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.

Forgetful

You’ve gotta be a special kind of forgetful to not remember the human being you’re holding up by the face. Also a special kind of strong. A MINOTAUR kind of strong.

In my head, I was hearing that last paragraph like an over-dramatic ad read.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Postmodern Locke joins the company, and is our newest Employee of the Week. They didn’t give me anything to plug, but I thank them for their patronage! If you want to be thanked for your patronage, and get a shoutout in the newspost, hit up the Hell, Inc. Patreon and pay my art-producing ass. That’s right, my ASS produces the art. I should go to bed.

Next Week: Return to the Planet of The Office. I’m not sure what that even means, to be honest. Find out what it means on Patreon!

Femur Harmonica

Femur Harmonica is the name of my new zydeco metal band, we’ll be opening for The Dusty Udders next weekend.

In other news, writing really elaborate threats that may or may not even make sense is really fun.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

We’ve got a new Employee of the Week, which is great because I get sick of doing the same ones over and over. Welcome Ben Hamlin to the company, host of the pirate-themed Pathfinder podcast Cursed. If you’re one of the zillion listeners of the Adventure Zone, give it a listen! If you want to be Employee of the Week, hit up the Hell, Inc. patreon and keep the corporate gold card paid off.

Next Week: Taking the intern for a walk. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Running of the Sheilas

This is a scene that is a good example of how my imagination works while I write – it’s way less visual than you might expect. Until I sit down to do thumbnails, I really only have a vague idea of how the page composition is going to look. There’s a swirl of overlapping images, which actually kind of helps – most of the time, there’s no perfect image in my brain that I’m trying to recreate. I’m just trying to pull something out of that swirl of imagery that suits the scene.Sometimes that imagery is directly inspired by Invader Zim and involves somebody being casually picked up by the face.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Crafty Geeks, makers of various geek-related crafts (shocking, right?) are the Employee of the Week, because businesses being the Employee of the Week is a thing, I guess. If you want to be Employee of the Week, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon.

Next Week: I’m sure having a minotaur pick her up by the face will be good for Sara’s anxiety. Right? Surely. Find out how correct I am on Patreon.

Running Improvement

I felt ambitious after digitally lettering an entire graphic novel, and wanted to try to push myself on this strip to get my drawing groove back. Formally, I pushed the storytelling a bit with the glasses panels representing what Sara’s focusing on, and I added a little bit of worldbuilding with the one-eyed bat thing. Those are Hell’s pigeon-equivalent flying pest.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman, host of The Simpsons Show and Serial Fanaticist podcasts (both of which I highly recommend), is Employee of the Week. The Simpsons is a huge influence on my cartooning, so that seems appropriate. Do you want to be Employee of the Week? Fill Hell, Inc.’s corporate coffers over on Patreon.

Next Week: Sheila from Arrivals… arrives? We meet Sheila from Arrivals. Meet Sheila early on Patreon!

Go Jump in a Lake of Fire

Part 2 of fixing the posting errors. The previous Hell, Inc. strips were all drawn in one month-long batch. This is the first one that was drawn after that initial batch, three months later – and it was like I totally forgot how to draw the comic. This is also the first one I had to scan with my new scanner, which was a bit of an adventure. Scanner settings are the most important thing in combining traditional and digital art, and it seems like they never really carry over from machine to machine. It’s weird.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Tony Esteves draws a webcomic called Legendary Woodsman. His Cigarro & Cerveja comic strip had a year of overlap with my Rent-A-Thug comic at the University of Alberta Gateway newspaper, which is how I originally became aware of his work. He is Employee of the Week. I am writing this in a weeeeeeird cadence. If you want to be Employee of the Week, and get a weirdly-cadenced blurb, hit up the Hell, Inc. Patreon.

Next Week: DemoniCopy – just because you’re in Hell doesn’t mean you don’t need photocopies. read it early by supporting the Hell, Inc. Patreon!

Hell-Slave-Money

So it turns out I made some kind of error and this comic and the next one didn’t make it over to the new webhost in the migration. Not really sure what happened with that. I guess I posted them on the old host after the new one had migrated the site.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Happy Harbor Comics is the Employee of the Week, which is weird because they’re a business but also an employee? I don’t know how that works either. But they’ve been very supportive of my work, and support Hell, Inc. If you want to support Hell, Inc., you can donate to the Patreon. Once we hit 20 patrons, you’re all getting some free comics on the mail, so let’s make that happen and get you your free stuff.

Next Week (or, y’know, right now, because I’m fixing posting errors here): Just hit the “next” button.

Nobody Calls You

I use the second panel from this comic a lot in social media marketing posts. Also, those last four words feel kinda gross. Like the kind of thing a dude named Trip with an expensive suit and unearned self-confidence would say in a meeting to sound smart. “Social media” is a term that makes me cringe when I hear it said aloud. I don’t know what it is… maybe how artificial it sounds? I think my point is that I really like that second panel, and really hate that marketing is part of my job?

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is the Employee of the Week! He doesn’t have a link to plug, but if you do, or just want to help support the corporate juggernaut that is Hell, Inc. (my corporate office is my living room, it’s very Fortune 500), you can donate to the Patreon at the $2 level or above. At the $5 level you can get digital copies of damn near my entire comics catalogue.

Next Week: Doug is not a great therapist. Find out why early by supporting Hell, Inc. (and also me) on Patreon.