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!

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!

The Daily Regret

The Daily Regret sounds like a very depressed newspaper.

I have returned from Auroracon in High Level, which was an incredible experience that has left me utterly exhausted. I had planned to get some work done on Sunday night after getting home, but instead I fell asleep on the couch after dinner. For 7 hours.

Next weekend is the AALT conference in Drumhellar, then I have a weekend off… to move into my new place. BRB dying.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK
How is an entire business the Employee of the Week? Shut up, that’s how. Thanks to Happy Harbor Comics for their patronage, as well as the fact that they carry all of my books and bring me to book fairs at schools and libraries across Alberta!

Next Week: The Intern. Read it early by becoming supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

An Accounting of Harpies

Drawing this scene was a really hard transition after several strips in the Arrivals area, which was close to the easiest possible locale to draw. The Real Break Room has so many more little touches to think about, like the magnets on the fridge, what’s in the fridge, how the word fridge is kinda fun to say… actually, no, that last one didn’t have anything to do with drawing.

You’re reading this after Calgary Expo, but I’m typing it a week in advance, because time travel exists now but only in kind of lame ways. Anyway, thanks to all of you who stopped by the booth to chat and buy stuff, and to all the cool new people I will presumably have met. Time travel!

Next Week: Regret. And, shockingly, it’s not Steve regretting eating those bees. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!