Now on Kickstarter – Hell, Inc.: The RPG Employee Handbook!

After years of working on-and-off on concepts and ideas for turning Hell, Inc. into a game, the big day is finally here! The Employee Handbook is now available to pre-order on Kickstarter as part of my newest crowdfunding project.

Based on the webcomic hosted on this very site, in Hell, Inc. players assume the role of demons working in the labyrinthine bureaucracy that runs Hell. Your job is mostly to work together (or not!) with your new coworkers to fix your boss’ problems for them.

Using a custom rules-lite system evolved from a Powered by the Apocalypse hack originally written for our previous RPG mini-zine (Fail Marines), Hell, Inc. is a 2d6-based role-playing game with a twist— players must aim for mediocrity as both high and low rolls have the potential to create problems! Roll too low, and your incompetence will draw the ire of the boss. Roll too high, and you unfortunately just singled yourself out for coworkers’ jealousy and the boss dumping more work on you. If your favourite tabletop gaming moments have been the times when failed rolls with hilarious consequences turn into role-playing gold, then this is the game for you!

The Employee Handbook is a 32 page, full colour, saddle-stitched book with the complete Hell, Inc. game system, advice for running the game, random NPC generators, and a pre-written adventure (along with some other stuff)! We also have stretch goals for a second adventure module to be sent to all backers as well as the Soup Drawer digital zine. What is a Soup Drawer Zine? guess you’ll have to click the image below to head over to the campaign page to learn more!

Announcing Hell, Inc. The RPG!

That’s right, you (probably) heard it here first!

Following the success of the first Fail Marines gameplay event, me and my Fail Marines co-creator/wife, Caitlin, are teaming up to turn this very webcomic, Hell, Inc., into a tabletop role-playing game! Normally, I wouldn’t consider doing two crowdfunded books back-to-back, but when I recently learned about Kickstarter’s ZineQuest RPG event it was just too good an opportunity to pass up. The campaign will launch on August 23rd.

This is actually something I’ve had in my back pocket for a while, but with the positive feedback we got on the Fail Marines system I decided to revise the Hell, Inc. RPG draft to use the same 2D6 mechanics. To put it simply, Hell, Inc. is a game where rolling too low means failure and rolling too high means you just caused yourself new and exciting problems—finally, an RPG about embracing mediocrity!

There’ll be more details available when it’s closer to launch, but in the meantime I am already hard at work on final revisions to the text and page layouts. We’re both really happy with what we’ve got so far, and I think you’ll all be pretty stoked to see it too! Here’s a sneak preview of a brand new piece of art for the book’s interior.

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers LAST 48 HOURS!

In the time paradox that is running a crowdfunding campaign, they simultaneously feel endless and like everything needs to happen NOW. Near the end, time becomes more straightforward, because the end is in sight and it very much needs to happen now. The good news, then, is that Slashers exceeded the funding goal over the weekend, so now we’re in “can it beat the last one?” territory.

What that means for you, dear reader, is that you’re straight-up preordering the new book, signed, and with access to a bunch of cool extra stuff. The Kickstarter campaign for Cult of Hockey ended up with 56 backers, which I was pretty concerned would not be matched for most of the last month. As of the writing of this post, it seems pretty reachable, and I’d very much like to see it exceeded. I think Slashers is the best book I’ve ever produced, and it would feel very appropriate for it to outdo my previous best book.

The campaign ends on Thursday, July 21st at midnight PT/11 PM MT, so there’s not much time left to get a first printing copy of Hockeypocalypse: Slashers… click on any of the images below to go to the Zoop campaign and place your preorder!

LAST WEEK – Hockeypocalypse: Slashers

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers continues to batter its way through the playoff series that is crowdfunding, and like an NHL playoff series, this one has been a grind.

For a series that I’ve been able to sell over a thousand copies of at conventions and book fairs, trying to crowdfund Hockeypocalypse is, for whatever reason, far more difficult than seems reasonable. I’ve thought a lot about why that is, and I have yet to reach any reasoning other than for some reason the audience of people who want these books and the audience of people willing to follow my work online overlap very little. Regardless of the reasoning, the result is discouraging! So if you’ve been thinking about it but haven’t gotten around to it yet, click the image below and get that preorder in.

The Beat included Hockeypocalypse: Slashers as the leadoff in their Crowdfunding Projects We Love roundup, with someone other than me confirming that you do not, in fact, have to like hockey to enjoy this book.

Support the book’s existence by preordering it on Zoop. I’m aware that for some, using something that isn’t Kickstarter might seem iffy, but let me assure you that Zoop is, in fact, a real, reputable service, exclusively for comics that are cool as hell.

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers Halfway Update

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers has hit the halfway point of the campaign, time-wise, so it’s time for another update!

Hockeypocalypse is a series that is near and dear to me, and has been a passion project for over a decade now. It began humbly, with a desire to engage with hockey, a sport I love, without being driven to a blind fury by the worst stretch of hockey ever played by the Edmonton Oilers. Drawings of hockey mutants in my sketchbook started turning into a story, and what would become The Battle of Alberta graphic novel was the ultimate result of that. Along the way were many rejections, and more uses of the phrase “it’s great but I don’t know how to sell that” than I’ve ever heard. It’s still the thing I hear most commonly when pitching Hockeypocalypse, and as a result, every book in the series has been a DIY endeavour.

Hockeypocalypse has probably done more to improve my writing than any other series, because sports stories are reliant on finding an emotional core beyond “I hope they win.” In Slashers, that core is a reflection of experiences making comics – what happens when you get what you want, but it stops feeling like enough? What happens when you get to play hockey full time, your dream for your whole life, but now it’s normal? The excitement isn’t there anymore, it’s like a job, it’s a thing you do. That’s where Stretch is at when we begin our story, and he needs to find a way to get things figured out, because if he can’t then all of the people in Edmonton are going to be victims of the maniacal Cold Lake Slashers.

This is the best book I’ve ever drawn, but this crowdfunding process has been quite a grind. Check the book out, and support it. Maybe get one to donate to your local library!

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers Week 1 Update

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers has been live on Zoop for a week, now, and while it got off to a hot start, progress has stalled for a few days. This is common, but also incredibly frustrating because I genuinely believe that Slashers is the best book I’ve ever drawn, and I want people to be as excited for it as I am. It needs to cross the 50% mark this week to stay on track to, you know, existing, so if you’ve been meaning to preorder, don’t wait! Supporters aren’t charged until after the campaign is over, and adding more supporters creates a snowball effect of people wanting to get in on something that other people think is cool.

I also want to highlight a very fun new addition to this Hockeypocalypse campaign that wasn’t available previously: original art commissions! Do you want an original drawing of yourself or someone else as a hockey mutant? Of course you do. Those are available as add-ons for the campaign, at a much lower rate than my usual commissions! Click the example self-portrait to head to the Zoop campaign page!

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers – First 48 Hour Deals

Hockeypocalypse: Slashers has launched on Zoop, and to hopefully lower my stress levels, there are some great deals for the first 48 hours.

Hardcover copies of Slashers will be available for $20 CAD ($16 USD), and a bundle of Slashers and all four previous Hockeypocalypse books for $60 CAD ($48 USD) – that’s over FIVE HUNDRED pages of Hockeypocalypse!

Click the images below to pre-order your copies via Zoop, and also make me significantly less stressed out.

Rent-A-Thug on Webtoon

I’ve entered Webtoon’s Call to Action contest, and did so by going back to a world I haven’t visited in a long time – Rent-A-Thug! I had a blast adapting a style that had originally evolved into a way to hide being bad at drawing. Figuring out how to keep the same visual signatures while modernizing it to my current skill level was challenging, but I’m very happy with the result.

Please check it out, like, and comment. Audience engagement is part of the judging criteria, so I unfortunately cannot rely on having made a rad comic alone. Click the image below to go to the comic!

Coming Soon – Hockeypocalypse: Slashers!

It’s taken a lot of time and effort, but Hockeypocalypse: Slashers is nearly upon us! The crowdfunding campaign to finance the book’s publication will be taking place on new comics-only platform ZOOP beginning on June 21st. You can sign up now to be notified when the campaign goes live – there are some awesome early-bird deals, and the faster it is funded, the faster I can breathe normally again.

Click on the cover image to go to the campaign’s Zoop page, where you can sign up to be notified via email when the campaign launches on June 21st!