The Annual Candied Sheep Riot

This is the 75th Hell, Inc. strip, which I only know because of how I name the files. Strip 100 will be dropping in December, assuming the current weekly schedule remains and isn’t ramped up.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out ways to make the Hell, Inc. Patreon more attractive to new Patrons. What kind of stuff would you want to see out of the Patreon that would make you kick in a few bucks? Hit up the comments or one of the myriad ways to contact me (Twitter, FB page, my email, whatever).

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman has published a novel, and is Employee of the Week! Check out his novelatory debut, Conquest, available in ebook or paperback format from Amazon. The employees at Hell, Inc. are a creative bunch, I tell ya. If you want me to tell readers to buy your book, support the Hell, Inc. Patreon and finance things like “paying my mortgage” and “eating.”

If you want to support Hell, Inc. for free, vote for it on Top Webcomics. The comic has only been on there for a month or so, but the daily average readership has increased by like 10x. It’s ridiculous. So let’s see how high we can get that number.

Next Week: RIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOT! Riot early on Patreon.

The Sellout

This strip has my favourite cameo so far, I think. Patrons already know what it is, but call it out in the comments if you know.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Sylvia Douglas is Employee of the Week! Please help out her partner Been’s efforts on behalf of Sober Saturdayz, a group focused on providing a safe, inclusive party space that isn’t centred around alcohol. Normally I would tell you to give money to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, but this week, support Sober Saturdayz instead. Tell them Hell, Inc. sent you. Or don’t, whatever, I’m not your mom.

If you still want to help Hell, Inc., do it by voting on Top Webcomics. It’s been a steady supplier of new readers, and new readers = more readers, which means more comic for everyone. It’s free, and you can vote daily to help boost the rankings.

Next Week: The annual tradition begins. I’m hearing the Mortal Kombat music in my head right now. Patreon. Support Hell, Inc. there, I want to buy the new Mortal Kombat.

The Line

I spent an obnoxious amount of time drawing cameos into this page. I brainstormed for several days before I sat down to draw, and ended up pulling together a collection of references to other properties that had office and demon stuff involved in them. Can you spot them all? Leave your guesses in the comments!

Calgary Expo 2019 has come and gone, and left Hell, Inc.’s corporate coffers much fuller than they were a few days ago. The rat race never ends, though, and after a day off I’ll be back on the road to Aurora Con in High Level, AB, where I’ll be teaching some comics classes and slinging books.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Me, because I have one day at home in a span of 11 days, and I will probably have lost my mind by the end of that. If you want to help keep me in the office instead of on the road, you can support Hell, Inc. on Patreon. Even just a buck or two adds up pretty fast, and at 20 backers the original black and white Hell, Inc. comics will be mailed to your door!

Not everyone has disposable income to support their corporate overlords, but you DO have the ability to click the banner below and vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which helps new readers find the comic. You should do that. Frequently.

Next Week: The boundaries of personal property are tested. Patreon patrons can read it early!

Suffer In Silence

This is the 65th Hell, Inc. strip, and it’s dropping on my mom’s 65th birthday! Happy Birthday, mom! She’s not reading this, but I’ll say it here anyway.

This is one of those cases where I designed a thing without thinking about the fact that I would have to draw it more than once. When I had the idea of the faces of damned souls swirling around in the elevator walls, I only had to draw the elevator in one panel. I, uh, should probably re-think having whole strips set in the elevator, because drawing those faces in the wall took foreeeeeever. This one features a few fun cameos – two of them should be easy to spot for the majority of you, while one is pretty specific to my friend group and one is a very bad drawing of one of my other friends.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Sylvia Douglas, who also makes a cameo as a damned soul in this week’s strip! That timing wasn’t on purpose, because I never know who the Employee of the Week is until sit down and look up the chart, but worked out quite nicely. Check out the Waffle Log Blog, because if you’re anything like me, you’re delighted that it exists. If you want me to be delighted that your blog or other project exists, support the Hell, Inc. Patreon, which is how we pay for this corporate juggernaut to continue… jugging? It’s also how we pay for better sales pitches than that.

Want to support the comic, but can’t afford the Patreon? Click the banner below to vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics – it’s a ranking site that drives a ton of traffic to the comic, and the higher the vote total ends up being, the more readers see the comic.

Next Week: What do interns eat? Let’s do some science and find out! Patrons can read it early!

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!

Canadian Standoff

This strip turned out exactly how I imagined it when I was writing it. It was also WAY harder to draw than I thought it would be. I don’t know why, nothing about it was particularly difficult from a technical standpoint. Well, that’s not true – doing effects on the shot through the glass door in panel 2 was pretty labour-intensive.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! He gets the fancy parking space next to the door. There’s going to be a bit of a revamp coming to the Patreon, as I endeavour to provide more value and some neat interactivity. If you’ve ever wanted to be drawn into a comic, maybe keep an eye on that. More on that next month, when that stuff starts being rolled out. Or just sign up now and give a few bucks to a corporate overlord that will actually notice it!

Next Week: The best chase since Bullitt. See it early on Patreon.

Workin’ Hard or Hardly Workin’?

I think my favourite thing about Steve is that he gives me carte blanche to write dumb, hacky jokes and have them work within the context of the comic without seeming out of place.

Also, welcome to those of you who’ve checked out Hell, Inc. as a result of Emerald City Comic Con! I gave away a ton of bookmarks, and have seen the numbers spike pretty heavily over the course of the weekend.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Damion is Employee of the Week!  YOU could also be Employee of the Week, and if you’ve got something to plug, get your links shared with the webcomic-reading public for $2 over at the Hell, Inc. Patreon!

Next Week: Canadian standoff. Read it early on Patreon!

Fire Water

I really tried to push some colouring techniques that I don’t really use much – I tried some new brushes to make the colour transitions in Sara’s face less abrasive than my normal hard-edged Photoshop brush. I’ve pushed that further in a few new pieces that will be seeing the light of day soon. One already has! I drew the album cover for “Keyboard Warriors” by Narcotics Fueled Lesbian Orgy, which might be my favourite band name?

In other news, I’ll be at Emerald City Comic Con from March 14th-17th in Seattle, Washington. Advanced Death Saves will be out that weekend, so come grab a signed book. I’ll also be hanging out with some of the team members on the new GWAR: The Enormogantic Fail graphic novel, coming later this year.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joey Gruszecki is the new Employee of the Week! He streams vidja games at TheVideoGames.ca. Welcome to the company, Joey. Do YOU want to join the company, and help support Hell, Inc. so I don’t have to stress out about navigating the labyrinthine publishing industry for money? Go to Patreon and toss a few bucks in the coffer – based on my stats program, if everyone who reads the comic chipped in a buck per strip, it would cover my mortgage payment every month.

Next Week: It turns out that no, humans cannot, in fact, drink boiling water. Who knew? Patreon patrons did.

Toast

The other day I was re-watching Invader Zim and saw Professor Membrane’s dramatic “I’m making… TOAST!” introduction, which posting this immediately reminded me of. Because all jokes about toast are connected in the Toast Continuum.

Also, this is several hours later than normal because apparently ECCC prep just means my brain is screaming with stress at all times and every thing I realize I have to do bumps out some other thing I need to do, because apparently running a business where I also make all the products is too much for my mind to handle. Oh, and I’ve spent a good six hours trying to fix Adobe Illustrator, which decided to not work anymore. Cool. Coolcoolcool.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

We’re back at the start of the rotation with Cait of the North. Follow her on Twitter, where she is better at promoting my comics than I am. What, putting the guy who just wants to stay at home and draw cartoon pictures all the time in charge of marketing is, perhaps, not a great business move? I don’t know what you’re talking about. You know what IS a great business move? Supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon. It keeps me, the dumbass artist, from having to do actual business shit all the time. Instead, I can make more comics to entertain you. So, Patreon. Go do it.

Intern Stuff

I don’t know why the most influential thing to me about Invader Zim was characters picking up smaller characters by the head like they’re inanimate objects, but it was. I guess anyone with any power being an idiot, as a theme, also bled into my own work.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin, host of the pirate-themed Pathfinder podcast Cursed, is this week’s Employee of the Week! Listen, we all know you’re on that Critical Role tip – check out somebody who doesn’t already have zillions of listeners but does great stuff anyway. If you want to be Employee of the Week, hit up the Hell, Inc. patreon and receive a shoutout/denouncement of a more popular entity within your genre. That second thing is wholly dependent on my mood at the time of writing the Employee of the Week blurb.

Next Week: Doug’s toaster knowledge is on point. Find out why on Patreon.