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It's entirely possible that they do have headquarters like that

a glimpse at Foksuk headquarters From Poepoe. Click thumbnail for full-sized corporate comic policymaking.

Let me translate the dialogue for you:
Panel 1, Caption: Monday, April 22, 2002. Staff meeting of RGvT's executive management at their headquarters in the Fokke & Sukke Tower. On the agenda: InHolland's campaign request.
John Reid: Your reply to Janine was far too blunt, pal!
Jean-Marc van Tol: But John! All I said was "Thanks, but no thanks!"
Panel 2. Jean-Marc van Tol: I told Janine we only take on jobs like that anymore if they're either a lot of fun or very well-paid...
Panel 3. Bastiaan Geleijnse: ...whereupon you said that neither condition was met in this case and that she and her campaign could therefore go fuck themselves.
John Reid: That is a bit blunt, J.M.
Panel 4. Bastiaan Geleijse: They are still our one of our clients...
Jean-Marc van Tol: All right! I'll apologise for my rude answer and tell her we're simply too busy to take the job.
John Reid:: You are a gentleman.
The story will continue tomorrow...

Cartoonists are undervalued. The story Jean-Marc is telling is one in which a prominent educational institution offered the makers of Fokke & Sukke, then as now one of the major names in Dutch cartooning, a mere € 2000 for five cartoons which were to be featured in a multimedia campaign involving posters, postcards, magazines, billboards, you name it. Now, I'm used to working for a pittance, but even I would have had the good sense to negotiate that amount upwards (considering the use to which it was to be put and my earlier experiences working with schools). Fokke & Sukke are worth a lot more. The person making the offer knew this, and tried to soften the trio up by mentioning that it would be good publicity for them as well. (This episode) This argument is often used on beginning cartoonists; to assume that the succesful Foksuk collective would buy it is to insult their intelligence.
We are undervalued. And to a large extent, that's our own fault. We tend to be bad at business skills like administration or putting a value on our time, we tend to forget about things like price indexing come contract renegotiation time, we put up with standard contracts even after we're in a position to negotiate better ones. Myself, I'm very bad at negotiation — this year I managed to turn a situation in which I had leverage to ask for an increase from my biggest client into one where I was put on the spot to make decisions or else lose the job. I hope I won't make that mistake again.
Jean-Marc has been working for years to enable cartoonists to do better: to stop putting up with low bids, not work for clients who are cheap or who try to screw you over (and to recognise when this is the case). With this new story on his stripblog Poepoe, he's showing a concrete, real-world example of the actions of a bad client. And while he's at it, he tackles another cause of the undervaluation of cartoonists: our own portrayal of ourselves.
Of course, Fokke & Sukke isn't produced from a Trump-style tower. Maybe it is these days, but it wasn't back then. Yes, they were raking in the cash, but they were only using conventional rakes, not the combine harvester they have to use now. But consider how he could also have portrayed the trio discussing the matter: he could have pretended the meeting was set in some seedy dive, with each of the three creators hunched over a bottle, drinking away their sorrows and angsting over how they are being exploited. And that, I'm afraid, is how many of us would have portrayed ourselves. I've seen plenty of examples in the past that were Portraits of the Cartoonist as a Drunken Hack.
Clients see those portrayals as well, as do other cartoonists. It feeds into our self-image as a group, and it feeds into the outside world's image of us. It's refreshing to see another image instead: that of cartoonists as hard-headed bastards who know what their work is worth. Jean-Marc has been kind enough to show the corporate headquarters of other cartoonists in the first panel: [Barbara] Stok Palace, the [Maaike Hartjes] building, Dirk-Jan Flats, Heinz-the-Movie Studios and the Sigmund Institute.
OK... not really all that hard-hearted. JM still allows for the possibility of doing jobs just for fun, and his co-creators want him to be more tactful. But it's still a refreshing change. Take it further, Jean-Marc!


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