The Sticky Notes of Self-Confidence

“Sticky Notes of Self-Confidence” sound like an item in an RPG about an office. Speaking of which, I have a half-written draft of a Hell, Inc. tabletop RPG. Is that something people would be interested in seeing? If that sounds like a thing you might want to play, let me know, and I’ll devote some effort into polishing that up into something more publishable.

Also, welcome new readers that I met at the Saskatoon Entertainment Expo, and also thanks to current readers who stopped by to say hi and pick up some of my other books. I’m writing this newspost on Thursday, so the con hasn’t happened yet. I’m just anticipating that at least one of those things will be accurate by the time it’s over and this post goes up.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Happy Harbor Comics! I did a signing there a few weeks ago, for my new graphic novel Redcoats-ish 2. It went quite well. Thanks to HH for having me, and for their ongoing support! If you’re in Edmonton, go check them out. If YOU want to be Employee of the Week and have me say nice things about you, donate at least $2 to the Hell, Inc. Patreon!

Next Week: Butt fire. Pull the Butt Fire Alarm early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Reading Is Hard

Floating in an endless, super weird void is still probably better than most mid-tier corporate drudgery. I don’t have data to say that conclusively, but I have a strong suspicion. Panel 4’s composition was mostly an excuse to draw the sombrero cat again. It’s fun.

Breaking news: I’m going to be making a special appearance at the Saskatoon Entertainment Expo this weekend to launch Redcoats-ish 2! If you’re in Saskatoon, stop by the Renegade Arts Entertainment booth to likely listen in on me and Sharkasaurus creator Spencer Estabrooks try to figure out how to add Sharkasaurus to the War of 1812.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is the Employee of the Week! He hasn’t given me anything to plug, so I will just thank him for his long-term patronage, which goes all the way back to HEAT. If you want to be thanked for your patronage, or plug something, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon. Gimme yer $2.

Next Week: Sticky notes take centre stage. Learn what that means early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Why Do We Have This Place!?

The Break Room is a really weird concept from a Hell, Inc. short story that barely anybody read. Happy Harbor Comics (who you may have noticed in the Employee of the Week section of previous posts) used to host a 12 hour comic challenge, where you had to make a 12 page comic in 12 hours. I wanted to do a Hell, Inc. story, but also knew that I needed a way to cheat heavily so I didn’t have to draw all the perspective and setting stuff that takes a long time. I came up with the idea that the original break room was a break from reality, and sent people into a white void with stuff floating around in it. That story was teeeeeerrible, and far outclassed by my friend (and Ape Court collaborator) Dan’s story, which was the Mexican bootleg edition of my comic, but I liked the idea of the break room void. The cat wearing a sombrero is an homage to Dan’s bootleg, although I don’t think any cats appeared in that story.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! Perhaps I’ll run into him again at this year’s Edmonton Expo, where I will be one of the Creator Guests! If you want to be Employee of the Week, check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon, where you can also read each week’s strip several days early and even get some digital comics at a deep discount.

Next Week: The intern’s psyche is going to be mostly PTSD by the time Hell, Inc. is done with her. See how she reacts to the Break Room by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

He Thinks He’s Funny

The greatest terror of all – the boss who thinks he’s funny. Steve Carrell became a zillionaire from that archetype. I’m almost certain that, were I to have employees, I would be the boss who thinks he’s funny. If it went anything like my time as a teacher, that would be the case. Turns out teenagers don’t think really dryly delivered Simpsons jokes are funny, because they’re wrong.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cait of the North. She Twitters a lot, and also lives in the same house as me. You too can be employee of the week, by donating to Hell, Inc.’s Patreon, and continue to keep the lights on at our favourite corporate overlords’ office.

Next Week: Steve has some things to say, and Doug does not want to hear them. Find out what Steve says on Patreon.

Intern, Slave, Serf… Pick One

“Unpaid internship” is the most “HOW IS THAT ALLOWED!?” thing about capitalism to me. “Hey, we want you to work full-time hours, but we’re not going to pay you, you’ll just do it for experience. No, this totally isn’t just a way to trick people in to giving up all of the labour rights that we’re forced to pretend we’re okay with. THE CORPORATION IS YOUR FRIEND.” I mean, obviously it’s allowed because the people who run all those companies are the people with influence in the spheres of power that regulate them, but… argh, y’know? Argh.

I also didn’t anticipate I’d use these newsposts to critique capitalist bullshit as often as I have. Especially since I am a low-end bullshit capitalist. Although that’s mostly because, if I’m not, I will make no money in the arts and have to be a low-end bullshit capitalist benefiting someone else, I guess?

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is the Employee of the Week! I’ve met him at the Edmonton Expo a few times, and he’s a wonderful chap. I’m using British slang now, I guess? If you want to be Employee of the Week, donate $2 to the Hell, Inc. Patreon page, because drawing comics requires money. Got something to plug? Let me know, and I’ll link it in your Employee of the Week post!

Next Week: Nobody calls you. Give this low-end bullshit capitalist a few bucks if you like his internet comic, and you can read it early!

What The Here?

“What the here?” is the most Steve Carrell in “The Office” that Zebub gets in the entire comic, I think. I mean, I haven’t written the whole thing, or even most of it, but that seems like the kind of thing Michael Scott would try to make catch on in an episode in the first few seasons. Unrelated, balloons where the text breaks out (“Doooooug!” in panel 1) are a huge pain in the ass all of a sudden. I used to be able to do them on the first try, no problem. Now? I’m pretty sure that one took as long as the rest of the lettering on the page combined. What the here?

Employee of the Week:

Damion, a longtime supporter of my previous webcomic, HEAT: The Space Age of Pro Wrestling, has remained on board for the transition to the new hotness (because Hell, get it?). Thanks, Damion! Want to be Employee of the Week like Damion? Donate $2 or more to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, because you like the comic and because capitalism forces us to use money to validate our existence.

Next Week: We learn a bit more about the capitalist hellscape of Hell. Patreon. Read early. I’ve written so many of these prompts to action that my brain is melting down.

Toner Rejected

This is the outcome that my brain always convinces me is ABSOLUTELY going to happen whenever I have to do the mildest equipment maintenance. I was putting ink cartridges in a new printer earlier, and spent most of that process terrified that I was somehow going to break the cartridge and spill ink all over my carpet. It’s an ink cartridge, the dumbest person in your office can change an ink cartridge without destroying the flooring, but that’s my brain in action.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cait of the North! She definitely isn’t the employee of the week because we live in the same house. That’s crazy talk. You’re crazy. Follow her on Twitter. You too can become Employee of the Week by donating a few bucks to the Hell, Inc. Patreon page, which is how I make money on this thing, which is a requirement of our modern capitalist hellscape.

Next Week: What the here, Doug? What. The. Here. Read it early on Patreon!

Illusionary Photocopiers

I have returned from the Panel One Comic Creator Festival in Calgary, which means my hellish month of May will be over, which is AWESOME. It hasn’t been a bad month, by any stretch – I moved into my new home, I did several fun and lucrative conventions – but oh my god I’m tired all the time why can’t I sleep for a week bluuuuuh. Thanks to everyone at Panel One who stopped by to pick up some books and chat, and shout out to those of you who mentioned Hell, Inc. specifically. It’s always nice to get a reminder that those view count numbers are actual people.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman is the Employee of the Week, and definitely hosts a podcast that aligns with your interests. Check out The Simpsons Show, which is exactly what you think it is from the title, and Serial Fanaticist, a podcast about stuff that people like.

Next Week: Doris is the MOST helpful. Find out how by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon.

The Daily Regret

The Daily Regret sounds like a very depressed newspaper.

I have returned from Auroracon in High Level, which was an incredible experience that has left me utterly exhausted. I had planned to get some work done on Sunday night after getting home, but instead I fell asleep on the couch after dinner. For 7 hours.

Next weekend is the AALT conference in Drumhellar, then I have a weekend off… to move into my new place. BRB dying.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK
How is an entire business the Employee of the Week? Shut up, that’s how. Thanks to Happy Harbor Comics for their patronage, as well as the fact that they carry all of my books and bring me to book fairs at schools and libraries across Alberta!

Next Week: The Intern. Read it early by becoming supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

An Accounting of Harpies

Drawing this scene was a really hard transition after several strips in the Arrivals area, which was close to the easiest possible locale to draw. The Real Break Room has so many more little touches to think about, like the magnets on the fridge, what’s in the fridge, how the word fridge is kinda fun to say… actually, no, that last one didn’t have anything to do with drawing.

You’re reading this after Calgary Expo, but I’m typing it a week in advance, because time travel exists now but only in kind of lame ways. Anyway, thanks to all of you who stopped by the booth to chat and buy stuff, and to all the cool new people I will presumably have met. Time travel!

Next Week: Regret. And, shockingly, it’s not Steve regretting eating those bees. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!