Guest Comic By Lee Bretschneider

hijinks-ensue-godspeed-you-fancy-bastard-book-300x300Reading about my continuing health problems, HE reader and super fancy illustrator Lee Bretschneider sent me this fantastic guest comic without me even having to ask. Check out his portfolio at, and his comic “Wheelchair Romeo.” Also check him out getting his back waxed at RIGHT HERE. It’s awful.

Normally I would ask a potential guest-comicer to clear their intentions with me first, but Lee had the foresight to be incredibly talented which precludes the need for artist clearance. I’m very grateful for the helping hand seeing as how I spent 12 hours in the emergency room yesterday.

If you want to play catch-up on my most recent medical misadventures you can do so on the Twitters starting from here.


  1. Thought I had an aneurysm [9/24]
  2. CT Scan and Spinal Tap proved I was OK
  3. $1400 bill
  4. Spinal Tap didn’t heal correctly so my brain didn’t have enough brain juice to float in causing 24 hour migraines/nausea for 7 days
  5. migraines got out of control, chest and neck pain started, vision started going wonky
  6. Wet to ER at “poor folks” hospital downtown [9/30]
  7. They wanted to treat me with pain meds and send me on my way
  8. 10 hours later they agreed to to the blood patch I needed to repair my spinal fluid leak
  9. 12 hours total and $1600 later I went home and slept for almost 24 hours

Now that my medical bills have topped $3000, I am considering some kind of donation drive or limited print sale to help take care of them. If you have ideas, let me know. Otherwise I will think about it and post something next week.

BOOK UPDATE: The books should be here on Monday [10/5/09]. I leave for Baltimore Comic-Con a few days later so there probably won’t be any books shipped until I get back. I may do some live streaming of the book signings/sketchings on Ustream.

Thank you all for your continued support and kind words through what has been one of the crappiest months of my life.



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  1. omg, Joel, you poor guy. You totally should have a donation drive/limited print sale. Not only do we all love your comic, but I am sure that there are a lot of us who could spare a little change to help you out. I mean, even Dustin Diamond sold tee shirts to save his house. I mean, you're clearly way cooler than Screech.

  2. poor little comic artist!
    idea: publicity! also some pictures of your wounds could make us feel even more sad and donatey. like the spinal tap hole, or a drawing of your brain without enough fluids… maybe a scan or something?
    PD: i seriously love how you integrate your life into your comic.

  3. Definitely do the donate thing. I don't have any money but i can at least give $10 and one of my favourite comics can continue if i donate. 🙂

  4. You poor bastard. If it helps, you've made me feel marginally better about my own life through the magical power of comparison.

    I genuinely hope you feel better and have a carefree life indefinitely. I'd be happy to donate a little extra to help with the medical bills if I wasn't shit poor at the moment (although, I could probably find a few extra bucks to sling your way – hell, I live in Norway, where a can of soda costs like $5; I'll see what I can do, but I won't be one of those crazy awesome FBs that really turns stuff around, just a wee bastard who chips in a bit for the greater good).

  5. Brilliant guest strip! Hits indeed.

    I'm not pleased with this situation of yours, Joel, with both of your money and essence sucked away by the whatsoever evil healthcareless-system.
    I want to be happy for you because you're living your dream and making it as a comic artist, not to feel bad because, well, broken backs and precious bodily juices and so on!
    There is something wrong with the world.

    I'll do what I can, spread the word about HE to my friends, urge them to invest in books and shirts and wish said stuff from Santa for Christmas, things like that.
    Stay alive, stay awesome!


  6. I don't know if you're up to it or if it's been suggested already, but I would love to have an idea of mine made into a cartoon. I know that's probably a big pain in the neck, (see what I did there) but I think folks will be willing to shell out more for that. Maybe just include them in a strip, something to that effect?

  7. I've seriously considered doing some gorilla advertising for you here in Madison. Being a very gay very college town I figure there's a ton of people who would greatly enjoy your comic. Maybe I'll put up some fliers with a comic or two on it. Chalk the web address on the sidewalk down by the college or maybe stand on one of the overpasses with the web address on it. Seriously, feel better man!

  8. Having just had one of the worst migraines I've ever had, I seriously almost feel your pain. I too like the comic suggestions idea, although I can imagine it would be tricky – we all have our own favourite things and part of the fun of coming here is seeing what you're gonna do next. Rest up, get well, and let us know what you need.

  9. and there are still americans that think public healthcare is a bad thing? hahahahahha omg… sorry joel, but as a canadian i gotta tell you dude your system sucks! why should you have to shell out $3000 to not die? thats bullshit. our system may have its problems, but at least it doesnt financially obliterate us!

    • Seconded. Same thing here in Norway; it ain't perfect, but at least you can afford to eat and be sick at the same time (and by "being sick" at the same time, I don't mean "literally vomiting while consuming food", cuz that'd just be… well, difficult, and probably some weird fetish that already exists somewhere on the Internet).

  10. Might be a lame suggestion, but here goes: seek out a group or association, etc., that supports health care reform. Become their poster boy.
    Have them use your tweets, comics, etc., telling the story for everyone to read, including the "running total."
    Go public, go national, go big. The organization may not pay your bills, but often people who become national news get "treats" donated to them by specific groups or the public in general. (Remember the one multiple-birth mother a few years back who got free dental work?)

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