Canadian Standoff

This strip turned out exactly how I imagined it when I was writing it. It was also WAY harder to draw than I thought it would be. I don’t know why, nothing about it was particularly difficult from a technical standpoint. Well, that’s not true – doing effects on the shot through the glass door in panel 2 was pretty labour-intensive.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week! He gets the fancy parking space next to the door. There’s going to be a bit of a revamp coming to the Patreon, as I endeavour to provide more value and some neat interactivity. If you’ve ever wanted to be drawn into a comic, maybe keep an eye on that. More on that next month, when that stuff starts being rolled out. Or just sign up now and give a few bucks to a corporate overlord that will actually notice it!

Next Week: The best chase since Bullitt. See it early on Patreon.

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.

Shredder Sans Mutagen

Looking through the uploaded files to attach the right one made me realize that I’ve got the next month’s worth of comics done already. I haven’t had a buffer that hefty in a few months, especially during the Hockeypocalypse Kickstarter. It’s nice.

This page got a re-write while I was doing the thumbnail, because I had written a placeholder joke into the last panel and then forgot to go back and write a better punchline. I hadn’t decided how Doug was going to imagine himself killing Steve, but once I decided on an oversized shredder it let me replace the placeholder punchline with something that actually made sense. The placeholder was pretty non-sequitur, which, while I often enjoy those kinds of jokes, I don’t think work particularly well in comics. Semi-relatedly, I just saw a film at a local horror convention (shoutout to Dead By Con) that really beat non-sequiturs to death as a way to skirt issues that came up during production, which has likely lowered my opinion of non-sequiturs for the moment.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman is Employee of the Week! He’s the host of the Simpsons Show and Serial Fanatacist podcasts, which you should go listen to. Being deeply influenced by the Simpsons as well, I support his taste in podcast topics. He also has a Patreon, perhaps consider throwing him a few bucks as well, yes? CORPORATE SYNERGY. If you want to get in on the corporate synergy, support the Hell, Inc. Patreon so I can keep using the corporate gold card.

Next Week: A real meeting of the minds. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

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.

His Brain Screamed

Between the Royal Rumble on Sunday and the farewell/welcome party for Happy Harbor Comics/Wonderland Games on Saturday, I have had A WEEKEND. I also had a bit of a rush to get my Match of the Year ballot in for Voices of Wrestling’s annual poll, although that is far less relevant in these newsposts than it was when I was drawing HEAT.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m very tired. But, work phone calls tomorrow! Oh, wait, that… isn’t going to help, is it?

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is the Employee of the Week, and I still don’t have enough information to tell you anything interesting in this space, so instead I’m wondering if anyone actually reads these newsposts? I kind of want to just make up some wild shit and see if anyone notices. Support Hell, Inc. on Patreon to guarantee that you get into Heaven. If you die and don’t go to Heaven, your money back!

Next Week: I can’t remember, because I haven’t drawn it yet! When I do, Hell, Inc. patrons will be able to see it first!

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.

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!

Your Plans Mean Nothing To Me

Apparently I hadn’t drawn a Hell, Inc. strip in over a month. So good on me for building up a solid buffer, I guess?

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

ME! The Hockeypocalypse Kickstarter campaign funded in just 12 days, well ahead of the 20 day mark set by Where Is Zog?, so I’m going to pat myself on the back for no longer having to exist in a state of low-level anxiety about how long it’s going to take to fund and if people actually like anything I do. You should check it out, and buy one or more books. You can get the entire series (over 400 pages) for $82 CAD (roughly $62 USD) including shipping! It’s funded, so it’s pretty much a pre-order at this point, and the more pre-orders I get, the more cool bonus stuff will be unlocked in the stretch goals.

Next Week: I just finished lettering next week’s comic, and it’s maybe the end of the first print book? I haven’t decided how long the print books will be, yet. Anyway, Patrons can see it early.

Never Stop Screaming

I spent an unreasonable amount of time trying to figure out what the upsetting thing in the fridge was going to be.

I’ve also been spending an unreasonable amount of time fretting over the new Hockeypocalypse book on Kickstarter. If you like Hell, Inc., go check it out. As of the time of this post, it’s over 60% already, but my broken brain won’t allow me to see that as a positive – all I can see is the 40% that’s left, and agonize over whether things I make actually connect with people. It’s super fun.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Damion is the Employee of the Week, and I think I’m out of factoids that I know about him, so I’ll just go with a sincere thank you for your ongoing support. If you want a sincere thank you, and also want to support my work, head over to the Hell, Inc. Patreon and chip in a few bucks. Or go back up and click that Kickstarter link and get a book for your efforts!

Next Week: Bossly consequences. Bossly is a word now. Read it early on Patreon!