Illusionary Photocopiers

I have returned from the Panel One Comic Creator Festival in Calgary, which means my hellish month of May will be over, which is AWESOME. It hasn’t been a bad month, by any stretch – I moved into my new home, I did several fun and lucrative conventions – but oh my god I’m tired all the time why can’t I sleep for a week bluuuuuh. Thanks to everyone at Panel One who stopped by to pick up some books and chat, and shout out to those of you who mentioned Hell, Inc. specifically. It’s always nice to get a reminder that those view count numbers are actual people.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman is the Employee of the Week, and definitely hosts a podcast that aligns with your interests. Check out The Simpsons Show, which is exactly what you think it is from the title, and Serial Fanaticist, a podcast about stuff that people like.

Next Week: Doris is the MOST helpful. Find out how by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon.

Emotional Toner

“Kind of like that, but emotionally” seems like the kind of line I’m going to end up making callbacks to. It works in a variety of contexts. Sara the intern replaced the intern from the original print comics, Bobby. I wanted to add another female character, and nothing about Bobby’s character required him to be a man. Although now that I think about it, I really could have saved myself a lot of effort and just used the name Bobbi. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to name Sara. Like, a really obnoxious amount of time for something that is ultimately kind of trivial from the reader’s perspective.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Tony Esteves, creator of the wonderful Cigarro & Cerveja comic strip and his current project, Legendary Woodsman, is this week’s Employee of the Week! Tony’s Cigarro & Cerveja strip overlapped slightly with Rent-A-Thug beginning in the U of A newspaper, the Gateway. I’m not sure if Tony was still a student at that time, or if he had provided strips post-graduation, as some of the more prolific cartoonists have. Want to be the next Employee of the Week? Throw a few bucks at the Hell, Inc. Patreon!

Next Week: Toner is a tricky business. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

The Best Teacher

Doug is the BEST teacher. It’s also how I first think when I have to teach something, except that I then follow it up with something resembling actual teaching afterward. In other news, I’m writing this from a hotel room in Drumheller, Alberta, following a successful appearance at the Alberta Association of Library Technicians Conference. I am not a library technician, but if you make graphic novels, you should get to know as many of them as possible.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

As a new patron, Crafty Geeks has jumped the line to be this week’s Employee of the Week. They do nerdy sewing stuff, so check that out for all of your nerdy sewing stuff needs. Do you want to jump the line and be next week’s Employee of the Week? Support Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Next Week: We learn about photocopiers, and emotions. Read it early by supporting Hell, Inc. 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!

DOUG SMASH!

Doug is clearly the Incredible Hulk of low-level office drones. That desk is the United States Army in Hulk Comics of desks. This analogy is the Hulk’s purple pants of analogies, in that it does not really make sense but is still here anyway.

This weekend (or, more accurately, half of the week, as it runs April 26-29) is the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo! I’ll be in the BMO Centre at the Renegade Arts Entertainment booth, of which I don’t know the booth number. But come say hi and buy stuff, because that’s how I feel good about myself during the mental slog that is tabling at a convention. If any of you happen to be near High Level, Alberta (are any of you from near there?), come see me and my Ape Court collaborator Daniel Schneider at Auroracon on May 4-5. If any of you are librarians, I’ll be at the AALT conference on May 11-12. Then after that I’m moving into my new place, and I assume I will die of exhaustion there.

Next Week: Bridget and Steve have important conversations about race. That’s kind of a joke and kind of not? Figure out what that even means by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon.

Tumour Muzak

Drawing facial expressions is one of the my favourite things, particularly when I get to go way over-the-top like Doug in the last panel. In other news, Calgary Expo is coming up. I’ll be there again, with the fine folks at Renegade Arts Entertainment, and loads of books and prints.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

This week, it’s Brien Aronov! I don’t have a factoid to go with this one, I just appreciate the support. Want to get a shoutout as Employee of the Week, and a variety of other rewards? Hit up the Patreon, and kick a few bucks into the coffers to help keep the lights on.

Next Week: It’s not a good day to be a phone. Which is a weird idea to think about, really. Read it early on Patreon!

“Important”

Looking at this strip as I was uploading it reminded me of being on hold in a parking lot in Kamloops, British Columbia. I was trying to get an answer about my cell phone provider’s US travel service packagesthat would take ten seconds if handled by a normal, functioning human. It took nearly 20 minutes. Afterward, one of my friends who was busy loading luggage into one of the vehicles, asked if I was on hold. “Yeah.” “I thought so, you looked so pissed.”

At least I didn’t head-desk in a parking lot. That would be bad.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is this week’s Employee of the Week! I’ve met him a handful of times at conventions, and the chats have been delightful each time. Thanks for your support, Joe!

Next Week: Maybe being on hold wasn’t so bad… find out why by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Hold, Please

Being on hold because somebody didn’t fill out paperwork properly might be the thing I most strongly associate with the idea of working in an office. It’s also an office task that actually crops up on occasion for a comic-maker, although usually for something unrelated to comics. Last time it was because the person at my cell phone provider who activated my phone made a typo on my PIN number that resulted in me not being able to access my account to actually pay them. That was fun. I was on hold on the very same phone they had accidentally prevented me from paying them for.

Normally I find digital lettering pretty enjoyable, but trying to put tails onto radio burst balloons is it’s own special hell (and a joke that I just considered doing in the comic somehow, despite it being intensely specific to my own personal existence and very few others).

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

This week’s Employee of the Week is Damion! He was one of the earliest Patreon supporters of HEAT, and has stuck around. Thanks for your support, Damion! If you want to get a shout out as Employee of the Week, throw a couple bucks at the Patreon.

Next Week: Exciting adventures in hold muzak. Patreon patrons get to read it a week early, and also help pay the mortgage that I’m going to have shortly. Oh god, that’s terrifying.

Executive Decisions

His name is not Dr. Rockzo, but he DOES cocaine. And you KNOW he’s the kind of guy who makes you contemplate the nuclear annihilation of the Earth and think “… yeah, okay.”

Now that the site has stabilized after the issues with moving, I can focus on introducing a new feature – Employee of the Week! Each week, one of my Patreon patrons will get a shout-out as Employee of the Week. It’s a way to thank those of you who have been willing to offer your financial and moral support to my comic-making endeavours, as well as encourage others to join them!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK

The inaugural employee of the week is Caitlin, @Caitofthenorth! Thank you, Cait, for being the longest-running patron!

Next Week: The most dangerous game – paperwork. Read it now, and become a future Employee of the Week, on Patreon!

Horror of Eternity

Hooray, the site is unbroken, without missing any updates! Just several days of frustration and anger at my webhost, who broke everything during a server migration. Shout out to Greg deJong, who both designed this site and fixed it (I assume via witchcraft and other black magicks).

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the first panel took longer to draw than the rest of the strip combined. The archive area is based on the filing system at my dentist’s office, but turned sideways so as to look more labyrinthine. Fun fact: the frog demon guy in the foreground is the first demon to not be a shade of red.

Also, a quick update for Patrons – the Employee of the Week stuff is going to start next week, now that things are somewhat stable.

Next Week: Our Earthly corporate overlords are on the way to meet with our Satanic corporate overlords. What does that even mean? Find out a week early by supporting on Patreon!