Regrettable Pluck

The “I can do it” to “I’ve made a huge mistake” pipeline runs fast at Hell, Inc. And also in making Hell, Inc., where I insist on drawing a library stack of personnel documents that the reader will look at for somewhere between 3 and 10 seconds. This week’s Patreon preview involves thoughts about organizing my own reference material for Hell, Inc., which is not a library stack. It is a stack of folders, about six inches tall, and many many digital folders on a hard drive. This system does not make it nearly as easy to find reference material as I would like. But actually changing that is a lot of effort, so…

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

New hire Trash the Stampede brings a fantastic Patreon username to the company, and can be found on the internet at The Word Eater. Now all I can think about is that old computer game Number Munchers, but with words. Maybe I should make that? I have made a video game, Space Jerks, and Patreon patrons got to download it well before anyone else! Patreon is also a predictable source of income, which helps calm the increasingly rough waters of freelancing.

In other news, social media’s slow collapse strengthens the case for Top Webcomics. The Old Internet becomes the New Internet! Click the banner below to vote daily.

Next Week: Sara vs. The Paperwork. Read it early, and with author commentary, on Patreon!

Delusions of Upward Mobility

It’s busy around the Comics Bunker (aka the corner of the living room where my art desk is) these days. I’m bouncing between a freelance illustration job with Scholastic Canada (exciting!), doing some work on the Rent-A-Thug graphic novel (which has been a very slow process), and working on the story mode for Space Jerks. I just picked up another freelance gig that will start at an undetermined time in the future, and will at some point start drawing Hell, Inc. strips again when the buffer gets thin. I’m very tired. All the time.

This comic’s Patreon preview is largely about my lack of organizational skills in terms of making myself reference materials that would save me a lot of time.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Leonardo is Employee of the Week! They supported the creation of Hockeypocalypse: Slashers, and helped make that book possible!  Supporters at the $5/up tiers get to read my graphic novels as I create them, and get a copy at the end! More backers = faster progress, because I currently spend a lot of time freelancing to make money, which is important for being alive. You can also help me out for as little as $1 a month, because that really adds up when enough people get involved.

You can help out Hell, Inc. for free by clicking the banner below to vote on Top Webcomics, which you can do daily! It helps make the comic more visible to webcomic readers.

Next Week: Sara asks the hard-hitting questions that make everyone else uncomfortable. Read it early on Patreon!

Interdimensional Council of Helens

The Patreon preview for this strip is mostly about how lettering needs to be considered during writing, and also about how fun it is to write phrases that sound like they’re from a prog rock album. Probably one that has a laser light show set to it.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman is Employee of the Week. He is co-host of The Simpsons Show, the only podcast about The Simpsons, and also the only podcast about The Simpsons that I have done a guest spot on. You should also check out his website to learn about his new novel releases. He writes that good good scary shit. Indie artists need your support now more than ever, so check out his stuff!

Also check out my Patreon, because if everyone who reads Hell, Inc. on a monthly basis kicked in $1, I’d be able to cut my freelancing schedule to nearly nil, and focus on the things you already like Hell, Inc., and presumably also other things.

You can also support Hell, Inc. for free by telling your friends about it, because that is infinitely better than any promotion I can do. Also voting on Top Webcomics by clicking the banner below is very helpful!

Next Week: Bridget attempts to develop a council, possibly less interdimensional. Read it early on Patreon!

Important Shame Plans

Important Shame Plans, as opposed to unimportant shame plans. Which is, presumably, whatever B.L. Zebub is doing the rest of the time. This week’s Patreon preview talked about lettering, and the main sources I used for learning that art form.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is Employee of the Week, and you can too! Hell, Inc. is reader-supported – no ads, no sponsorships, just Patreon and book sales keep this thing afloat. 2023 has not been the best year for comics income, but you can help turn things around in 2024 for as little as $1 a month, which also gets you early Hell, Inc. strips, previews of other stuff I’m working on, and even commissioned art!

You can also help by telling people about Hell, Inc. Word of mouth is by far the best way to get new eyeballs on the comic, and that all starts with you, the reader! Tell your friends, tell your co-workers, or vote on Top Webcomics by clicking the link below!

Next Week: Bridget seeks allies, and an interdimensional council is involved. Read it early on Patreon!

Here There Be Monsters

I’ve drawn weird monsters on bathroom signs in a couple of series now, and every time it’s because I’m imagining a fantasy map with “here there be dragons” written on it and applying that logic to toilet signs. I think I used it first in Hockeypocalypse, but regardless of which was first, it’s appeared in that and in Hell, Inc. In this week’s Patreon preview, I talked about how early the geography of the office was decided on, but how the reader gets that information much more slowly.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

“Game Time” Art Middleton is Employee of the Week! Follow him on Twitter, if that’s still a thing you do, or check out his Twitch streams, OR… do both of those things.  Also, head over to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, where you can support the continued existence of your favourite office demons and read new strips early (see above!). It turns out that humans, like demons, need money to live! Me, specifically.

In other news, social media’s slow collapse strengthens the case for Top Webcomics. The Old Internet becomes the New Internet! Click the banner below to vote daily.

Next Week: Hey, so if you didn’t know WHERE the bathroom was… Read it early, and with author commentary, on Patreon!

The Judgement is Mandatory

Sideswiping Doug’s self-esteem is time honoured mid-strip joke, if time honoured such things. This week’s Patreon preview doesn’t talk about that. It instead talks about how sometimes I put a ton of work into a thing that I know nobody will see, and then fall ass-backwards into that ending up being worthwhile.

In other news, I’ve been deep in the project mines while I await the finalized version of an upcoming contract. BURGERPunk stretch goals have been on the frontburner (oh god why are there so many of them). I’ve also gotten back on my Rent-A-Thug shit, and have upgraded and prepped La Cosa Glasnostra for eventual print (sometime in 2024). It turns out that I just needed to get to the right part of the Creativity Wave, which for me goes “I just finished this thing and it’s amazing -> I can only see the things I’d do differently now -> there are flaws, but this is pretty good!” I need to be in the first or third stage to be in the headspace to get something prepped for release, but because La Cosa Glasnostra was a Webtoon contest entry, I landed in the second stage before I got to getting the print release ready.

I’m also working on making a video game version of the Spreadsheet Tetris that gets mentioned in Hell, Inc., but programming is hard, so that’s probably going to take a while even though all the art is done.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Leonardo is Employee of the Week! They supported the creation of Hockeypocalypse: Slashers, and helped make that book possible! You can do that with my next graphic novel, which I will be serializing on Patreon as well. Backers at the $5/month and up tiers will get a copy mailed to them when it’s finished! You can also help me out for as little as $1 a month, because that really adds up when enough people get involved.

You can help out Hell, Inc. for free by clicking the banner below to vote on Top Webcomics, which you can do daily! It helps make the comic more visible to webcomic readers.

Next Week: Sara asks the hard-hitting questions that make everyone else uncomfortable. Read it early on Patreon!

The Empty Cubicle

This week’s Patreon preview talks about the phenomenon where a piece of media advertises a mystery character death, and then it turns out to be a whole lotta nothing. Except in this case, I killed a “character” unadvertised to empty a desk. Real galaxy brain stuff.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Shane Lees is Employee of the Week! He has a webcomic, Tales of Abuse, which you can check out at his website. You should also check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon, which is my predictable form of income. One of these days it will replace the need to freelance! Not a SOON day, but one day!

You can help out Hell, Inc. for free by clicking the banner below to vote on Top Webcomics, which you can do daily! It helps make the comic more visible to webcomic readers.

Next Week: Have you heard that judgement is mandatory? Read it early on Patreon!

But First, Cerberus

Sometimes I forget that Doris is the receptionist for the office, and can be used in that capacity for joke delivery purposes! It’s also fun to bring the janitors back, because I like drawing those green weirdos. They’re a department, like I.T., that could probably carry their own comic. Not them, specifically, because they’re barely characters, but I think the ideas of “I.T. Crowd but in Hell” or “demon janitors” have something to them as workplace comedies.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Sebastian is Employee of the Week, and you can, too! It’s how I have predictable money, which is both Cool and Good because we live in capitalist hell-world. If everyone who read the comic in a month chipped in $1, I’d be able to turn down most freelance work and focus on doing Hell, Inc. stuff and my own graphic novels! That would be preeeeetty cool. Especially now, because I am brooooke.

You can help Hell, Inc. for free by voting for it on Top Webcomics, which has been a great way to draw in new readers. Click the banner below to vote daily!

Next Week: And now, non-Cerberus business. Read it early on Patreon!

Huffing Misery

You probably shouldn’t huff misery – like any inhalant, it will kill a whole lot of brain cells. Like sadness whippets. This week’s Patreon preview is about the amount of time it takes to make a comic compared to the amount of time it takes to read it.

This strip is the “Halloween” one, which I put in quotes because all of them and none of them could be considered Halloween-y. It’s a story where everyone is monsters, which is a point in favour of Halloween, but it also doesn’t really have what I would consider Halloween energy. I haven’t really thought about how Halloween might be reflected in Hell, Inc. Maybe I should? If nothing else, drawing everyone in dumb costumes might be fun.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Barrie Deatcher is Employee of the Week, and will get to read my next graphic novel as I draw it! It was intended to be Rent-A-Thug, but now it might end up being a different thing, depending on how some things pan out! Freelancing is chaos, as I often say, and part of that means pitching a lot of things, and almost all of them being rejected! In this specific case, it also means getting offered an illustration job completely unrelated to all of the work I’ve been doing on pitches. Patreon is my predictable source of income, and I would very much like it to grow to the point where I can get into a workflow of webcomic + graphic novel, without worrying about pitches and the publishing industry.

Remember Top Webcomics? That’s still a thing, so if you want to boost Hell, Inc. in the rankings and funnel some new readers in, click on the banner below. You can vote daily.

Next Week: Important Cerberus Update. Read it early on Patreon!

 

Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude is a very fun word to say, even if Doug apparently doesn’t know what it means. This strip means I’ve caught up with the buffer again, so I’m going to have to get back to the comic mines.

I’ve lately been spending almost all of my creative/work time in the RPG mines, which I didn’t expect to have such veins. As I mentioned last week, Hell, Inc. The RPG has launched on Kickstarter. This was a project undertaken on a whim and which we didn’t have huge aspirations for – the costs involved were pretty low, so we figured we’d recoup those pretty easily and then maybe hit the first stretch goal. Instead, it’s absolutely blowing away every crowdfunding thing I’ve done to a pretty comical degree. Not in terms of dollars, because the rewards aren’t that expensive, but the backer numbers are already nearing the most I’ve had one one project and it’s not even been a week. Is this being successful? If you haven’t, yet, click the images below to head over to the Kickstarter and check it out – it’s a very fun rules-lite RPG with a unique mediocrity-based dice mechanic.

Next Week: Sara plays motor oil mixologist. It goes as well as you think it will. Read it early on Patreon!