Thursday, December 31, 2009


My father passed away in the beginning of 2009. His death was closely followed by the passing of my wife’s brother. These events sort of set the tone for the entire year.

My father lost a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. My brother in-law, a long battle with alcoholism. They are both sorely missed. As much as I am grieved by their deaths I am even more deeply saddened by the way these two diseases took two strong vibrant individuals (my father an ex-Marine and an artist, my brother inlaw a Veterinarian) and savaged them until they became mere shells of their former selves. I know the Marine in my dad never would have wanted to live the way he lived the last few years of his life, unable to do practically anything for himself. One of the saddest moments of my life is the day I looked into my father’s eyes and realized he didn’t know who I was. The light of recognition in his eyes was gone. That really hurt, even though at the time I couldn’t admit to myself that it hurt. It’s a pain that I am hoping someday others won’t have to experience. In order to do my small share to help I am going to donate 15% of the money I make for Working Daze (it's not a lot) in 2010 (and hopefully beyond) to the National Institute on Aging (

Scott and I would also like to encourage those of our readers who can to also try to make an extra contribution to their favorite cause: be it for families who deal with alcoholism (, be it cancer research, be it the boys and girls club, be it The Salvation Army (, be it whatever. We know times are tight. But even small contributions can help. Heck, sometimes just giving time to a charity can be cool.

Since this is suppose to a be a fun comic, I’ll stop sounding like an after school special. There were some good things that happened this year, the birth of a new nephew (Mr. Felipe, the boy always on the move) and new niece (TZ, the girl with those eyes) being the highlights. The family lost two members, the family gained two members. I guess that’s how the Universe works. I am sure my father Mike, and brother inlaw, Manuel, are smiling down on the two new additions. After all, my dad always loved being around young life and these are Manuel’s grandchildren.

Finally, since this is the time of giving, we’ll be doing some giving. I have a bunch of extra books around: some original Working Daze books, my latest novels and my YA book Baxter Moon. We’ll give away 10 books to 10 randomly chosen people. All you need to do is email me at: All you need to say is: I would like a book. Or something like that. If you are one of the ones chosen you will then be emailed and asked which book you would like. The goal is to start 2010 off on a nice note.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Year coming to Close

As the year is coming to a close here are some of the strange things I am thinking about.

Okay, I assume our senators and congressmen are intelligent human beings so why do they all act so ridiculous once they become senators and or congress peoples. What they heck every happened to best for country being more important than best for party. Are these guys all just trying to make sure they keep giving Jon Stewart material for the daily show?

Is it really reform without a public option?

When the heck does Chuck come back on and why the heck did NBC wait so long?? Are the Networks being run by partially trained chimps?

Is Avatar going to be Star Wars for this generation?

I'm sorry by New Moon can't be Star Wars for females cause well Star Wars was good.

Wow, I am freaking 52 years old. I remember when my dad was 52 he sure seemed old to me. Can I really be that old? I must be getting old because I am actual anxious for Christmas to get over with. I like it, I really no. I am no scrooge, but man there is a lot of hassle to the season.

Are the Buffalo Bills ever going to get the superbowl again?

Why does the new 27 inch Imac have to be so pretty? Can a computer be pretty? Yes I guess it can.

Why does reality tv seem to breed and nurture such idiots? I am looking at you Spencer and Heidi.

Note: my start of the new year post is going to be much more serious.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We have a winner

Hey all:

We have a winner in the "you can be in working daze" contest. The winner knows who he or she is and their special cartoon will appear in December.

We want to thank all who entered and there will be more contests and giveaways in the future.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I hate shredders

Hey all:

Been organizing my office, which means a lot of shredding, which means a lot of shredder jamming. We have two shredders in the house, one tiny 3 paper one and one that holds 6 sheets. I've learned these numbers are no arbitrary. I've learned the hard way, by jamming each one of them on numerous occasions when I tried to hopefully "squeeze just one more page into this batch of shredding..."

It's not that I can't count to 3 or 6 it's just after shredding over and over again your brain (well at least my brain) starts to think, "you know John if I could just squeeze in an extra page or two here and there I could cut down on my shredding time and do something more fun, for example actually write something..." So I inevitably try to cram a few extra pages in, figuring, "this time I will get it."

Ever once in a while it does work. There are times though, most times actually when I end up jamming the shredder. I need to use the reverse button, tooth picks, ice picks, scissors or whatever to unjam it.

This begs the questions: why I do repeat the behavior when I know what is going to happen and why don't I just rip the damn things by hand?

My answer (albeit not a good one) is: I somehow think "current John" is smart than "past John", past John is the guy who tried to cram 8 sheets into the 6 sheeter but did it wrong. Current John learned from his mistakes and will now cram those 8 sheets in better. Even if this current John fails, he will learn from the experience and make future John brighter.

That is my answer, which I like better than just admitting I'm lazy and not all that bright.

This will certainly show up in working daze.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Do you want to be in comics?


Ever want to be a comic strip character? Well now is your chance as we are having the sort of annual, "you can be in working daze" contest. Just email me at and tell me why you deserve to be in Working Daze.

Scott and I will pick one or two or maybe even three lucky winners.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Updates and Stuff

Hey all:

There is a new page now up of the Zach comic. I hope you find it a fun read and tell your friends.

Also for something a bit different my good friend, world class hypnotist Elena Beloff recently visited me and first interviewed me about the writing process then she hypnotized me into thinking i was Zach from my books (and more.)

It was pretty cool.

Oh next week Rita tries to come up with a "catch phrase".

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Roy and Reading

Okay, who else feels like Roy when it comes to reading Manuals? I have to admit I am. I really read them as a very very last resort.

Oh there's a new page of the zach online graphic novel.

BTW, in the coming weeks Rita will be trying to develop a new "catch phrase."

Friday, July 31, 2009

New Zach comic

Hi all:

There is a new Zachary Nixon Johnson comic available for free at The comic will update on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Tell your friends.

Feedback welcome!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sapphire Sirens cover on Amazon

Hi all:

The cover of my new novel: The Sapphire Sirens is now on amazon. I think it is a cool cover.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Working Daze rule number 1

Hi all:

One that that is fairly constant in the working daze world is that Dana will win 99% of the time. The funny thing is though despite her power and control over the office she is still probably the lowest paid member of the team. I do think that does seem to be the case a lot of times in many organizations where it appears that pay is inversely proportional to the amount of the work a person does. Your thoughts?

One other note about this toon, somebody mentioned that Dana should be smiling in her close up. After all she is showing what great power she has, maybe an entire office swoon with the snap of her fingers. This is true, but Dana is disappointed that none of these people will be doing any work for at least the new few hours.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Help Working Daze

Hi all:

Scott and I are continuously trying to make Working Daze as good as we can. It many ways its a labor of love for us as while we do get paid the amount we get is pretty much generated by add revenue which means when the economy takes a hit so do we.

It would be nice if loyal Working Daze readers could spread the word about us and tell a friend and have them tell a friend.

It also helps if people visit this blog and leave votes and comments on the web site.

We want Working Daze to thrill for a long time and it can with your support!

Also would you loyal reader want me to explore more of Dana's magical side?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Next week's working dazes

Hi all:

Next week Working Daze will take a turn away from the realism of the last two weeks and go for a bit of whacky fantasy.

Hopefully the readers will like it. I think they will.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still questing for 1K followers

Due to good progress the quest for 1K followers for Roy has been extended to the end of the month.

If Roy does get 1K followers by then I will give away a few books to readers who comment about Roy's quest on this blog.

Roy really wants to be the fictional geek = of Ashton K.

Said it once and I'll say it again, "Roy may be fictional but he probably has more in common with most people than Ashton does," :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Hi all:

My Niece Nati who is 1/2 the inspiration for Dana (and part the inspiration for Roy's feet) became a mom last night at 4am. Like everything else Dana does the delivery was quite efficient. So efficient the doctor barely got to the hospital before the baby was born. The baby Felipe (Nati lives in Costa Rica where she works for a big multinational company) and mom are doing fine.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lot of emotion

Hey all. This toon created a lot of emotion and responses. Really it was only meant to show the folly of management and to make Working Daze a little more "timely". In a week or so we will have a nice fantasy week.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Getting a bit real

Hi all:

To kind of mirror actual life layoffs will be coming to Working Daze. Yes one character will be cut basically cause he is very replaceable mid-aged white guy who works hard but is nothing special. In other words an easy cut. Don't worry being the comics this will sort of hopefully end happily. Well sort of.

On another note still trying to get Roy 1000 followers (at least on twitter) though I am being flexible and also counting followers on this blog.

If this happens I will give away copies of some of my books. In today's world free stuff is good stuff.

So come on, if Ashton can get close to 2 million followers surely a fictional geek (who is many respects leads a life much closer to the norm than AK) can get 1K.



Friday, June 5, 2009

Powerful Geek Poll

A new fun poll to help determine who the world's most powerful "geek" is. This was inspired by the recent poll of most powerful celebrities where Ms. Jolie and Oprah were named in the top 2. (And president Obama was named in the top 50.)

I left these three off the poll as well I am not sure they qualify as geeks. Of course this poses a bigger question: who really is a geek?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Still Questing for 1K

Roy is still hoping / pleading for 1K followers by mid July. Scroll down for details of why and the cool prizes that can be won.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Hey all:

One of the people who helped contribute to working daze as the real life partial inspiration to Roy got hurt pretty bad on Sunday. He was up on a ladder at his stepmother's house cutting down a branch with a chain saw. This real life Roy (we will call him Ron cause that's his name) succeeded in bringing down the branch, unfortunately (I think you can see where this is going) the branch also brought him down. He fell 20 ft, luckily, and luck is a very relative term here the chain saw didn't land on him.

Of course even without getting clocked by the saw he still received significant damage and had to be airlifted to a nearby trauma center. He is on the road to recovery now from: two broken heels, a broken ankle, a broken wrist (many bones in the wrist) and a couple of cracked vertebrate.

Feel free to post your "get well soon" wishes.

He is still texting and sending photos from his Iphone but finding it is very difficult with one hand.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


When I mention Roy's quest to 1000 followers I will count both Twitter followers and blogger followers. I am thank flexible (i.e. desperate.) The more "we" get the more books I will give out.

Times are tight right now, I know a lot of people who have been "downsized" or "laid off". Being a freelancer I can't technically get laid off but people can cut back on their book buying and entertainment spending. Therefore I need to do more than ever to keep interest up.

Working Daze will be reflecting the tighter economy soon. Hmmm....

I just hope the country is on the road to recovery. I think it is. But then again I write cartoons and funny sci fi books for a living.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



We (well mostly me since Roy is basically a part of me and Scott doesn't blog) are now calling Roy's quest for 1000 twitter Followers: Quest41KFollowers.

Follow Roy at:

If the goal is reached by mid June 10 (or maybe more) lucky people who commented on the blog will win free books. What books: well my sci fi books. I have a bunch of them to give away.

Now why should people follow Roy:

1) He doesn't exist yet he is still more like you than Ashton Kutcher.

2) You want geeks to be on your side.

3) He's witty but modest.

4) All the cool geeks are doing it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1000 followers for Roy

Okay I really want to get Roy over 1000 followers on Twitter.

So here's the deal, if Roy gets over 1000 followers by the start of June 15th. I will give away 1 copy of one of my newer books to 5 random readers who respond to this post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Office Bathrooms

This week's Working Daze will center on Rita's brilliant idea to make the office's bathrooms "pay for use". Yes pay toilets are not a new concept but 1) this never stopped Rita she never claims to be creative and 2) they are new to office environment.

At least I believe they are new.

Hopefully it won't become a real "money saving" trend.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Last week a trek week

Why did we do an entire week focused on Star Trek? Well for one thing it's a big geek event we thought Roy and Jay and company would be focused on this movie. Secondly, apparently Star Trek had some influence on my choice to become a sf writer. Thirdly, the gags just seemed to flow. Forthly, I don't really have a forth thing, I just wanted to write forthly.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2day's AFR cartoon

Wow, I never thought today's cartoon with Roy's little robot dog ARF (Artificial Roy Friend) would create so many comments. It is funny ARF was invented by Roy before he had Kathy in his life so there were bound to be some problems. ARF has never been the sweetest pet.

If it comes down to ARF or Kathy pretty sure Roy will pick Kathy. The good news is ARF can probably be reprogrammed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's Working Daze

Hi all:

Today's Working Daze with Rita being in a dilemma about her conclusion that "all managers are twits who are always wrong" since she is a manager is one of my favorite toons in a long time. I think it may because Scott added Dana's line: "It is rather existential..."

Ah the life of a high paid underworked manager is never easy.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Would People Be Offended?

If I rolled my "Tales of MidList Writer" blog into this blog?   This way I would have only have one blog to maintain.

BTW.  I don't have pictures of the other characters inspirations in Working Daze but I can at least hint who they are.

Roy, is based on three different people I use to work with.  He has all of their most geeky qualities.  I also have to admit there is some of me in Roy.

Jay is pretty much based on me.

Andrew is based on Andre Noel the original Working Daze artist.

Ed is based on two people I use to work with, he acts like one of them looks like the other, sort off.

Sue is based a lady I worked briefly with.

Rita is based (very loosely) on my old boss,  she isn't as evil as Rita but I have in fact used her exact quotes in Working Daze.

Dana is based on a combination of my old office manager (you know who you are) and my oldest niece Nati.  Nati actually started off as the inspiration for Medusa but kind of merged when she took a job at a big American Corp.  (She still has a bit of medusa in her.)

Okay in keeping with the trend I do have her wedding photo.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Real Elena

Hey All:

For those who are interested here's a picture of the real Elena from today's cartoon. And yes she is a hypnotist in real life. Oh the big lug with her is me and I am sort of Jay.

You can see Elena in action here.

Friday, April 3, 2009



As a reader pointed out today, today's cartoon was a bit of spin / repeat from a previous toon.  Like I said in the comments on the site I do this for a number of reasons.  The primary reason being: I'm old(er) and I forget things.  I've written well over 2,000 Working Daze gags over the years and I don't remember all of them.  Heck, I don't remember the ones I wrote last month. 

I do keep all the cartoons in one file so I can search and stuff but if I don't vaguely remember doing a toon in the past I don't search for it.  Like I said on the site, Scott has returned gags to me because as he says, "ah John we just did this last week."

Today's life as a freelancer means you have to juggle many jobs at once so sometimes my memory with Working Daze isn't as good as it could be.  I apologize.  Scott and I do try to give you a pretty good product on a regular basis.  Believe me it is more of a labor of love for us than a money making endeavor. 

Today's cartoon though was a repeat more because I like the theme.  We get new readers all the time and there are certain aspects of each character personality I like to repeat.  I feel it's important for new readers to see these and I hope it reinforces these personality traits to more established readers.  

Plus I don't think it's a bad idea to repeat some of our better material from time to time.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today's Blopper

Today's Working Daze Blopper was really (in truth) mine not Rita's.  I know Twitter only gives you 140 characters but some how my fingers just typed 144.  I guess my finger's brain thought it was easier to type two 4's in a row.  I may have more Ed in me than I thought.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Twitter Fame

From looking at twitter is seems to me a quick way to determine how "famous" you are (Twitter Fame Formula) is to subtract those you are following from your followers. The greater your followers are to those that you are following the greater your fame.

My number is like -30. Roy's is currently -12 and getting smaller all the time.

So not only am I not famous but the fictional character I created is more popular than I am.

Monday, March 23, 2009

On Schedule

Hi all,

I actually got the new scripts for the new batch of toons over to Scott on time this week.  Well, pretty close to being on time.

I figure if I report in it will make me accountable and therefore I will stay on schedule or even ahead of schedule.

Now to get ahead of schedule.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Live Backgrounds

Hi all,

The more I see the "live" backgrounds in Working Daze the more I like them.

I hope you all like them too.

Scott deserves some kudos for putting so much into Working Daze.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Man, everybody is using or talking about using Twitter these days.  Even Roy and I have jumped on the twitter wagon. 

I'm still not quite sure what the appeal is. But I am trying it.  So far, it's kind of like facebook but with just the "what are you doing now" part.

Maybe I'm just jealous that Roy has so many more followers than I have?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A bit lazy?

Okay, I am starting to think texting makes me lazy. I was texting my niece and actually started thinking, "there has to be a faster way to type do..."

Yep, I was trying to figure out a way to save myself from typing 1 letter.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Freelance Life

Just wanted to "wax poetic" a bit about the life of freelance writer. Sure, I may not make as much money as I could be making if I kept on being a highly paid "web guru" database guy. Sure, I may not make the money of the big time writers. But I am still quite happy.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • I get to make my own hours. This allows me the flexibility to hang with my wife and son. This also allows me to drop my son off at school and to pick him up from school. It's a routine I have been doing for the last 11 years or so. Sure it's made him a bit spoiled, but I believe it's made us closer. Plus I like knowing where he is. (Of course as he got older it was more of a having a general idea where he is.)
  • It's neat having readers. Between Working Daze, my comics and my novels I must have around 100K readers. Not a lot mind you, but still enough. It's cool knowing that I make a few people smile every day.
  • I'm my own boss. (I guess this goes with the making my own hours.) I like not having to answer to anybody but myself. On the downside it's tough to complain about what an ass my boss is.
  • The money. Like I mentioned before it's not a lot of money. Very few freelancers hit the big buck where they can gargle with champagne. But if you put in the time and keep hanging in there and don't mind the rejects you can bring in some nice income.
Finally, I realize the freelance life isn't for everybody. The road to becoming a freelancer is paved far smoother if you have a significant other who has a "real job". (You know the type of the 9-5 job that comes with benefits like insurance and retirement and steady income.)

I'm just grateful that I have a very patient wife who has a very real job. It would be nice if someday I become one of those freelancers who does it hit big. (Can you say movie deal?) If that happens I can pay her back by giving her the option of an early retirement.

Until that day comes I'll just keep plugging away being happy with what I have.

Roy in Twitter

Okay, I am surprised it took so long, but Roy is now on Twitter.

Roy in Twitter

Okay, I am surprised it took so long, but Roy is now on Twitter.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Near and Dear

This cartoon was very near and dear to my heart as this is based on a real conversation I had with my wife. Of course I am more Jay than Roy (at least that's my story and I am sticking to it) and in real life it was candy not donuts but close enough.

As you can probably guess I am trying to lose weight. My weight loss program got knocked off track by my dad's passing and then our family trip to Costa Rica to visit my wife's mom.

Starting Monday the diet is back on and so is an exercise program you may seem some of this in Working Daze in weeks to come.

Oh please, tell your friends about Working Daze, we need to keep growing our audience.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Economy Rant


You know I am getting tired of all these partisan reactions to the economy and life in general.

What happened to doing what's best of the people and the country?  Why is always what works follow party lines?  If the democrats have an idea then the republicans almost always reject it.  If the republicans have an idea then the democrats reject it.  I swear a democrat could say, "snow is white and always falls down" and a republican would say, "no snow always falls towards the ground and is white.  Oh and we need tax cuts."

The thing is there is no absolute right here there is no absolute wrong here.  You will always be able to find flaws in any plan.  We all have to be more flexible and see that there can be some merit in what the other side says.  We also have to remember that the economy tends becoming a self-forfiling prophecy.  We think it's going to be bad because politicians and talk radio and tv hosts tell us it is going to be bad, therefore we pull in our money and don't spend as much therefore the economy does in fact get worse.

So let's all try to cut down on complaining about how the other side doesn't get it and figure out that we are all on the same side.  Let's work together and think positive.

Everybody go out and buy something.  Hopefully one of my books.


I will be back from vacation on monday.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Man I am getting old...

The true sign that I am getting old is that I messed up the Princess Bride line in today's Working Daze. I am soooo ashamed of myself. It should be he's "mostly dead" not "a little dead". Sorry, sorry, sorry.

I wish I could say it was the "working daze spot the blooper" contest but sadly it is not.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good SuperBowl Lousy Commerical

I sat and watched the superbowl with pen and paper (yes I do occasionally still use those ancient devices) in hand hoping to come up with some gags for Working Daze while I wrote.

I wasn't planning on getting to into the game. I figured last years game was good and I had no vested interest in either team this year. So I would hope for my numbers to come up in the pool (they didn't) and hope for some clever commercials.

Wow was I surprised. First off, the game turned out to be exciting and a good game. Not a well played game mind you (lots of bad penaltie and some borderline calls) but still very fun to watch. It's not often you get to see great comebacks by both teams. Second off, none of the commercials did much for me. The Doritos crystal ball one was probably the best, though I don't think the doritos people would really want people getting free doritos that way.

A couple others made me snicker but nothing really stood out at least for being good. The on stood out for being really REALLY REALLY to the point where a couple people watching the game at our house said, "wow we would never go to that site even if we needed a new job." So in a sense the commerical was successful since it was one of the few I remember what it is for. In another sense though it certainly didn't make me or anybody else in the room want to use the product.

The good news is I think in writing about I have come up with the idea for some Working Daze cartoons. Hey, thanks careerbuilder!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009



The winners of the "free stuff" "contest" are: Richard Kirchknopf, Ashley Gray and Ginger Turner.

The winner of the working daze txting contest is Jmiller with the entry:


Give me a break, At the end of the day, yet another bloody acronym is just, as far as I'm concerned, a waste of time and money because, dont quote me on it but, I am not nurturing the next generation of casualties with the illiterate rambling of Monkeys.

Winners contact me at giving me your address and the price you would like. Everybody else more contests are on the way.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Stuff

Hi all,

I am now trying to get in the swing of things. I am trying to both get my standings up in zuda and to get my writing rolling again but getting on a regular schedule. The free stuff giveawy is just to kind of jolt me back. Readers who send a email to will be eligible to win one of my books or a working daze mug.

Also for hanging with us Scott and I (well mostly Scott) made this cool Working Daze bookmark that you can download, cutout and use.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The reason for my absence

Hi all,

I haven't been as present or attentive as normal. The reason is here on my other blog.

I hope for business as usual tomorrow.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Txting Cntst

Hi all,

We are hoping for some fun entries in our texting contest. Even those who don't win may still get posted here.

Also we are giving a little (very little) free bonus to all who enter.

The email again

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some promo material for my zuda entry

Please check out Lasers Dragons and Lies in Zuda and give us a vote and favorite. It's not Working Daze but it's still a fun read.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I know I like to think I make my small contribution to the world by making a few thousand people smile now and then. But every once in a while I like to do more. Therefore the medic and scientist in me likes to contribute to the Nothing But Nets Foundation. Their goal is quite simple and attainable to stop the spread of malaria in Africa by distributing nets to prevent insect bites. Every ten dollars you spend buys one net.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Zuda Entry

Hi all:

I am back in DC comics Zuda competition with an entry that is nothing like Working Daze but still fun.  It's called Lasers Dragons and Lies.  Please check it out and if you like it register (it's painless), then vote for it and add it to your favorites.  Giving it a nice rating also helps.

This is my 3rd time in Zuda, it would be nice to win.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Hi all:

Just wondering what you all think of the new photo realistic images being added into the background of working daze?  I actually just noticed them.  I kind of like em.