Are Glass Chips Not Food?

There’s a silly little callback in this strip that I love and nobody is going to notice, so I’m going to point it out. In the strip Never Stop Screaming, Bridget references Harry having left an entire goat head in the fridge. I don’t know why I remembered that when I went to draw the contents of the fridge, but I did. So now you know that. Also, if you caught that without me pointing it out, I kind of want to hear you point out all the little things you’ve noticed about the comic, because I rarely find out which things people catch and which ones they don’t.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Since his last appearance as Employee of the Week, Robbie Dorman has published a novel! 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: Don’t eat the glass. It’s glass. Read 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.

Sleeve Time

This is a variation of a scene from the Hell, Inc. #2 print comic, except it looks good, because I am much better at drawing now than I was in 2010 or whenever that was. Doug and B.L. Zebub’s relationship is my favourite thing in the comic, because I love writing them together. Zebub being on weird, dumb power trips all the time and Doug just casually pointing out that they don’t make any sense is satisfying – it’s all the stuff you never actually say out loud to your dumb boss.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Sylvia Douglas is Employee of the Week, but she’d like you to employ her partner, Corinne Simpson, as your part-time virtual assistant! If  you want to get a shout-out, or just like Hell, Inc. and want it to stay financially viable, support the Hell, Inc. Patreon! Maybe I’ll be able to hire Corinne to do all of the day-to-day administrative junk that I hate!

Next Week: Fantasizing about murder. Read it early on Patreon!

Training Day

It’s like that Denzel Washington movie, but without all of the grit and intensity and commentary on society. Wait, no, it’s got that last thing. Not the first two, though. I also pushed my colouring in this strip, as I played around with some layering of colours in the last panel to try to match the image I was seeing in my head. I think that’s going to be an area I focus on for growth – I think there’s a lot more I can do with colouring if I can keep learning and experimenting.

Training the intern as a punishment comes directly from my time working at Blockbuster Video (remember those, kids?). My manager didn’t want to train somebody, so I had to do it, and it was awful. It wasn’t even supposed to be a punishment, I was just the only other person around at the time who wasn’t legally still a child. Even on a point-of-sale system that wouldn’t allow you to screw up, she FOUND WAYS. I eventually ended up writing the step-by-step instructions on a strip of receipt paper, taping them to her till, and refusing to answer questions if the answer was on that paper.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Happy Harbor Comics/Wonderland Games! There’s been a seismic shift in the Edmonton comics community since the last time HH was Employee of the Week, and soon I’ll be shouting out Wonderland Games, who have taken over. It’s been a whole thing. There was a farewelcome party there recently, with a lot of entertainment and a bassist who gave a speech that made a bunch of people cry. If you want to be Employee of the Week and have something plugged/a rambling anecdote told about you, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon. It’s better than funneling your entertainment dollar into the pockets of billionaires who won’t even notice. Rest assured, I will NOTICE THE FUCK OUT OF IT. And also spend it on things like “making more comics” and “remaining alive.”

Next Week: B.L. Zebub is the world’s fastest demon, maybe? Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon.

The Word is Butts

The word is always butts. I will regularly lean over to my girlfriend and whisper “buuuuuutts” just to amuse myself, because butts is an inherently funny word. I think it’s why “ass” gets used so much now – it’s hard to say “butts” without making something funny.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! He doesn’t have anything for me to link as a plug, so instead I’ll just say that if you enjoy Hell, Inc. consider pledging to the Hell, Inc. Patreon. Even a dollar or two is useful in keeping the lights on around here (power bills in Hell are ridiculous, you guys). You can even get a shoutout as Employee of the Week, or a ton of digital comics at a huge discount.

Next Week: The Boss can’t use his office, so that’s going to be good for everyone else. Read it early on Patreon.

Candied Sheep Day

“Candied Sheep Day” was the title of the second issue of the original black and white Hell, Inc. print comics. It started to build on the events of the first issue to turn things into an over-arching story, but ended up being the last issue. The first issue wasn’t really intended to be the catalyst of a larger story, and was fairly self-contained. This time I knew going in that I had a longer-term game plan, so a lot of the things set up in issue 2 of the print series are already in motion. This time also has the benefit of colour, and being able to really go ham on the candy look.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Damion is Employee of the Week! I’ve already used up everything I know about him in these blurbs, so more of you need to jump into the Employee of the Week pool so I can space these things out. If you want to do that, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon and you’ll get a shout-out and a plug for whatever pluggables you may have.

Next Week: Why is Slava in the elevator? Where’s he headed? Find out early on Patreon.

Nobody Reads the Fine Print

I really like getting to draw different areas of the Hell, Inc. building, because it lets me think about how to represent those areas. One of the more interesting (to me) elements of Hell, Inc.’s aesthetics is that everything needs to both look incredibly mundane but also weird and off-putting. In this case, the Infernal Pacts department features a huge, impenetrable stacks area for storage, capped off with little demons flitting around to add that sense of the impossible to it.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Despite her constant losses as Roommate of the Month to Very Good Dog(TM) Trina, Sylvia Douglas was able to score herself Employee of the Week. And how could she not, as proprietor of the Waffle Log Blog, the height of culinary culture. She’s also a filmmaker and does a bunch of other creative stuff that I won’t write down because I can’t remember all of it off the top of my head. What’s that? You also want to be Employee of the Month because you keep losing Roommate of the Month to the dog? Support Hell, Inc. on Patreon, because if you’re going to give your money to somebody, why not me instead of a billionaire that doesn’t think you’re a person?

Next Week: Could it be… could it be CANDIED SHEEP DAY!? Find out by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon.