Nuclear Fishin’

It took me a really long time to decide what Steve was going to be talking about when he said “I know that (blank) exists. I don’t know how it works.” That was supposed to be the punchline at the end of the strip, but nothing I was thinking of was funny enough to justify that. Eventually I realized that I needed to have Steve follow up that line with something else, and that let everything fall into place. Adding that extra panel made the dialogue feel more authentic to Steve’s character AND made it more interesting. This has been “Jeff waxes about his creative process and also about how great he is.”

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is this week’s Employee of the Week! If you park in his space, he’s legally allowed to replace one of your bones with a swarm of bees. If you want to be Employee of the Week and threaten your co-workers with osseous violence, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon. It’s how I make money on this thing so I can do more of it instead of spending all my time on freelance work.

Votes on Top Webcomics are worth EVEN MORE early in the month! Click on the link below to help Hell, Inc. be seen by more webcomic readers!

Next Week: A journey of learning. Go on it with Sara, and do it a week early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Hats, Crushers of Emotions

I think the hardest thing for me, as far as storytelling in Hell, Inc., is the way I handle Doug and Bridget’s… whatever their chemistry is. Trying to find the correct amount of subtlety when I know a whole bunch of information that the audience doesn’t, and how to convey that information mostly non-verbally, is very challenging. In general, the most difficult thing that an author does is figuring out what, of the information they have about a story, is necessary for the audience, and then how clearly that’s being presented without feeling like an info-dump.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Shout out to Employee of the Week Joe Amon! Thanks for reading, and extra thanks for helping finance this rickety operation/Satanic megacorporation. Which I think is a regular megacorporation, unless you’re using Satanic as a proper noun for the religion. If you want to be Employee of the Week, you too can help finance your favourite megacorporation. That’s me, by the way, not Amazon or Google or whatever. Patreon. Money. Me. Fuck sentences.

As always, if you can’t help out monetarily because capitalism has squeezed too much out of you, you can support Hell, Inc. by upvoting it on Top Webcomics. A large number of the new readers I get come from there, and more votes mean that more potential new readers see it. Click the banner to vote.

Next Week: Sara goes on a journey of knowledge. Find out what she learns right now by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Nom Nom Nom

I write this after spending 10 of the last 11 days on the road doing the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo and Auroracon up in High Level, AB, and HOLY SHIT I’M SO TIRED. Like, I’m the kind of tired that makes it seem like being this tired is a superpower. Charles Xavier is out there looking for me to join the X-Men as “guy who is so tired he feels like he’s astral projecting into a different reality.”

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Me, for still being awake to write this, and for being recruited to join the X-Men. The guinterns are complaining that they haven’t been chosen yet, but there’s still a lot of excess hay in the office that needs dealing with. If they can drive some subscriptions to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, maybe they’ll get that coveted Employee of the Week spot.

Not everyone has disposable income to help guinea pigs achieve their dreams, but you DO have the ability to click the banner below and vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which helps new readers find the comic. You should do that. Frequently.

Next Week: Steve’s got jokes. They’re not funny, but he’s got ’em. Find out what they are a week early by supporting the Hell, Inc. Patreon.

I Think I Broke It

I’m going to be at Calgary Expo from April 25th-27th, so if you’re also going to be there, come buy stuff. I’m going to be at table P41 in the Big 4 building, which is where all the artists are quarantined now. It’ll be the Canadian convention debut of Advanced Death Saves, which is a really cool anthology about roleplaying games that I contributed a story to. I’ve also got some new prints, and I think it’s also the first Canadian con for Hockeypocalypse Season 4: Cult of Hockey.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin is Employee (and Dungeon Master) of the Week. Much like me, he is grinding it out in the world of non-famous-before-they-started internet creators, which is a way less great world. Check out his Pathfinder actual-play podcast, Cursed. It’s about pirates. Based on my listening habits, I must assume that all podcasts are either RPG actual-plays, Warhammer-related, or on the How Stuff Works network. If you want help Hell, Inc. reach Critical Role levels of success, but don’t have $11 million, consider kicking a buck or two over to the Hell, Inc. Patreon. I use that money for wild shit like “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: Let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby. Get yourself a treat on Patreon.

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.

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!