Todd Squad Delta

The home base to the official r/AntiMLM comic! You can read the series here. Enjoy!

 

Synopsis

Todd and Brayleigh had a comfortable suburban life. All seemed well until Brayleigh gets caught up in the woes of multi-level marketing, becoming a LuLaRoe consultant! Kicking her husband out of the house and using up all their money after he doesn’t gift her with leggings, Todd turns to the stars and finds a new life as a Federation shuttle pilot. When Brayleigh strikes out of jealously when he starts seeing a Notikan Speaker by the name of Benthessia, Todd decides to put an end to Brayleigh’s madness once and for all, and perhaps help anyone else out in the process.

 

History

Originally started on Reddit, Todd Squad Delta was supposed to be a short and condensed 3-page comic about does those that sold and stuff multi-level-marketing products in your face, and how it affected the relationships of those around them. I especially took a slant of a significant other and being thrown to the wayside, especially after seeing a few relevant stories on the subjects on that same subreddit.

Hence this series was born. Throwing some of my original sci-fi elements in along with a smattering of others (Elite: Dangerous was a big inspiration), I started to put out a comic sheet every Friday. The board was thrilled with the first page, and I ramped up engagement in another way; letting people give input and votes on how the story. This user input shaped the general jist of the story, from choosing Todd’s partner to who his ex-wife should be named. As I continue on, I will continue to gain their input, so that it feels like there is some sort of community involvement in the tale.

 

Side Fillers

While I did feel very much for my my main story, it was progressing slowly and was bogged down with a lot of exposition. This did turn off some readers, and I was aware that this was a problem. I had to retain readers, make it more entertaining and still carry on in the spirit of the main story.

So I started “filler” pages. These were supposed to be pages in-between of the main story, but would focus Todd’s group directly interacting with events and trending images/topics on the board. From people dressing up as MLM products, to Lularoe brides wearing leggings with a wedding dress and my most famous, SWAT-breaking into a house where a mother was forcing essential oils onto her kids.

This is primarily my focus for the time being, with the main storyline taking a secondary priority.

 

Why?

So I get this question from a small group of people who read this comic, and so far it’s the biggest criticism I’ve received. Why? Why do I have a divorced guy who teams up with three women to go fight an ex-wife who’s in an MLM? Why am I focusing on the relationship aspect of what happens with people who get involved in an MLM? What is this Tenchi Muyo space harem shit that you made me read? (Yes, someone actually said this.)

There’s 3-4 different answers to that question, but it can be boiled down to this overall answer; it was an important messages to convey. MLM’s ruins people’s lives, and an ally of a spouse can often flip and become your worst enemy because you’re “opposing your business”. I’ve seen my share of stories on that board, and it’s senseless and petty. Year of marriage down a drain when someone racks up $30,000 on a credit card for a ton of leggings, or booting you out of the house because you’re “negative”.

There’s no remembrance of the person who’s supposed to keep you safe and spill blood for you, shedding them to the side like they’re a piece of trash. They’re suddenly some annoying gatekeeper that doesn’t want you to spend money, who doesn’t see the potential of your business for you to prosper.

That’s dumb and honestly is a disservice to someone you decided to share your life with. If someone does this and refuses to see the light no matter how much you try to help them, you deserve better of someone that actually cares for you.

Todd is basically a metaphor and a representation of those people who’s been at the brunt end of things. His pals are also metaphor of people, but basically can be summed up to people he deserves. People with enough intelligence to see through something superficial, or emotion driven to want to keep him safe. People who realize that a daunting task can’t be taken alone, and that sidekicks are needed to go along to help ensure it’s success. They all vary, but can easily be summed up to that they realize who’s important and what matters the most, no matter if a bug is plastered to your head, or your uncle owns a pizzeria in Brooklyn.

But there’s more than one girl!

The characters were made on a certain spectrum with the first page. I had always intended at first that Todd would walk away with one girl, and fully expected one person to win in a landslide vote, the other disappearing into oblivion. What I didn’t expect was everyone loving each character equally that the winning vote would be by one, and each character drawing in a certain genre or type of person.

I guess I accidentally created compelling characters.

For example, older women seem to like Benthessia. Guys like Vash’na. And most women and married people like Marcella. Seeing so many people love the characters in general made me want to appeal to the fans, and throw in everyone for a big grand adventure. And my main audience (those over at r/AntiMLM) loves it, and are even excited to see how the characters’ relationships would develop with each other.

I think that’s a long enough answer.