The Zen of Failure

The Zen of Failure sounds like the state that occurs when I’m pitching projects. There’s a certain flow state that comes from copying and pasting pitch documents into various forms and formats to send to people who may or may not respond, and might not even look at them. It creates a certain feeling of acceptance that this action probably will not matter, but it must be taken or it definitely won’t matter. It’s related to the way rejection loses its sting when it happens frequently. Just pitching to literary agents, I’ve been rejected or ignored over 100 times now. Rejection isn’t even really a feeling anymore, it’s just a thing that happens which indicates I have to keep pitching things.

Naturally, the Patreon preview for this strip was mostly about… lettering? Yes, of course.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Barrie Deatcher is Employee of the Week, and has been able to download my video game, Space Jerks as a result! You can, too! Patreon is my predictable source of income, and I would very much like it to grow to the point where I can do things like make a video game and not be haunted by the thought that I’m wasting my time because nobody will support it!

Remember Top Webcomics? That’s still a thing, so if you want to boost Hell, Inc. in the rankings and funnel some new readers in, click on the banner below. You can vote daily.

Next Week: Ray, office scientist. Read it early on Patreon!

Hold Madness

Hold madness is real and very powerful. Maybe not “Hulk Smash a desk” powerful, but there’s a certain amount of antipathy toward human existence that builds up when you’re hearing the same musical loop for 35 minutes. Which is maybe a thing that happened to me last week. Hockey game goes into intermission, and I think “ah, I’ll bang out this phone call I need to make.” By the time I was done, it was almost the next intermission. Oof.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cindy Gauthier is Employee of the Week, and you can read her comic on Webtoon! It’s called Posthumous, and is a comic about two friends (who are cool, weird cyborg-things) exploring space and how the things that are in space are often terrifying. Season 2 is underway!

Patreon! Go there. Do that. It is my most reliable source of income, and that is very helpful when living that freelance life. If everyone who read the comic last week chipped in $1/month, that would be enough to almost completely eliminate the need for freelancing. That would be rad! You’d also all be able to play my video game, Space Jerks!

You can also support Hell, Inc. for free by telling your friends about it, because that is infinitely better than any promotion I can do. Also voting on Top Webcomics by clicking the banner below is very helpful!

Next Week: The zen of incompetence. Read it early on Patreon!

Making a Lot of Sense

Hell, Inc. has a pretty defined colour palette by this point, so it’s always fun to do panels that let me shake that up.

Also I made a video game, have you heard?

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin, host of Syndicated with Lesley and Ben (among other casted pods), is Employee of the Week, and I just made my fourth appearance on the show, this time discussing crime drama Better Call Saul! If you want to hear me talk about how artfully executed BCS is, then good news, you’ll have a great time listening to that podcast!

Patreon! It’s a predictable source of income, and ALSO Patrons can play Space Jerks, the video game I made!

Also check out the newsletter, which is how to hear about what I’m up to without needing to subject yourself to things like Twitter.

You can also support Hell, Inc. for free by telling your friends about it, because that is infinitely better than any promotion I can do. Also voting on Top Webcomics by clicking the banner below is very helpful!

Next Week: Doug’s tale of woe and being bad at Arrivals. Read it early

Failure Chicken

Failure chicken, for when everyone wants to be a loser! It’s also a very funny first idea expressed in the comic for 2024. It’s like the opposite of a resolution – “just be slightly worse than your competition!” But also the first thing I did was forget to finish writing the post before it went up, so not a great start!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

I made a video game! If somehow you haven’t heard me yelling at the internet about it yet, now you know! Patrons at any of the paid tiers can download for free, right now, and play it on your computers! It’s called Space Jerks, and I wrote about its origin in a free Patreon post here. You should read the post, then chip in a dollar and download the game, in which you will blow up aliens with a laser.

You can also help get Hell, Inc. in front of new readers by voting for it on Top Webcomics! You can vote daily by clicking on the banner below.

Next Week: Totally normal reactions to failure chicken. Read it early on Patreon!

Brain Wizard

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/It is Monday, as appropriate! Now that it’s Christmas, we are about six months past the Christmas story arc. Naturally. If, somehow, Hell, Inc. ever becomes an animated show, I’ll have to make sure the Christmas party stuff doesn’t air anywhere near Christmas, just to keep up that tradition.

A Christmas Present for Patrons!

In lieu of an Employee of the Week, I’ve got a gift for my Patreon patrons (which can also include you, if you want!). I’ve been working on a video game side project for a bit, and patrons can now play my first finished game, Space Jerks! It’s an arcade shoot-em-up based on Space Invaders, but with hand-drawn art and sound effects that I foley’d myself! I’m excited to be able to share this with folks, so if you’re a patron, check it out, and if you’re not… well, you could be. Patrons at all levels will be able to download the game on an ongoing basis. Click on the image below to check it out!

As always, Top Webcomics is a helpful way to tell people about Hell, Inc.! You can vote daily by clicking on the banner below.

Next Week: Doug tries to be his own brain wizard. Read it early on Patreon!

 

The Sixth Dimension

The Patreon preview for this post is about the way comics have magical realism built into them as a medium, and the ways that can be used to the cartoonist’s advantage. It also lets you draw things that don’t need explanation for how they’re happening, like Doug waving a flaming sword atop a space pegasus.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cindy Gauthier is Employee of the Week, and you can read her comic on Webtoon! It’s called Posthumous, and is a comic about two friends (who are cool, weird cyborg-things) exploring space and how the things that are in space are often terrifying. Season 2 is underway!

Patreon! Go there. Do that. It is my most reliable source of income, and that is very helpful when living that freelance life. If everyone who read the comic last week chipped in $1/month, that would be enough to almost completely eliminate the need for freelancing. That would be rad!

You can also support Hell, Inc. for free by telling your friends about it, because that is infinitely better than any promotion I can do. Also voting on Top Webcomics by clicking the banner below is very helpful!

Next Week: We check in on the office’s Ambient Misery Index. Read it early on Patreon!

Ray’s Stay Awake Juice TM

If I knew how to make the TM symbol in the title field, I would definitely do that. But I don’t, so I didn’t. Speaking of things I know how to do, I have begun learning how to make video games in the Godot engine. So far I’ve done a beginner course and made a super simple “move your guy around and collect coins” game. Soon I shall have the power to conjure video games from the aether and make the dumb Hell, Inc. spreadsheet Tetris game I’ve mentioned off and on for like 4 years.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Ben Hamlin, host of Syndicated with Lesley and Ben (among other casted pods), is Employee of the Week, and I just made my fourth appearance on the show, this time discussing crime drama Better Call Saul! If you want to hear me talk about how artfully executed BCS is, then good news, you’ll have a great time listening to that podcast!

Patreon! It’s a predictable source of income, so if you like things that I do, check it out.

Also check out the newsletter, which is how to hear about what I’m up to without needing to subject yourself to things like Twitter.

You can also support Hell, Inc. for free by telling your friends about it, because that is infinitely better than any promotion I can do. Also voting on Top Webcomics by clicking the banner below is very helpful!

Next Week: Some real wizard van vibes. Read it early

Dougfinity

You know a drink is a healthy way to start your day when it makes you sweat profusely and see through time! This week’s Patreon preview features talk about digital lettering, and also you can see Patreon’s new, stupid logo. Whoever made that absolutely got paid more for it than I will make this year.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

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 check out his website 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!

Also check out my Patreon, because if everyone who reads Hell, Inc. on a monthly basis kicked in $1, I’d be able to cut my freelancing schedule to nearly nil, and focus on the things you already like (Hell, Inc., and presumably other comics I make without bothering to consider whether they suit the publishing zeitgeist, such as the aforementioned project I want to pitch).

You can also support Hell, Inc. for free by telling your friends about it, because that is infinitely better than any promotion I can do. Also voting on Top Webcomics by clicking the banner below is very helpful!

Next Week: Going on a trip. Read it early on Patreon!

The Infinity of Helens

In this week’s Patreon preview, I wrote a whole big thing about how many drafts it took to get to Helen’s dialogue in the last panel, then it gets eaten by posting gremlins. So then I wrote another thing that’s mostly about coming up with props that add to the world of the comic, like the mugs with art on them.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

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, 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!

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is a helpful source of new readers! It’s early in the month, which means votes are more valuable as the rankings reset.

Next Week: The Infinity of Helens causes doubt about Ray’s patented Stay Awake Juice. Read it early on Patreon!

 

The Bee Tooth Rule

The bee tooth rule is a very good one, I think. If you’re doing anything and your teeth start to feel like they’re full of bees, you should probably stop doing that thing. That line is courtesy the time I forgot that I had already taken my ADHD medication, and the accidental doubling of the dosage made it feel like my teeth were vibrating. I don’t recommend it!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

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, 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!

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is a helpful source of new readers! It’s early in the month, which means votes are more valuable as the rankings reset.

Next Week: Ray’s Stay Awake Juice. Read it early on Patreon!