How We Do Things Here

AKA Hell, Inc. strip #100! It simultaneously feels like we should have hit number one hundred a while ago and like the comic just started. By strip 200, there will be material for FIVE Hell, Inc. print books if I keep the current length static. Madness.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Caitlin aka 95 Percent Coffee aka the only reason my Twitter gets updated with anything related to my art and isn’t exclusively used for talking about sports and movies I watched. If there were an actual Employee of the Week award, she would probably win it once all of the guinea pigs and chinchillas had gotten their turn. Also, she has a book coming out on Friday, so you should pre-order that. It’s a collection of 13 short horror stories, including some that were featured on the Drunk in a Graveyard podcast. Also, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon because it would be cool to have more money that isn’t reliant on stumping for freelance work.

It would also be cool if more people read Hell, Inc., and you can help with that by upvoting it on Top Webcomics. So please go do that.

Next Week: Lies beget career advancement and social capital. Read it early on Patreon!

Technical Terms

I should write an entire issue that’s just B.L. Zebub’s half of a phone conversation, because that is a lot of fun. I would imagine it would be a nightmare to keep it visually interesting without getting really weird, but the script would be bananas.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

As the rotation resets, I’d like to take this week to plug that you can get the brand new Hell, Inc. print books (also all my other books) for 25% off until next week’s update! You should do that, because I need some kind of income in December.

Hell, Inc. can also always use income of new readers, which isn’t a clunky-ass transition AT ALL. Anyway, Top Webcomics. Click the banner below to vote – votes early in the month count extra!

Next Week: B.L. Zebub is incredibly informative. Yup. Totally. Read it early on Patreon!

Promotions

Doug is very good at office politics. VERY GOOD.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cindy Gauthier is the Employee of the Week. She also draws things, so you should check out her work, including her debut comic Posthumous. If you want to be Employee of the Week and get a shout-out in an upcoming comic post, Check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon. It helps keep me drawing Hell, Inc. strips instead of being buried in freelance work, which is a win-win for everybody. Specifically, people who like reading these comics and me.

As always, if you’d like to support Hell, Inc. but capitalism has squeezed all of your spare cash out of you, you can vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics! Top Webcomics has been the best resource for gaining new readers, and more votes = more new readers seeing the comic! Click the banner below to vote!

Next Week: Technical terms. Read it early on Patreon!

All Practice All The Time

ALL PRACTICE ALL THE TIME MAKES BEELZY A PRACTICED BOY. ALL PRACTICE ALL THE TIME MAKES BEELZY A PRACTICED BOY.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Long-term employee Damion is Employee of the Week! Make sure you don’t park in his space. If you want to be Employee of the Week, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

As always, if you want to support Hell, Inc. but can’t afford the Patreon, vote for the comic on Top Webcomics! It’s a great source of new readers, and more votes gives it more visibility. Click on the banner below to vote!

Next Week: Team spirit! Join the team of Hell, Inc. Patreon supporters to read it early!

Mandatory Intramural Overtime

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving/regular Monday as applicable!

B.L. Zebub continues to be my favourite character to write, because I can do almost anything with him. All I have to do is have him be a dickhead boss and BAM whatever indignities he’s suffered are in the background again and he’s back to being a tyrannical villain. It helps that he has direct power over all of the other characters, so even if he looks like a buffoon, he doesn’t lose any power. He’s just mad about looking like a buffoon and has the power to make your life difficult because he feels bad about himself. I just accidentally explained all of managerial relations in one paragraph, you’re welcome.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

We’re back at the top of the rotation with Cait of the North, who really earns Employee of the Week status by running a lot of my social media at this point. It turns out that I like Twitter and stuff a lot better when I don’t actually have to spend time writing promotional posts instead of drawing. If you want to help me spend more time drawing, you too can support Hell, Inc. on Patreon! For as little as $1 you can contribute to the comic’s financial viability!

As always, you can support Hell, Inc. for free by voting for it on Top Webcomics! Click the banner below to vote and help drive new readers to the comic.

Next Week: The practice schedule is revealed, because that’s a normal thing for intramural company softball leagues to have, right? Read it early on Patreon!

Mandatory Intramural Slo-Pitch

The idea for this part of the story originally came from that early episode of The Office where the office plays basketball against the warehouse. The plan for it in the third issue of Hell, Inc. was to be a dodgeball game, because I played in a dodgeball league and thought that would be more fun to draw. During the revamp of the series as a webcomic, I changed it to slo-pitch for two reasons: 1. baseball sucks, so of course that’s what they play in Hell, and 2. when I worked as a teacher, it was mandatory that I help with an outside-of-school activity, and ended up “coaching” softball. I wanted to use that complete lack of interest in something that I was forced to do for something other than arranging all skill demonstrations so I didn’t have to actually throw or catch or bat.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cindy Gauthier is the Employee of the Week. She also draws things, so you should check out her work, including her debut comic Posthumous. If you want to be Employee of the Week and get a shout-out in an upcoming comic post, Check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon. It helps keep me drawing Hell, Inc. strips instead of being buried in freelance work, which is a win-win for everybody. Incidentally, I am currently posting this from under the mountain of freelance inking that I’ll be doing for the next few weeks. Good thing I have a buffer of strips!

As always, if you’d like to support Hell, Inc. but capitalism has squeezed all of your spare cash out of you, you can vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics! Top Webcomics has been the best resource for gaining new readers, and more votes = more new readers seeing the comic! Click the banner below to vote!

Next Week: Mandatory Intramural Overtime! Read it first on Patreon!

Summoned

There tend to be gaps in drawing Hell, Inc. strips. Typically I’ll draw 3-5 strips in a week or 10 days, then have to take a break to work on something else – commissions, other comics, boring business stuff, etc. Sometimes those breaks are short. If I’m doing a commission, for example, it might only take a day or two. Other times, those breaks are pretty long, like the two months I spent drawing pages for the new GWAR: The Enormogantic Fail graphic novel. The first strip I draw when I come back from a break is always an interesting experience. Aside from reacquainting myself with storytelling in the horizontal format, how I draw the characters and how I approach the compositions is always a little different. That’s mostly due to art being a skill that evolves over time – when I do a different project, I learn new things and hone skills I already have, so when I come back to something that I’ve worked on over a long period of time, my technique is a bit different. This is all a more-detailed-than-necessary lead-up to saying that starting with a bird’s eye view of the office, where there are many characters and a whole bunch of background objects, was perhaps a more challenging choice than it needed to be.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

The Employee of the Week section is back to normal, post-Kickstarter. BUT, we do have a nice segue between the two, as I welcome new patron Barrie Deatcher, who is also a Kickstarter backer. Welcome, Barrie, and also welcome to the new readers that have discovered the comic as a result of the Kickstarter. If you want to be Employee of the Week, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon – it’s how I keep money coming in so I can cut down on the amount of freelance work I need to take on. Given the amount of freelance work I’ve done this year, it is not working haha.

Another great way to support Hell, Inc. is by upvoting it on Top Webcomics. It’s been the largest source of new readers by a pretty substantial margin, and higher rankings = more new readers. Click on the banner to vote, and make a habit of it – you can vote once a day!

Next Week: Everything that is fun is also mandatory, right? That makes sense. Read it early on Patreon!

Ghost Butts

Sometimes I get to do really stupid things in a comic, and those are almost always my favourite things. For example, using the phrase “ghost butts” in a dramatic context. I also sometimes forget to update the comic on Monday morning because I forget what day it is, which is what happened today. It turns out going to an outdoor concert for like 8 hours on a Friday really screws up my sense of what day it is. On the plus side, I got to see GWAR, Slayer, and Disturbed from the VIP section, so that ruled.

Speaking of music, I’m putting together a Spotify playlist for Hell, Inc. If you’ve got music suggestions for it that fit with the theme of the comic, leave a comment here or hit me up on Twitter.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

This week’s Employee of the Week is Brien Aronov! He, along with the other Patreon patrons, will be getting access to a cool piece of Hell, Inc. short fiction written by my partner Caitlin. I’m continuing my efforts to figure out how to overhaul the Patreon to make it more appealing and provide more content without taking away from time spent on the actual comic. You can support those efforts by chipping in a few bucks to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, which keeps the lights on over here (sort of literally, the Patreon money tends to go directly to bills).

As always, supporting Hell, Inc. for free is also appreciated – go upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics to bring in new readers.

Next Week: How to make a riot riot-ier. That’s a word now, shut up. Check it out early on Patreon.

Satan Give Me Health Insurance

I feel like Satan Give Me Health Insurance merch might do really well. Thoughts? Is that something you’d be interested in? I’ve been kicking around a bunch of ideas for Hell, Inc. merch, but I haven’t been able to get a good handle on what I think people would actually want. In art-related news, the third panel was a nightmare to colour. There are at least three layers of different shades of green creating the miasma of horrors that is B.L. Zebub’s computer usage.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! Please make good use of the Employee of the Week parking spot. If you want to be Employee of the Week, or just help add some stability to my financial health, which allows me to do the comic, donate to the Hell, Inc. Patreon page.

As always, supporting Hell, Inc. for free is also appreciated – go upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics. Readership has expanded substantially since the comic has been on Top Webcomics, and that all comes from your votes boosting it up the rankings for better visibility.

Next Week: Gas leak. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

The Chase

And now, this week’s REAL comic, after yesterday’s April Fools post. You can see the stylistic changes pretty clearly. Aside from the obvious addition of colour, the shapes are a lot more defined and polished.

I also had to be a lot more inventive with the panel layout, since the traditional nine panel grid doesn’t really translate to a strip. The nine panel grid is really ideal for this kind of moment, though, because it has such a strong feeling of moment-to-moment continuity. It’s like a film camera cutting from shot to shot rapidly.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:
Brien Aronov is Employee of the Week! Things over at the Hell, Inc. Patreon are getting a revamp over the next month or so, partly because I learned that post scheduling was an option. Check out the page to see the first Guintern Newsletter and learn about my office guinea pigs and their perspectives on the business of cartooning. Patreon helps me take less freelance work, which means more time spent focusing on the comics you’re already interested in – it’s pretty much a win-win situation. If everyone who read the comic yesterday threw in a buck, it would cover my mortgage payment. That’s how big of a difference it can make.

Want to help out, but can’t afford to contribute to the Patreon? I get it, late capitalism sucks. So here’s a new, FREE way to help boost Hell, Inc.’s readership and help it stay viable! Click on the banner below to vote for Hell, Inc. on the Top Webcomics list. The farther up the rankings Hell, Inc. gets, the more traffic gets driven to the comic. You can vote once per day, so check it out!

Next Week: We return to the normal Monday update, and Doug returns to the loving embrace of the Hellevator. Patrons can read it early!