Clear Eyes, Full of Bees, Can’t Lose

I blame the title of this strip being a Friday Night Lights joke on the Dilettante Ball podcast. It’s delightful, and the kind of podcast that will spend a year clicking “random article” on the Friday Night Lights TV show wiki as a bizarre joke that they definitely regret pretty quickly. Go listen to it.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman is Employee of the Week, and is co-host of The Simpsons Show, the only podcast about The Simpsons. You should also follow him on Twitter to learn about his new novel releases. You should ALSO check out the Hell, Inc. Patreon, where Hell, Inc. Volume 4: Mandatory is now available to patrons at any level! Patreon helps me to things like “eat food” and “pay my mortgage.”

You can also help Hell, Inc. by voting for it on Top Webcomics, which continues to be the largest source of new readers for the comic. You can vote daily by clicking on the link below!

Next Week: Things get weird in the Hellevator. Read it early on Patreon!

Stingerless Bees My Butt

Keen-eyed readers may have noticed that Steve is frequently seen eating bees out of a ziplock bag. This is a very dumb joke that I have been setting up since episode FIFTEEN. For those keeping count, this is episode 171. Speaking of episode numbers, I just finished drawing strip 199 about half an hour ago, as if this writing. 200 will be tomorrow!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is Employee of the Week, and has access to the Patreon-exclusive digital copy of Hell, Inc. Volume 4: “Mandatory.” You can, too, by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon! For as little as $1, you can keep the company profitable and also get access to over a thousand pages of digital comics, which are sent to all new patrons.

You can also help Hell, Inc. by voting for it on Top Webcomics, which is where the largest number of new readers are from. You can vote daily by clicking on the banner below!

Next Week: Stingerless bees are a win/win situation. Find out how on Patreon.

Gloating Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

You know, sometimes B.L. Zebub is right. Gloating doesn’t have to make sense, you just need enough smarm and smugness that everyone around you is deeply irritated in their soul by it. It’s a very B.L. Zebub to be right about, really.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Joe Amon is Employee of the Week, and has access to the digital version of Hell, Inc. Volume 4: “Mandatory.” You can, too, by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon for as little as $1 a month! Not only is it a relatively stable source of income, which, as an artist, is a nightmare to obtain, it also does wonders for my self esteem! So much of making a webcomic feels a bit like posting into the void, so one of the most validating feelings is seeing en email introducing a new patron who enjoys what I’m doing enough to give me a dollar for it.

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

Next Week: Snacks that bite back. Read it early on Patreon!

Subtlety

It’s important not to be too subtle about your expectations. Also, at some point I got much better at spacing out dialogue so that I can fit all of the balloons in comfortably and easily. BTW, this is page 169. Nice.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cait is Employee of the Week, and has just relaunched her Etsy shop, Soaps & Sorcery! Go buy soap from it, and also keep an eye out for a Hell, Inc. themed soap collab at some point later this year. She is surprisingly game for my very silly theme ideas. You should also keep an eye out on the Hell, Inc. Patreon, where new patrons receive access to over a thousand pages of digital comics, including the as-yet-unreleased Hell, Inc. Volumes 3 and 4! Also you will know that you made me super-psyched, because the feeling of getting those “you have a new patron” emails is incredibly motivating and validating.

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which helps bring in new readers! It’s early in the month, which means votes are even more valuable as the rankings reset. Click the banner below to vote daily!

Next Week: Gloating doesn’t have to make sense! Read it early on Patreon!

 

Something a Coat Rack Would Say

Seriously though, it IS something a coat rack would say. I asked my coat rack.

Also, last week’s question that I posed about future print editions still stands. Continue with the plan of doing six separate 60 page books, or wait until all of the strips are ready and release one big print book with everything? Leave a comment, send me an email, tweet me – whatever, but let me know what you’d prefer!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Christine Bennett, better known as Purple Pony Art, is Employee of the Week! She has early access to Hell, Inc. Volume 3: “Team-building Exercise” and you can, too, by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon! There are also a little over a thousand pages of other comics available to Patrons, which is a lot. BOOM math’d.

It’s also very helpful to vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, because that’s where the majority of new readers discover the comic. More votes = more visibility from being higher on the list. Click the banner below to vote (you can do it daily!)

Next Week: It’s only awkward if you know what’s going on. Read it early on Patreon!

The Mediocre-est Laid Plans

This strip is one I look forward to converting to Webtoon format in *checks calendar* at minimum 6 months from now. There are some jokes that are perfect for the infinite scroll format of Webtoon, and ones that involve waiting a long time for something are at the top of that list.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Cindy Gauthier is Employee of the Week, and can help fulfill all of your COVID-related mask needs. If you want to get your comics needs handled, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon, where you’ll get a digital copy of the aforementioned “Team-building Exercise” book (which includes a book-exclusive short story) as well as over 1000 pages of other comics!

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is the number one source of new readers for the comic. Votes early in the month (for example, this week) are super valuable as the rankings reset at the beginning of the month. You can vote once per day, so click on the banner below to get voting!

Next Week: The great bad chair reverse-heist finally begins and sure is something. Read it early on Patreon!

Chair Crimes

I don’t know why, but I really like the device of having things written on sticky notes that function as their own panel. I also like using very dramatic shadows for something very stupid, like chair crimes. CHAIR CRIMES.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Robbie Dorman, host of The Simpsons Show podcast, is Employee of the Week. If you like Hell, Inc. you probably also like The Simpsons, because that’s pretty foundational to my sense of humour and how I write jokes, so you should listen to The Simpsons Show. If you like Hell, Inc. you probably also want to be Employee of the Week and help Hell, Inc. continue existing by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon. All new patrons are receiving a digital copy of Hell, Inc. Volume 3: Team-building Exercise, as well as access to a Dropbox folder with over 1000 pages of digital comics!

You can also vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which is a great way to help boost the comic’s visibility and bring in new readers. Click on the banner below to vote!

Next Week: I love it when a plan comes together. This isn’t one of those times, though. Read it early on Patreon!

Nuclear Fishin’

It took me a really long time to decide what Steve was going to be talking about when he said “I know that (blank) exists. I don’t know how it works.” That was supposed to be the punchline at the end of the strip, but nothing I was thinking of was funny enough to justify that. Eventually I realized that I needed to have Steve follow up that line with something else, and that let everything fall into place. Adding that extra panel made the dialogue feel more authentic to Steve’s character AND made it more interesting. This has been “Jeff waxes about his creative process and also about how great he is.”

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Brien Aronov is this week’s Employee of the Week! If you park in his space, he’s legally allowed to replace one of your bones with a swarm of bees. If you want to be Employee of the Week and threaten your co-workers with osseous violence, support Hell, Inc. on Patreon. It’s how I make money on this thing so I can do more of it instead of spending all my time on freelance work.

Votes on Top Webcomics are worth EVEN MORE early in the month! Click on the link below to help Hell, Inc. be seen by more webcomic readers!

Next Week: A journey of learning. Go on it with Sara, and do it a week early by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Hats, Crushers of Emotions

I think the hardest thing for me, as far as storytelling in Hell, Inc., is the way I handle Doug and Bridget’s… whatever their chemistry is. Trying to find the correct amount of subtlety when I know a whole bunch of information that the audience doesn’t, and how to convey that information mostly non-verbally, is very challenging. In general, the most difficult thing that an author does is figuring out what, of the information they have about a story, is necessary for the audience, and then how clearly that’s being presented without feeling like an info-dump.

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Shout out to Employee of the Week Joe Amon! Thanks for reading, and extra thanks for helping finance this rickety operation/Satanic megacorporation. Which I think is a regular megacorporation, unless you’re using Satanic as a proper noun for the religion. If you want to be Employee of the Week, you too can help finance your favourite megacorporation. That’s me, by the way, not Amazon or Google or whatever. Patreon. Money. Me. Fuck sentences.

As always, if you can’t help out monetarily because capitalism has squeezed too much out of you, you can support Hell, Inc. by upvoting it on Top Webcomics. A large number of the new readers I get come from there, and more votes mean that more potential new readers see it. Click the banner to vote.

Next Week: Sara goes on a journey of knowledge. Find out what she learns right now by supporting Hell, Inc. on Patreon!

Nom Nom Nom

I write this after spending 10 of the last 11 days on the road doing the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo and Auroracon up in High Level, AB, and HOLY SHIT I’M SO TIRED. Like, I’m the kind of tired that makes it seem like being this tired is a superpower. Charles Xavier is out there looking for me to join the X-Men as “guy who is so tired he feels like he’s astral projecting into a different reality.”

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK:

Me, for still being awake to write this, and for being recruited to join the X-Men. The guinterns are complaining that they haven’t been chosen yet, but there’s still a lot of excess hay in the office that needs dealing with. If they can drive some subscriptions to the Hell, Inc. Patreon, maybe they’ll get that coveted Employee of the Week spot.

Not everyone has disposable income to help guinea pigs achieve their dreams, but you DO have the ability to click the banner below and vote for Hell, Inc. on Top Webcomics, which helps new readers find the comic. You should do that. Frequently.

Next Week: Steve’s got jokes. They’re not funny, but he’s got ’em. Find out what they are a week early by supporting the Hell, Inc. Patreon.