A Skeleton Lover or a Skeleton Fighter?

I have been suitably shamed by Cait for not making a “does the skeleton want to bone?” joke in the Patreon post about this strip, so I will re-present Skeleton Lover or Skeleton Fighter?, my game show concept where the player must decide if the skeleton wants to bone or battle.


Christmas, for making this Christmas party arc topical again. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you out there reading the ongoing adventures of a bunch of weirdos doing demon paperwork in Hell.

Spiritual Quest

This was a strip where what I was thinking it would look like while I was writing it and what it looked like as I started to lay it out did not match in difficulty AT ALL. I expected I’d do the one shot where Doug was visible, and that would be a bit tough, but everything else would be pretty straightforward. But then I was all like “but what if I made it more dynamic and grounded the characters in the setting more?” Because I’m an idiot, you see, and do a lot of things that make my job harder because I want things to be “good.” In this economy!? We don’t have room for good, we need art-stealing robots and entire animation departments getting slashed.


Robbie Dorman is Employee of the Week. He is co-host of The Simpsons Show, the only podcast about The Simpsons, and also the only podcast about The Simpsons that I have done a guest spot on. You should also follow him on Twitter to learn about his new novel releases. He writes that good good scary shit. Indie artists need your support now more than ever, so check out his stuff!

Speaking of which, over on Patreon I’m serializing a new comic, a Rent-A-Thug one-shot called La Cosa Glasnostra. When that wraps up (it’s looking like it’ll be 40ish pages), I’ll be moving on to the full Rent-A-Thug graphic novel, unless I miraculously pick up a book deal somehow. Patreon is my (currently only) predictable form of income, so if you like Hell, Inc., every dollar helps!

Sheila’s Sign Language

Sheila’s Sign Language is much easier to learn than ASL, but more limited in expression. It’s really just communicating the one idea, isn’t it? Still, it’s an important one.


Brien Aronov is Employee of the Week, and you can too! Get Employee of the Week shoutouts, read my next graphic novel as I draw it (more on that in the near future!) or commission digital art! All of those things also help provide a level of predictability to my income that basically doesn’t exist otherwise, because freelancing is chaos!

If you want to keep up with what I’m working on, what my friends are doing, and (most importantly) see cute photos of my pets, sign up for my monthly(ish) newsletter!

Christmas Party Benefits

“Christmas Party Benefits” sound like the kind of thing a company would include in a job posting that definitely doesn’t post the salary. Encouraging employees to view each other as having “stab here” signs on their backs also seems like the kind of thing a job that doesn’t post the salary would do.


Caitlin is Employee of the Week, and currently helping finish the Hell, Inc. The RPG Kickstarter fulfillment. Our kitchen table has been a packaging station for a while now, but the end of the shipping tunnel is in sight. Until there’s more shipping. I should just get my living room classified as a Canada Post depot.

A new book series has started for $5/up patrons! The first published Rent-A-Thug story in 12 years, La Cosa Glasnostra, is being published in print-page format for the first time on Patreon. The first 5 pages are free here. The rest will be going up on Patreon, and seems like it’ll end up being somewhere in the 40 page range. I don’t know if I’ll end up printing this one, we’ll see how I feel once I see the whole thing compiled as a PDF.

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I wrote about it in more detail in the Patreon preview post for this strip, but this one is an example of writing a script that presented me with some visual problems. It’s also probably one of the better examples of those problems resulting in better visual storytelling than solving those problems in the script phase would have.

In other news, my kitchen table belongs to Hell, Inc. The RPG books now. The first batch of books has gone out, and many more will follow as we get packages put together.


“Game Time” Art Middleton is Employee of the Week! Follow him on Twitter or check out his Twitch streams, OR… do both of those things.  Also, head over to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, where you can support the continued existence of your favourite office demons and read new strips early (see above!). It turns out that humans, like demons, need money to live! Me, specifically.

The next project to be serialized on Patreon (for $5/month and up patrons) is RENT-A-THUG. Some of you might remember that as my first published work, but I’m reimagining it as a graphic novel that utilizes all of my improvements as a creator. I’m aiming for it to see publication around the 20th anniversary of the strip’s first publication in 2005, but that’ll be dependent on a lot of factors outside of my control. Right now, I’m posting the print-formatted pages for La Cosa Glasnostra, the short story I created for Webtoon as practice for meshing the original art style with my current skillset. Like with Hockeypocalypse: Slashers, I’ll be posting the first 5 pages as a free preview, and then adding a few pages every month as they’re made.


One For Everybody

Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m bringing back a character we last saw about 140 strips ago. I’m an unstoppable juggernaut of (very) slowly turning Hell into Springfield. Wait until a few strips from now when I do it again! And probably more times later! I’m actually getting ahead again, so expect to hear about some other projects as well as Hell, Inc. in the near future. One of which is still Hell, Inc. related, I suppose, since it’s Hell, Inc. The RPG, which a lot of my recent efforts have been dedicated to.


Leonardo is Employee of the Week! They’ve got a copy of Hockeypocalypse: Slashers coming in the mail because they supported its creation! You can do that with my next graphic novel, which I will be serializing on Patreon as well. Backers at the $5/month and up tiers will get a copy mailed to them when it’s finished!

You can also sign up for my newsletter, where I’ll be announcing a new Hell, Inc.-related projected later this week!

Next Week: Enter the Drunknasium! Which I guess is just a bar? Read it early on Patreon!

What Drinking is About

Cait and I were having a conversation the other day about the movie trope where a female character is made clumsy to make her “relatable.” It’s like a character is written to be cool, exciting, desirable, and whatever other qualities the story needs, but then the creators realize that they need the main character to have flaws. But if they give them real flaws, the audience might not get on board, so what flaw can they be given that will come off as relatable and funny instead of giving them an actually negative trait? It’s usually that they’re clumsy, and they do some prat falls that make them seem cute and funny. It’s the character development equivalent of lying about your weaknesses being “working too hard” or “caring too much” in a job interview.

That made me think about Sara, who isn’t clumsy so much as she is the victim of physical comedy because she doesn’t understand what in her environment is dangerous. I knew from the start of writing the comic that Sara was going to get a lot of physical comedy, but the goal wasn’t relatability. She was the best choice to fulfill a comedic role. If this were a Hollywood romcom, Bridget would be the one doing pratfalls, but they wouldn’t be allowed to be nearly as cartoonish or (occasionally) grotesque. Which would suck, because I think the physical comedy in Hell, Inc. works BECAUSE it’s overstated like that.


Shane Lees is Employee of the Week! He has a webcomic, Tales of Abuse, which you can check out at his website. He’s also getting a copy of Hockeypocalypse: Slashers in the mail in the near future by supporting at the $5/month and up level! A new book will be starting up on there once my living room no longer looks like a Canada Post. You should check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon, which will be where you can check out the next book, and is also my predictable form of income.

You can also sign up for the monthly-ish newsletter, which has a shitload more subscribers than it did before the Hell, Inc. The RPG Kickstarter. Also, it has pet pictures.

Punishment Drink?

The real punishment drink is the fried chicken flavoured vodka that Cait and I made many years ago and inflicted on our friends. She was making infused vodkas, and asked me for flavour suggestions. My attempt to discourage that by making a purposely terrible suggestion backfired, as my bluff was called and we used KFC chicken skin to infuse vodka with fried chicken flavour. Now, that sounds awful. But it kinda wasn’t? It tasted like KFC chicken. Which is not really what you want in a drink, but when you expect it to be poison and it just tastes like chicken? Pretty okay. Several of Cait’s friends swore revenge after drinking it, though, which was just uproariously funny to me. If you’re told “this tastes like fried chicken and vodka. If you do not want that, do not try this,” then you try it and overact your displeasure like you’re in a Troma film, I WILL laugh at you. And I did. A lot.

Now that I think about it, fried chicken flavoured liquor seems like it’s in the ballpark of things that would be served at O’Hellihan’s.


Azhar Baig is Employee of the Week, and has a podcast called The Wisdom of Love that you should check out. It’s a comedic recounting of the Great Western Philosophers. He also supports Hell, Inc. on Patreon, which you should do, too, because it’s my most predictable source of income! I need income to do things like “buy food” and “pay my mortgage” and “keep my pets in their preferred spherical shape.” Which is just buying food, but not for me, I suppose. Anyway, Patreon.

Next Week: Hey, drink this blue stuff. It’ll probably be fine. Or you’ll vomit out your skeleton. Either way, it can be read early on Patreon!

Santa Sez

It is very appropriate to be posting a Hell, Inc. comic on Halloween. And also to be posting one about Christmas in Hell, because that’s just retail stores now that Christmas has started encroaching past Halloween. I propose that be countered by incorporating the leering, fanged Santa from this strip, who can caper about the store terrifying children while getting schlompered on antifreeze. I don’t know what that would achieve, exactly, but as long as I get my beak wet on the licensing, it seems like a great idea.

When I sat down to draw this one, I was like “awesome, this one’s three panels, should be an easy night. I might get the whole thing done in one sitting!” Then two hours of penciling the first panel later, I realized I had maybe chosen an overly ambitious first shot if I wanted an easy night. I do think it serves to set up O’Hellihan’s nicely, though, as we haven’t seen it for about 130 strips.


Sebastian is Employee of the Week, and you can, too! It’s how I have predictable money, which is both Cool and Good. If everyone who read the comic in a month chipped in $1, I’d be able to turn down most freelance work and focus on doing Hell, Inc. stuff and my own graphic novels! That would be pretty cool.

Also, since Twitter may or may not become a (more) nightmarish hellscape in the near future, sign up for my monthly-ish email newsletter to keep up with the kinds of stuff I post on social media, but without me talking about sports as I watch them.


This is the 250th Hell, Inc. strip! That’s so many strips! No wonder I’m so tired. Is that why I thought it was a great idea to dedicate the 250th strip to a joke based on a 40+ year old sitcom that I haven’t even seen that much of? No, I definitely still think that’s genuinely a fun thing to do in the comic that is the closet I’ll ever get to making a sitcom. My original conception of this involved drawing in the style of the Cheers opening, until I rewatched it and realized the things I remembered as drawings were photos.


Barrie Deatcher is Employee of the Week, and he’s already got a copy of Hockeypocalypse: Slashers coming to him from supporting the creation of the book on Patreon! I’m gonna do that again with my next book, but work keeps piling on me before I can get my shit together to a level where I’m comfortable announcing what it is. Patreon is also how I make predictable money, so if you can kick in a buck, you should, because I can use it.

Also there’s a newsletter now, so subscribe and check that out.