This is a minicomic story I drew in 2015, to debut at SPX. It was available as a PDF and print mini for a while before I made it free, and now I offer it on the main site with commentary! It's a little less strip-like than usual, more similar to the era where OP was updating in larger chunks. It takes place in the early-mid 2000's.
During my youngest, hungriest years I was briefly an assistant for a photographer in his gigantic lofted SoHo studio, the kind of space a non-millionaire would've needed to secure 25 years prior. He really didn't know what to do with an assistant, and I really didn't know how to be helpful, and so I was merely a target for his contempt. He provided no references for my next job. On my last day there, I snatched a bit of his hash.
As a teacher I grapple with what I can actually offer the younger generation of craftsmen. I can point out a lot of things they're doing wrong, but the truth is I don't know how much of what I did is possible to emulate. I can encourage students to be scrappy self-starters, but my definition of that is broad in a world of evolving markets and tech. It feels as if the ocean has washed many times over the landscape I knew, and this is a lesson in itself I try to impress on the students. Hanna is on the verge of seeing that Jacques may not have her best interests at heart with this kind of "take your lumps" work - but what is the alternative? He is just a craftsman himself, not a true arbiter of industry power, and his proximity to The Life is what she's after.