Adventures of a System Admin is about JJ, a college dropout and aspiring System Administrator that was hired by E.L.Y, a research company specializing in biometrics. Don’t know what a system Admin is? Well, they’re responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems like servers. To put it simply, they kepe the lights on for sites like this one. For JJ, his task is to protect and confront all types of hackers from exfiltrating valuable information. In this slice of life comic, now on issue #4 from writer-creator Juan Espinosa with inks and pencils from El Santa, and colors by Candela Grizutti, we get the chance to see his job as hackers with new tricks trying to gain access to the company’s most valuable assets. But, thankfully JJ is more than ready to take them head-on.
In this fourth issue, Adventures of a System Admin #4 – Rubber Ducky, the latest in Espinosa’s story JJ and the team slip up after focusing on one so much that they lose sight of others in the mix. As they realize their mistake, the overly confident JJ and his team have to adjust. Because of their mistake, people may lose their jobs if they can’t get it all sorted out and get control back. With 24-pages, Espinosa uses each speech balloon to let us know not only the story but to make sure that the content is accessible for those who aren’t the most technically savvy, without feeling like too much exposition.
While Espinosa uses dialogue to explain the situation to the readers he doesn’t nerf the way the different members of the IT team talk to each other. It all feels natural and as a slice of life, the issue also shows us what the IT team does on their time off. How they relax, who they relax with, and JJ’s use of Spanglish with his family leaves each character feeling like people I know in real life.
To get some insight into the issue, a “Rubber Ducky” is a device that looks like a regular USB. This harmless looking hacking tool is deceptively dangerous since once you plug it into a computer, it has the power to take your online life from you from passwords to files and watching every move you make on your desktop. This simple everyday object is one of the reasons I’m not supposed to plug anything I don’t know into my work computer.
The great thing about Adventures of a System Admin #4 is how Espinosa puts detail into the relationships in every panel. While TJ is targeted for his past by someone else at work, a rubber ducky coming into the workplace makes these relationships come into conflict while allowing others to become even more solid. The way that each character plays off each other by either building friendship or paranoia in a workplace set against hackers, even when they’re one of their own is interesting and well done.
El Santa’s art is fun, chill, and make workplace story all the more interesting while Grizutti’s colors fit each setting, brighter when at home and more muted in the office. The entire issue works well together and while it’s a little slow, this series a great break from end of the world events in other titles. Espinosa also offers copies of each issue of Adventures of a System Admin in both Spanish and English, with Ely Santos on translation.
Adventures of a System Admin #4 is currently on Kickstarter, head here to support the book.
Adventures of a System Admin #4
El Santa’s art is fun, chill, and make workplace story all the more interesting while Grizutti’s colors fit each setting, brighter when at home and more muted in the office. The entire issue works well together and while it’s a little slow, this series a great break from end of the world events in other titles.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.