Office Online Web Comics: Conversation with David Salaguinto
David Salaguinto (pictured to the left) is a writer on the Office User Assistance team at Microsoft who uses comics he creates to have fun, and to connect with readers -- see his Office Online Web Comic blog. In this conversation, David discusses how he got started, and where he gets inspiration from.
Geetesh: Tell us more about your work at Office Online. And how did you get started with the web comics blog?
David: Mostly, I write about Visio for the people who use it, although I do occasionally write about other Microsoft Office programs if a team needs my help. Every month, we look at the feedback we receive from customers, and we try to address it. Sometimes it means we write new articles or update existing ones. Sometimes it means we produce a video demo or online training. Sometimes it means we try new things. They don’t always work, but we like to think we learn from our failures.
One of the things we wanted to try was a comic. A colleague of mine found a fascinating article about comics being used in unusual places. What if we did a comic for Office Online? I thought it sounded like a fun idea, so I jumped at the chance to create a comic using Visio. For my first comic, I did a rather simple one about printing:
I personally thought it was kind of corny, but my coworkers seemed to like it, so I made more. Pretty soon, I was posting them online. You can read more about how I got started in this column I wrote for Office Online.
Geetesh: I love all the content you put up on the Office Online Web Comic blog -- what inspires you for all the ideas based on Microsoft Office applications.
David: I get a lot of my ideas from my coworkers. Sometimes, someone will send me an idea for a comic, but more often than not, I’ll read something in an e-mail or overhear something in a meeting that strikes me as a possible source of humor. It turns out that jokes aren’t that hard to write. Finding irony and surprise in everyday things—like Microsoft Office—now, that’s hard. For example, I was reading something written by a coworker about how a PowerPoint deck can have multiple slide masters. I immediately thought of the saying, “No man can serve two masters,” which lead me to this comic about PowerPoint and Marketing:
That’s where the ideas come from. As for the punch lines, well…I don’t actually know. They seem to come out of nowhere, but only after throwing out dozens of bad ones. You’d cringe in horror if you saw some of the bad punch lines I came up with for the preceding comic.
Geetesh: Tell us about some favorite posts you have put up, and why they are your favorites?
David: I think my favorite comics are the ones with the little pink girl in them. I have two young daughters myself, and I love the way they talk and how they look at the world. For example, I‘ve noticed that a lot of kids have started using PowerPoint in their school projects, which lead me to this comic:
For this comic, I spent a lot of time crafting the words so they would ring true and sound believable. I also wanted to capture the excitement in the child and the caring in the father. In so far as the comic succeeds, I think it succeeds because of that (and not just because of the jibe at marketing—although that certainly helps). As you can probably tell, I have a lot of fun creating these comics—probably even more than you have reading them.
Categories: interviews, graphics, , microsoft_office
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 |
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.