Von Karin Hinterleitner am 31. Juli 2000 um 00:00

Das E-Mail Interview mit Jamez Sanchez, dem Author und Zeichner von http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com">http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com führte Karin Hinterleitner, http://www.contingent-arts.de , im Sommer 2000.

Ongoing e-mail interview with James Sanchez, BigtimeConsulting.
Start: 17.07.2000

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KHL: Mr. Sanchez, you are the creator of the http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com">bigtimeconsulting.com cartoons.
It's a real insider-site, cause it mirrors the daily life in an global and reputable consultancy agency. How did you start to do these cartoons? Did you really work at Anderson Consulting during starting your "history"?

JS: I worked for Andersen Consulting from 6/1998 - 2/2000 based at their San Francisco office. It was during this time that I was inspired to create the BC comic.

KHL:I see, that was the moment you started your cartoons called History Part1 to Part 6. Did you have serious problems because of your BC comics?
Did you have to leave AC because of your artistic courage?

JS:Yes, I had to leave Andersen Consulting as a direct result of my comic. When my identity became known,I was almost fired immediately. Their decision NOT to fire me gave me time to look for a new job. I was able to find work in Texas (my home) and I am now much happier!

KHL:I am glad for you, that you feel so much better after this change. Even for our interview it's good, cause you're no more dependent on AC.
But does your new employer knows about your passion for civil courage? Aren't they afraid that you'll continue doing the same to them, to articulate the unspoken truth of your company in public web space?

JS: I told my new employer about the cartoon before taking the job. They had no problem with it, and never mentioned it in any "official" way. I have chosen not to make fun of my current employer as a courtesy. Also, there are many more people who enjoy making fun of "Bigtime Consulting". The firm I work for now is definitely "Smalltime Consulting!"

KHL: I see, you'll continue to make BC cartoons! What's the difference between Smalltime and Bigtime Consulting? What's the reason, why so many people enjoy making fun of BC? What has an enterprise to do, when is it "Bigtime enough" to initiate your cartoon creation?

JS: People enjoy making fun of BC because the people who run BC invite ridicule. Also: nobody feels guilty about making fun of a bunch of millionaire partners!

KHL: Yes, I can imagine a bunch of jokes... . When came your decision to put your cartoons online?

JS: I started drawing my cartoons while in a weeklong training course at St. Charles, IL. I had plenty of free time, and initially the cartoons were only for my own entertainment. Around June, 1999, I decided to take the rough-draft cartoons I'd drawn and use them as the basis for a "real" comic. I felt I could put them on the internet without getting caught, so I did!

KHL: Did you promote your website in any way? I guess, you felt the need of public, putting it on the internet.

JS: I put the comic on the internet so people would see it. Promoting it was simply by word-of-mouth -- initially I used anonymous e-mail to send the comic to people I knew might enjoy it. After enough people forwarded the cartoons it became popular!

KHL: >You have some specific European stories. How did you learn about the situation in the European locations? By e-mail feed-back?

JS: Yes. Most of the cartoons are based on fan feedback. Fan feedback is even more important now that I'm out of the firm. It's difficult to do cartoons based only on news reports--employees and former employees have the best stories!

KHL: You really keep faith with your former colleagues, aren´t you? I guess, before it must have been fun and 'challenge' to operate undercover. How would you describe your role before - a mystique persona like Zorro? What impact your outing had on your feelings for the 'project'?

JS:Being "undercover" was definitely the coolest part about the cartoon, and the part I miss the most. As far as the project I was "outed" from--I try to focus on the positive, such as the friends I made there. Being on the outside has changed the way I feel about the cartoon: I used to feel like I was trying to "change the world"--now I'm just trying to sell T-Shirts!

KHL: Why not - by the way, how much is the delivery to European locations – are you going to offer other merchandising products, the BC-Bible for example?

JS: I think it's pretty expensive to ship to Europe, I had one person complain about it. One product I wish I could sell is the BC Partner Necktie (with a dollar sign at the bottom), but it's not cheap to get custom neckties.

KHL: Back to the cartoons: which do you prefer and for which one did you get the most feedback?

JS: I'm often surprised by the cartoons people like. When I picked the image for the initial T-Shirt design, I conducted a poll. http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/ad.html">"Advertisement" was the first choice. It's also the one I created in the least time (no drawing, all text). Conversely, many of the cartoons that I like aren't popular at all. I like http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/love.html">"Love" and http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/h061.html">"Recycling" and http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/h026.html">"Bigtime Bangaz." Shortly after I did "Fruit" the San Francisco office reinstated fruit bowls--I joked with my friends that I was responsible! By far the most feedback I got was from the http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/final.gif%20">"Stabbed in the Back" cartoon. I ran when I took the web site offline. I received over 100 e-mails that week.

KHL: http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/final.gif%20">"Stabbed in the back", your "final.gif", has a clear message! Have you been obliged officially to put your cartoons offline or was it more an act of self-censorship to "detente" the repression after your outing?

JS: I took the cartoon offline because I was trying to keep my job. That was the first time I realized: "Oh my God, this has REAL consequences!" After my employment situation stabalized, I kept the cartoon offline while I looked for a new job.

KHL: In the feed-back-page to "Stabbed in the back" you publish a replymail of http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/199911.html">Scott Adams, where you ask for his advice about republishing your cartoons. In which way his advice influenced your decision to republish BC-Cartoons?

JS: The advice from Scott Adams helped make a very simple point very clear to me: I couldn't keep the job AND the cartoon.

KHL: He writes also about the "message-problem". How do you feel about your message now?

JS:I think I got my message about AC out. And now it seems that there isn't too much more for me to say (to the world). It was fun while it lasted! - The fan-community seems much less important than it did. The comic now seems like just a hobby.

KHL: Before your time at AC you worked at the the U.S. Air Force. There you did cartoons for http://www.edodo.com/default.shtml">"The Dodo", an underground cadet-run humour magazine. Except, that it wasn't really underground. There were censors who made sure all the cartoons and editorials were politically correct. Actually you had a fan among the http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/h069.html">senior partners of AC. Did you ever think of the possibility to continue by his courtesy as an innovative kind of company artist?

JS: I think being subject to censors is not as bad as working for people you want to criticize. With the censors, we always tried to get away with as much as we can. If AC had chosen to allow me to continue with BC, I would have felt like I had to keep them happy.

KHL: OK! What kind of comics keep you happy?

JS: Any comic that makes me laugh! Hopefully, others will laugh as well. Right now any comic would make me happy, since I haven't had a chance to draw any lately.

KHL: Actually, I’m wondering how you "manage" BigtimeConsulting beside your day job. Did you think about opening your BC cartoons to contributions of other authors? Perhaps there are anonymous talents among your former colleagues!

JS: I have already done that! The first contributed cartoon was BC UK, by http://www.bigtimeconsulting.com/uk01.html">"English Bob". Otherwise, the demands of my job make it hard to draw cartoons frequently.

KHL: I didn´t notice any appeal on the BC site. I propose to put an advert on the BC site, that looks like:


cooperate with

JS: Although I don't have a problem using cartoons people send in, I don't want to ASK for them. I want to be a cartoonist, not an editor!


2001 BigtimeConsulting had to change it's name. The new name is "indenture" and stays in touch with "accenture".

"When you start believing in your own message, you're lost.
- über den Umgang mit interner Kritik in vernetzten Organisationen
am Beispiel indenture versus accenture"
Lecture interfiction 2001, Karin Hinterleitner

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