Norm Feuti, Creator of Retail

February 17, 2006

    Shopping is something we all have in common. Whether we browse specialty or department stores, cruise through grocery markets or make a quick dash to the corner store, we make contact with retail employees. And those store clerks have eyes and ears. They have been taking notes on how weird, obnoxious or just plain funny their customers can be. A past retail worker himself, Norm Feuti has changed careers, putting his drawing pencil and sense of humour to paper to create Retail, a high-spirited, delightfully funny comic strip. Fifteen years of working in sales has given this new cartoonist an awful lot of ammo to draw from. But he’s not looking for revenge - he’s looking to grow respect for retail workers.

    Interested in doodling in high school, Norm Feuti didn’t think his skills were up to continuing into art school. Instead, he began his retail career in a convenience store.

    From the convenience store, Norm moved on to shoe boutiques, including an up-scale shoe store, an educational toy and gift store and then on to selling jewelry, clothing and other varied items. *(1) Later, he added his own small business to the mix, selling unique and hard-to-find games and puzzles. *(2) Dealing with fussy, rude, silly and confused customers and co-workers on a daily basis made an impression. “Whether it is the headache of returning merchandise, the joy of finding the perfect gift item or some other consumer/salesperson interaction, it all melds into one fertile ground for humor,” said Feuti in a King Features press release.

    Now able to use his burgeoning talents in drawing and comedy, Norm obviously underestimated just how brilliant his art skills were as a young man. Retail is set in the fictitious “Grumbles Department Store” in a mall, leaving lots of room for future growth. The comic strip features four main characters; Marla, Stuart, Val and Cooper deal with customers arguing about closing time, staff sending new staff on impossible missions, customers on hunts for invisible aisles, and over-educated managers wondering how on earth they got stuck in sales. It’s all there and it’s all funny. Retail is a slick, professional comic strip, drawn with what looks like an experienced, skilled hand. Norm’s sense of humour and timing are right on the button, making for one really funny cartoon that almost everyone can relate to and enjoy.

    Under the King Features Syndicate umbrella, Retail debuted on January 1, 2006 in 20 newspapers around the United States. The comic strip has a great hook – a web link at www.retailcomic.com, and a toll-free telephone line that anyone can use to send in their retail experiences, customers and store employees alike. The telephone number is also crafted into the Retail logo as the number section of the UPC code. Just add a “1” before dialing. “If your story really stands out as something I think readers will relate to, I’ll turn it into a joke for the strip.” It’s definitely a good idea - readers love to participate.

    The clever 35-year-old Norm Feuti and his family make their home in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Norm juggles the growing pressures of being a popular new cartoonist creating the hilarious dailies and Sundays of Retail with the joys of being a stay-at-home Dad.

    Good luck to Norm Feuti and Retail. I hope to see him in funny pages everywhere.

Visit Retail for a daily chuckle:
http://kingfeatures.com/features/comics/retail/about.htm

*(1) http://www.ocala.com/ (Link missing.)

*(2) http://www.kingfeatures.com/pressrm/rel_215_28_12_2005.htm

*(3)  http://www.retailcomic.com/en-us/

Feuti Retail
© Susanna McLeod 2006
TheCartoonists.ca