Taking the Stairs

I wanted to come up with an M.C. Escher/emcee Escher rap joke, but I couldn’t come up with one I liked, so here we are. I like to think that I do more with the comic strip format than most, as far as the formal storytelling elements of panel layout and page design go, but this is one of those cases where I feel like that’s really the case. And yes, the first two panels are based on the M.C. Escher drawing “The Stairs.”

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is Employee of the Week! Do YOU want to be an Employee of the Week, and help contribute to my only reliable source of pandemic income? Head on over to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, where you’ll also receive the digital version of Hell, Inc. Volume 3: Team-building Exercise as well as over 1000 pages of other digital comics! So you should do that.

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is the number one source of new readers for the comic! In the last couple of months, Hell, Inc. has been in the company of some comics that I’ve read and consider to be heavy hitters in the webcomic sphere, which is really cool. And weird. Click the banner below to vote!

Next Week: What does Doug’s living room look like? You’ll find out! Patrons can find out right now on Patreon!

Untitled Hell Comic

So I totally thought Doug’s balloon in the last panel would be bigger and cover up most or all of the building’s placard. And that’s how, by overestimating the size of a balloon, I made the name of Doug’s apartment building an Untitled Goose Game reference. It’s canon now.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! For the first time in over a month I had to actually look at the rotation to see who was next, since it wasn’t just “who’s new?” Thanks to all of you who have signed up to support Hell, Inc. on Patreon and received Hell, Inc. Vol 3: Team-building Exercise as well as over 1000 pages of digital comics. It’s still my only predictable (and sometimes only, period!) source of income, so if you think the comic is worth a buck, head over to the Hell, Inc. Patreon.

Voting on Top Webcomics is also a great way to help bring new readers to Hell, Inc., and also a great way for me to get tripped out seeing where Hell, Inc. ranks in comparison to some comics that I consider real heavy hitters. Spoiler – Hell, Inc. ranks shockingly well in comparison.

Next Week: Seriously one of my favourite strips. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

It Would Have Been Better to Eat a Person

No seriously though fuck executives. You know that adage that you get more conservative as you get older (presumably because you make money and want to protect it)? I have very much gone the opposite direction. At this rate, by the time I’m 70 I’ll be swinging battle axes at CEOs.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Returning staffer Ben Hamlin is Employee of the Week. Ben is also in the business of keeping us all entertained during quarantine as a podcaster with the Infinity Break Network! If you think the entertainment you’ve been getting from Hell, Inc. is worth a dollar, check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon page and contribute to my only reliable source of quarantine income! Patrons have access to the third Hell, Inc. print book, including an exclusive short story, and over 1000 pages of other digital comics!

It’s early in the month, which means votes over on Top Webcomics are worth even more as the playing field is reset! Click the banner below to help boost Hell, Inc. in the rankings and get it in front of more new readers.

Next Week: The only thing worse than riding the bus is getting off of the bus. Support Hell, Inc. on Patreon to read it early!

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!

They’ll Find a Way to Kill Her Again

As patrons have already seen, a lot of the inspiration for the amount of physical mayhem that happens to Sara is a quote from Matt Groening on a Futurama DVD commentary. He was talking about how, on the Simpsons, all of the physical comedy happens to Bart and Homer, and with Futurama he wanted to see if it would still work if it happened to a female character, which led to Amy being very clumsy and accident-prone.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cait is Employee of the Week, and we’re actually in adjacent offices now, sort of. My desk is in the living room, and we’ve set up a telework office for her in the spare bedroom (or Nerd Shit Room, as we call it, because it is where we keep a large amount of our nerd shit. It’s like 80% Warhammer books by volume). I’d also like to thank the folks who have signed up for the Patreon during the COVID crisis, because that and my webstore are the only way I’m making money right now, and YIKES that is a bad time. Seriously, if you like Hell, Inc., and have a dollar to donate to the Patreon, please do. Pandemics are a bad time to be an independent artist, WHO KNEW?

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

NEXT WEEK: Oh, look who thinks they’re the princess of Hell! Read it early on Patreon!

First Responders

“I mean, we’ve put in a small amount of effort, what more can we do!?” – Bridget and Steve.

This update is later in the day than normal, because the COVID social distancing situation has led me to struggle even more with knowing what day it is, especially now that Caitlin works from home. Every day is just kinda the same.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Welcome another new employee, Laurel! If you think Hell, Inc. is worth a dollar, head over to the Patreon and help keep things going. COVID has pretty much destroyed my income for March and April, which were reliant on going out into the public and selling things. As an added incentive, all patrons are going to have access to the digital comics library for the duration of the COVID crisis, which includes well over a thousand pages of comics that I’ve drawn, and bonus appearances by one of my favourite cartoonists, Lukasz Kowalczuk! So check that out, you will not find a better deal.

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: Maybe customers retching on the floor is not ideal for the restaurant staff? Read it a week early 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!

Arms Like Noodles

I rewatched some Invader Zim a while ago, and was surprised at how much of it held up. I was afraid that it would be too LOLrandom upon revisiting it, but it turns out that’s just what gets quoted most of the time. I’m sure that show definitely had an influence on my joke writing style, which involves a lot of weird phrases designed to make what would otherwise be a normal scene funnier. So of course that’s what I’m writing about in the newspost for a strip that doesn’t utilize that technique at all.

If you’re in Edmonton, I’m going to be at Dead By Con this weekend. It’s a locally run horror convention. I attended it last year for fun, and it was great, so now I’m returning with a vengeance. And also to sell GWAR books. I’ve never tabled at a horror convention before, so it’ll be a fun, new experience.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman, host of The Simpsons Show podcast, is this week’s Employee of the Week. I love the Simpsons (I would hope that’s clear from the comics I’ve made), and I love The Simpsons Show. It’s very good.

If you think Hell, Inc. is worth a dollar, you should give said dollar(s) to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, because that helps keep things running over here. Money: I need it to live.

As always, not everyone can afford to give their favourite artists money. But everyone can afford to give them clicks! Click on the banner below to vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is the number one source for driving new readers to the site.

NEXT WEEK: SHOTS, SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS. Patreon. Go there. Money. Me. Comics. Read early.