Summoned

There tend to be gaps in drawing Hell, Inc. strips. Typically I’ll draw 3-5 strips in a week or 10 days, then have to take a break to work on something else – commissions, other comics, boring business stuff, etc. Sometimes those breaks are short. If I’m doing a commission, for example, it might only take a day or two. Other times, those breaks are pretty long, like the two months I spent drawing pages for the new GWAR: The Enormogantic Fail graphic novel. The first strip I draw when I come back from a break is always an interesting experience. Aside from reacquainting myself with storytelling in the horizontal format, how I draw the characters and how I approach the compositions is always a little different. That’s mostly due to art being a skill that evolves over time – when I do a different project, I learn new things and hone skills I already have, so when I come back to something that I’ve worked on over a long period of time, my technique is a bit different. This is all a more-detailed-than-necessary lead-up to saying that starting with a bird’s eye view of the office, where there are many characters and a whole bunch of background objects, was perhaps a more challenging choice than it needed to be.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

The Employee of the Week section is back to normal, post-Kickstarter. BUT, we do have a nice segue between the two, as I welcome new patron Barrie Deatcher, who is also a Kickstarter backer. Welcome, Barrie, and also welcome to the new readers that have discovered the comic as a result of the Kickstarter. If you want to be Employee of the Week, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon – it’s how I keep money coming in so I can cut down on the amount of freelance work I need to take on. Given the amount of freelance work I’ve done this year, it is not working haha.

Another great way to support Hell, Inc. is by upvoting it on Top Webcomics. It’s been the largest source of new readers by a pretty substantial margin, and higher rankings = more new readers. Click on the banner to vote, and make a habit of it – you can vote once a day!

Next Week: Everything that is fun is also mandatory, right? That makes sense. Read it early on Patreon!

Muster Point Massacre

I didn’t realize my office comedy was going to have vehicle stunts in it, but here we are.

You know what else is here? The Hell, Inc. Kickstarter! It’s going live at 3 PM today (Monday, August 19th). It’s your first chance to get your hands on the Hell, Inc. print books, and also to help them exist.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin is Employee of the Week, and you can check out his podcast, Cursed. It’s a Pathfinder actual-play podcast about pirates. You should listen to it. IT HAS BEEN DECREED. Also, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon, because being a freelancer blows, but drawing comics rules.

Like always, you can support Hell, Inc. for free by upvoting it on Top Webcomics. Click the banner below!

Next Week: Roommates! Read it early on Patreon!

Operation: Flee In Terror

I don’t know about you, but I find loudspeaker announcements of impending doom and possible trampling death VERY reassuring. Very reassuring.

In other news, here’s a big announcement:

The first two print collections of Hell, Inc. will be crowdfunding on Kickstarter starting next Monday, August 19th! Book 1, Welcome to Hell… Inc. is a 60 page collection containing strips 1-42 of the webcomic and a short story called “Sara’s Morning.” Book 2, Candied Sheep Day, is also 60 pages and collects strips 43-84 and “The Missing Ingredient,” another short that will be exclusive to the book. You can get them both for $20 CAD, or pick up a sketch of you as a Hell, Inc. demon or even original art for one of the strips!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman is Employee of the Week! Check out his novelatory debut, Conquest, available in ebook or paperback format from Amazon. He’s also got many podcasts, including the Simpsons Show and Serial Fanatacist, which you should go listen to. Being deeply influenced by the Simpsons as well, I support his taste in podcast topics.┬áIf you want me to tell readers to buy your book or listen to your podcast, support the Hell, Inc. Patreon and finance things like “paying my mortgage” and “eating.”

As always, supporting Hell, Inc. for free is also appreciated – go upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics to bring in new readers.

Next Week: Traffic safety in Hell is… well, the term exists, so that’s a start. Read it early on Patreon!

Panic Rules

The panic rules are very clear. And they say that I love drawing Adventure Time/Kermit arms when someone is panicking. Or excited. Or I otherwise have an excuse to draw someone flailing. In other news, Hockeypocalypse Season 4: Cult of Hockey was nominated for the Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing. I think it’s the best book I’ve ever made, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I’m also back to work teaching another Drawn To Write Camp this week, so I, like you, will be working 8-4, and not PM to AM.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

We’ve got a new Employee of the Week! Cindy Gauthier is joining us, and there will be cake in the break room. It may or may not be made out of toenails. She also draws the arts, so you should check out her work, including her debut comic Posthumous. If you want to be Employee of the Week and get a shout-out in an upcoming comic post, Check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon. It helps keep me drawing Hell, Inc. strips instead of being buried in freelance work, which is a win-win for everybody.

As always, supporting Hell, Inc. for free is also appreciated – go upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics to bring in new readers.

Next Week: For whom do the arms Kermit? The arms Kermit for thee. Patreon. Do that.

Doug Flutie

Go deep! Go sheep? Go upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics?

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cait is back at the top of the list, and is the creator of the Guintern Newsletter, which documents the adventures of my guinea pig office interns. The Patreon has become a bit of a struggle, lately. Efforts to increase the number of patrons haven’t been met with nearly the success as growing readership has, and I’m a bit stumped as to what people want to see from the Patreon. It’s stuck in a cycle where it doesn’t do well enough to merit more investment of effort, which takes away from effort on the actual comic, but maybe more effort would make it do better if it was put in the right place. I don’t know. Thoughts?

As always, supporting Hell, Inc. for free is also appreciated – go upvote Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics to bring in new readers.

Next Week: PANIC!!! Panic early on Patreon.

No Plan

Happy Canada Day! Living in Canada is actually a pretty significant factor in me being able to make comics, so it’s nice to take a moment to reflect on that.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

CANADA! If YOU want to be Employee of the Week, and help me focus on Hell, Inc. instead of freelance work, you can support Hell, Inc. on Patreon! I really love drawing Hell, Inc., but will be spending most of the rest of the year putting most of my time into a pair of work-for-hire books. I’d like to flip that work schedule around, and Patreon is a reliable way for me to do that while also giving you some neat rewards.

If you want to support Hell, Inc. for free, vote for it on Top Webcomics. More readers = more potential patrons, which = more Hell, Inc.

Next Week: I love it when a plan comes together. Patreon. Do that.

Problem Solving

Well THIS page took a long time to draw. Specifically, the first three panels. I’m sure you’re shocked to learn that the ones packed with characters took a long time to draw. It even, somehow, took a long time to colour, despite just being shades of red. Making them all different enough that they didn’t just blend together into one big blob turned out to be a bit of an effort.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin is Employee of the Week, and you can check out his podcast, Cursed. It’s a Pathfinder actual-play podcast about pirates. You should listen to it. IT HAS BEEN DECREED. Also, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon, because being a freelancer blows, but drawing comics rules.

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: Solutions? Maybe? Find out early on Patreon.

The Annual Candied Sheep Riot

This is the 75th Hell, Inc. strip, which I only know because of how I name the files. Strip 100 will be dropping in December, assuming the current weekly schedule remains and isn’t ramped up.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out ways to make the Hell, Inc. Patreon more attractive to new Patrons. What kind of stuff would you want to see out of the Patreon that would make you kick in a few bucks? Hit up the comments or one of the myriad ways to contact me (Twitter, FB page, my email, whatever).

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman has published a novel, and is Employee of the Week! 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: RIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOT! Riot early on Patreon.

After-Afterlife

I’d like to pretend that I do a ton of preparatory design work for when I need to fill out crowd scenes, but all of the background characters are made up as I go along. The little gremlin sitting on the back of the camel-centaur lady, for example, is only there because her body shape left a dead space in the composition. It also wasn’t intended to be a gremlin from Gremlins; that just sort of happened.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! Do you like Hell, Inc.? Are you at a computer right now (of course you are, one lives in your pocket)? YOU can become a Patron and be next week’s Employee of the Week! It’s a way to shout out readers that help support the comic, and every bit of support means less having to interact with the absurdity that is the comic book publishing industry, which is ideal. It’s a nightmare of predatory business practices. Kinda like Hell, Inc., but not a fictional satire.

And of course, if you can’t chip in a few bucks, you CAN chip in a few votes on Top Webcomics, which helps bring in new readers. Just click the banner below. You can vote once per machine per 24 hours, so feel free to artificially juice those numbers. Performance-enhancing votes are legal in webcomics.

Next Week: The line becomes… unruly. Read it a week early on Patreon!

Honourable, Horrible Monster

It always seems like a way better idea to set a scene in an elevator when I’m writing than it does when I have to draw it. Like, WAY better. Most of what will become Hell, Inc. book 2 (yes, I’m planning those things already) involves scenes that didn’t need to take as long to draw as they did, but Writer Jeff doesn’t care about Artist Jeff’s sanity AT ALL.

In other news, Hell, Inc. has been getting a lot of new readers coming in through Comic Rocket, which is pretty cool. I don’t know what resulted in Hell, Inc. getting enough traffic to get onto the front page as a Rising Star, but since that happened, it’s been a rich-get-richer scenario as more and more readers discover the comic. And you know what? That’s fucking awesome. If you’re one of those readers who has arrived via Comic Rocket, welcome!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Damian is Employee of the Week! If you want to get a shoutout and help the other employees on the march to free copies of the old Hell, Inc. comic books, toss a couple of bucks into the coffers of the Hell, Inc. Patreon. It’s how I pay for the web hosting and other things like “eating” and “buying art supplies.”

If you want to help support Hell, Inc. without spending any money, you can vote for the comic on Top Webcomics. Like Comic Rocket, it’s been a growing source of new readers for the comic, and more readers is pretty ideal for everyone involved. Click the banner below to vote!

Next Week: The elevator gets to the lobby. EXCITING TIMES AHEAD. Read it early on Patreon!