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.

And His Brain Vomited Forever

Happy New Year, this is strip number 50! Despite the technical difficulties early in the year, Hell, Inc. still managed to hit 50 pages in the first 11 months. That’s a pretty good start. It’s such a good start, that what could be the first Hell, Inc. print collection is done. I’m debating how big of a book I want to do for the first collection, but I’m leaning towards doing smaller, more frequent editions instead of waiting until I’ve got 150+ pages done and making a monster of a book like the HEAT one. I’ll have to price some stuff out and see how I can make the math work. But that will be a 2019 task, because for the rest of 2018, I’m playing games and colouring Hell, Inc. strips.

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.

Next Week: The first Hell, Inc. of 2019, wherein Doug grows a backbone to replace the one his brain just vomited up. Read it early on Patreon!

“Or Something”

Christmas kind of snuck up on me, so no Christmas break from posting this year. I have been taking an extended Christmas break from actually doing any work, though, which has been very nice. After the Hockeypocalypse Kickstarter, and the pretty major efforts involved in finishing the book to get it shipped before Christmas, I’ve been taking some time off. Aside from keeping up on Hell, Inc. and some minor illustration work, I’ve mostly been playing Pokemon Let’s Go on the Nintendo Switch that my partner and I bought during a Black Friday sale. Which, after a year with a few pretty difficult deadlines, it feels weird to not have to do much.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

ALL OF YOU! Merry Christmas, you all get a shout-out for supporting Hell, Inc. through its first year. It was a weird year. The strip did really well, readership-wise, out of the gate, and then the webhosting issues kind of cratered that. It’s been a slow climb since then, but hopefully 2019 will continue to see more readers join you fine people and turn Hell, Inc. into a (gasp) popular webcomic!? Ha, no, I’m just kidding, I’d be happy if it could readily achieve “webcomic with a reasonable readership.” If you want to help support Hell, Inc., and are broke from the holiday season, SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS! Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr (does that still exist now that the porn is gone?), send it directly to people you think would like it – however you do it, word of mouth is 1000% the best way to grow readership.

Next Week: Why was the intern sleeping on the real break room floor? Find out early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Have A Nice Trip

See ya next Fall! Ah, jokes that make elementary school kids think they’re clever. I still don’t like this title very much, but it’s better than the original title that Patreon partrons saw last week.

A lot of effort went into making Doug’s fall the exact right kind of ridiculous-looking. Drawing physical comedy moments like that is a ton of fun, so I always want to try to make it as fun for the reader as it was for me.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin, host of the pirate-themed Pathfinder podcast Cursed, is this week’s Employee of the Week! 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: Adventures in the refrigerator! Check the fridge early 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!