Drag Me to Hell (from Elsewhere in Hell)

Having just lettered a later page in the series (the as-yet-untitled strip #134) and completely botched the balloon spacing to the point that I had to change font sizes to make things fit, I have no idea how I managed to leave the exact right amount of space in the last panel of this strip. Spacing weird balloons like that is much harder than spacing the normal ones, and somehow I got that one right.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Welcome new Employee of the Week, Christine! Christine is the artist behind Purple Pony Art, and is among the folks to have access to Hell, Inc. Volume 3: Team-Building Excercise well before the general populace! As a special thanks to the Patrons who are supplying my only income during the COVID crisis, the third Hell, Inc. book will be available to all Patrons at every support level. It won’t be made available otherwise until the next Kickstarter (for books 3 and 4). If you want to help support Hell, Inc., head over to the Patreon. Every dollar helps (a lot), and during quarantine/social-distancing all patrons will receive a Dropbox link with over a thousand pages of comics to pass the quarantime.

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is the largest source of new readers for the site. More votes = more readers, so please do that.

Next Week: The floor is lava! Kind of literally! Read it early on Patreon!

Princess of Hell

This was a “I think I wrote too much dialogue, but managed to fit it all in without ruining the art anyway” strip. They happen once in a while, and are usually the result of me not realizing while I’m writing that I should have broken a strip into two. A rule of thumb I tend to like for that is by counting the number of bubbles on the page – if I get past 7, I need to think about splitting the strip into two and punching up the mid-strip joke to carry a strip. Do people like it when I ramble about technical stuff like this? I don’t know, but you could tell me!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Welcome new Employee of the Week Sebastian, who has joined up just in time for the new Patreon promotion – book 3! That’s right, as I announced late last week, Hell, Inc. Volume 3 – Team-Building Exercise, is finished, and is going to be available exclusively to patrons while we’re stuck at home due to COVID-19. I can’t do a lot to make your time in self-isolation better, but what I can do, I will! It includes a six page short story that will only be available in the book, so check that out. Patrons at any level will be able to download their own PDF copy at their leisure.

Patreon is the only source of income at the moment, so every dollar helps me AND gets you a copy of not only volume 3, but access to over 1000 pages of other comics I’ve worked on! If you dig Hell, Inc. and think it’s worth a dollar, I’d really appreciate it!

You can also help out by visiting Top Webcomics and voting for Hell, Inc., which exposes it to new readers and thus new potential patrons. You can vote once per day by clicking the banner below!

Next Week: Doug’s DIY Bouncer Service. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Shots, Shots Shotsshotsshots

I don’t know exactly when Helen became that middle-aged white lady who pretends wine is a personality, but she’s become way more interesting as a result. Which also means she’ll pop up more frequently, because that happens every time I figure out how I want to write a character.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Welcome new employee Jillian Dolan! She is the artist of Kyle the Nihilist Dinosaur, Misha, and other comics! You should go check them out, they’re great. Jillian was the first new patron to take advantage of my COVID boredness-relief effort – all patrons will receive a link to a Dropbox folder with every digital comic I’ve produced that I have redistribution rights for. There are roughly 1,150 pages of comics in there, with more added every time I have a new book or short story released. It’s an ideal way to get a lot of material to read and also support your favourite artist who suddenly has no conventions or book fairs (aka a large amount of my income) for the foreseeable future. So if you think Hell, Inc. and over a thousand pages of other things I’ve drawn are worth a few bucks, hit up the Hell, Inc. Patreon and you’ll have a folder of comics within 24 hours. It will be VERY appreciated.

You can also help Hell, Inc. by voting on Top Webcomics. The comic is pretty highly ranked this month, and that’s helping to bring in new readers and keep more folks self-isolated without losing their minds. Click on the banner below to vote.

Next Week: Hell’s best crisis management team. Read it early on Patreon!

Sweaty Steve

Steve is me after I play sports. The sweating starts early and ends… never. It never ends. I look like I’ve been in a rain storm before I’m even tired.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cindy Gauthier is Employee of the Week, and you did not come to see us at Dead By Con last weekend, because it was postponed due to COVID-19. Incidentally, most of my expected income for the month was from events and appearances, which are now postponed/canceled, so if you think Hell, Inc. is worth a buck or two, support me on Patreon, because that’s my only predictable form of income each month. The rest of my money comes from freelancing and selling books, which is WILDLY INCONSISTENT even without the goddamn plague.

Vote. Top Webcomics. Do it. It’s how I get more readers and keep this thing chugging along. Click the banner.

Next Week: Shots, shots shotsshotsshots. Read it early on Patreon!

Pot vs. Kettle

“Hey, Pot? Yeah, this is Kettle. Yeah. You’re black.”

This is the kind of strip where I wish this was a cartoon so that space and time were separate elements. Doug looking back and forth between Harry and Zebub would be like 5 full seconds.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Sylvia Douglas is the Employee of the Week, and made a movie called Without in 2019, which you can all learn more about on her website. If you think what I do here on Hell, Inc. is worth a dollar, support the Hell, Inc. Patreon and YOU TOO can be Employee of the Week. At $2 or more, you enter the recurring rotation of Employees of the Week. Do it, I don’t have any work lined up in the foreseeable future that isn’t pitching projects to see if maybe they get picked up.

As always, votes on Top Webcomic are super helpful for growing readership. Votes early in the month are especially valuable, as those boost the comic much farther, much faster. Vote often by clicking the banner below.

Next Week: Some real Charlie Brown baseball energy. Read it early on Patreon!

Vital Knowledge

For a comic that was originally intended to test how fast I could draw a strip from blank page to finished letters, I’ve sure started spending a lot of time drawing backgrounds. This isn’t even that absurd an example of them – there are some pages in upcoming weeks where I spent as much time drawing one background as I did the rest of the strip.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Damion is Employee of the Week, and you can too! If you think Hell, Inc. is worth a buck, donate to the Hell, Inc. Patreon and help keep the lights on around here. As I post this, I’m sitting around waiting for a freelance gig to start so I can get my next paycheque, and I have NO IDEA when that will be! Could be tomorrow, could be October. The Patreon gives me, an artist, a predictable income, which is invaluable to me, and also to the bank, to whom I pay my mortgage.

If you can’t afford the Patreon because capitalism has crushed the value of your labour, vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics. It’s been the best way to gain new readers (and potential Patreon patrons) thus far, and voting is free! Click on the banner below.

Next Week: Butt-based comedy is the best kind of comedy. Read it early on Patreon!

Mucilaginous

The word mucilaginous is brought to you by my girlfriend Caitlin, who busted that out when I asked for suggestions for a word that would be really gross to associate with soup. Yes, I do have to look up how to spell it each time.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Sylvia Douglas is Employee of the Week! Check out her short film Vanity, which screened in Edmonton and Calgary as part of the Got A Minute Film Festival. Can you say your film has been shown at every train station in Alberta’s two major cities? Sylvia can. She can also say she’s a multi-time Hell, Inc. Employee of the Week. You can say that, too, by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon.

Why should I support Hell, Inc. on Patreon, you ask, for the purposes of this paragraph? It’s pretty simple – you read Hell, Inc., and want me to work more on that putting my energy into freelance work. On that note, here’s a bit of an example of what that means, practically – as I write this, it is very early in the morning on November 11th. The last time I drew a Hell, Inc. strip? October 20th. What I have been doing in that time, you ask? Inking roughly 90 pages of a graphic novel that comes out next year from a major publisher. Which was cool, and paid pretty well, but it’s not MINE, y’know? The Patreon lets me work on stuff that’s mine –  and that you’re already reading –  for far more of my time. If you like Hell, Inc. enough to kick in even a dollar a month, that adds up pretty quick.

Want to help Hell, Inc., but can’t afford the Patreon? I get it. The best way to do that is to share the comic with new readers. The best way to do that is to recommend it directly to your friends, but the best results that can be achieved with a couple of clicks come from Top Webcomics. Hit the button below to upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics and increase its visibility to a community of tens of thousands of webcomic readers!

Next Week: Inarticulate rage! 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!

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.

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!