if he used his powers for evil?
ARTISTIC LICENSE: Like most spies, Garbo had a handler in the Abwehr. He wouldn't have addressed his letters directly to Hitler. But Hitler is more readily recognizable than Wilhelm Canaris.
Playing around with Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint. It’s a very capable tool—I definitely couldn’t have done the background in that first panel without the automated perspective rulers. Also, I tried adding color, but not very much.
I regret to inform you all that my laptop's GPU, after over two years of service and a reflow or two, has finally given up the ghost. While this makes games much more interesting to play, it also unfortunately makes it a little difficult to work on Cute Lawyers.
Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going inactive. I've already secured a replacement laptop, and by any objective standard it's an upgrade. However, I am also out of town and away from my Manga Studio discs, meaning that for the time being I won't be able to use the new laptop to make comics in the same manner as I did this one.
So what am I going to do now? For the time being, I'll probably find a way to continue Cute Lawyers using other tools, such as SAI or Clip Studio. Otherwise, I'll just do some filler art, things of that nature. Either way, your patience is appreciated. Thanks for reading!
The 50th comic is here, the gang is all together at last, and the summer associate arc is now starting in earnest. To celebrate, Wilkie and Claire have slight redesigns!