The rise of the gig economy has triggered an onslaught of new businesses, labor debates and plenty of media buzz. A lot has been said and studied in regards to what this emerging model means for consumers, and who’s paying to use these on-demand services in the first place. Less attention has been devoted, however, to the employees who comprise this emerging labor force, or the sharing economy’s implications for the future of work.

In this zany illustrated report, our own James Richter puts the spotlight on the people of the on-demand economy through first-hand interviews, analysis and even comic strips (written by James and illustrated by David Alvarado).