Salty And Sweet

A couple more comics and I’ll take a break from the continuity to do a week or so worth of self contained gag comics. I hope you are enjoying the ride so far. I’m having fun fleshing out the characters, and actually coming up with WAY more ideas than I would ever be able to fit into the comic. So I guess that’s a good thing. Oh, hey! I posted a new shirt design on my Tumblr. What do you think?

Sunday (June 3rd) is my birthday. I will be 31 which is not technically old, but feels MUCH older than 30 did. A few people have asked over Twitter, so I will take this opportunity to point you towards my Amazon Wishlist donations page and the HE Store. Buying something for yourself is like getting us both a present. You have my permission to be selfish on my birthday.

At Phoenix Comicon last weekend, Wil and I (along with Blind Ferret) debuted the prototype of the Wil Wheaton plushie we’ve been working on for about a year. The preorder should start next week, so keep and eye out and get ready to spread the word.

The Wil Wheaton Plushie Plush Doll from HijiNKS ENSUE

HEY! I started a Facebook group for Fancy Bastards to share ideas, get support and be a community of geeks and weirdos. Godspeed, You Fancy Bastards!

COMMENTERS: Have you had or do you have a problem that you would like to convert into a STABlem? I’m not saying you should, but I’m here if you want to vent in a knifeless way, totally devoid of thrusting implements in any particular direction.

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  1. If not for the even stronger desire to maintain a clean background, I have a long list of people who deserve to be stabbed. Some more than once.

  2. After my cousin got divorced, he was living with a couple scummy friends of his. So on weekends when he had his three daughters with him (aged 13, 11 and 3), they would all stay at my tiny apartment and sleep on the couch and/or floor. His kids are freagin' hilarious and way better behaved than their parents deserve, so I was happy to oblige.

    But this one time, Sara (13) and Bailey (11), were both trying to get cleaned up and ready to go a movie at the same time. Two adolescent girls trying to fancy it up at the same time in one small bathroom will inevitably lead to slaughter and mayhem. At one point, Sara had been brushing her hair for half an hour, and all Bailey had left to do was brush her hair. Rather than look for another hair brush, they started fighting over the one Sara was using with all the vitriol of which two middle school girls are capable. I thought about intervening, but it was just so entertaining I thought, "No, I'm going to see how this plays out."

    It finally reached the high-pitched unintelligible screaming stage when (JESUS this comment is long. I'm sorry you guys, I'm even bored just writing it, but I'm committed now.) Bailey storms out of the bathroom and makes a beeline for the kitchen. I'm sitting in the comfy chair with popcorn and a soda, totally ignoring my movie for this much better drama, and she comes out with the biggest knife she can find (it was pretty damn big, y'all) and the conversation changes to this:

    "Give me the brush!"
    "Put down the knife!"
    Repeat for 20+ rounds.

    Finally, their dad, who has been on the phone with one of his scummy friends this ENTIRE time, says in this totally casual way, "Lee, I have to call you back later. My girls are in a knife fight over a hair brush." Like it happens every day. No big deal, it's knife fight time, brb.

    • A) Yes, popcorn was appropriate for adolescent girl problem solving in action.

      B) (JESUS this comment is long. I'm sorry you guys, I'm even bored just writing it, but I'm committed now.)
      Dude – this made your story for me.

      • Aww, thanks for that! I'm known for telling long, boring stories that don't go anywhere, so anytime I go longer than four sentences I start to get worried that people hate me.

  3. I like the t-shirt, but I think the Grammar Dalek would ask if you mean 'whom' – the Grammar Dalek is ALWAYS certain that he is right and you are wrong. I think replacing the question mark with a second exclamation point would make it clear that he is not indicating uncertainty, but is in fact being a smug bastard.

    I love Grammar Dalek… maybe we will see him again? I think he'd make a great running gag. Sort of like the panda in PVP but more clever and funny.

    Oh! Since we're talking about shirts, could you maybe run a poll soon asking if people would like to see some designs on a tank top or cami? Because I would LOVE that, I hate t-shirts and always remove the sleeves (admittedly, my "And My Axe" looks extra rockin' that way). It's possible that I'm not alone and lots of your female and/or fancy readers would like that. Then you would be, like, the only comic out there who makes sleeveless shirts, and you would get 100% of the sleeveless shirt market. Nobody makes them. *tiny violin*

    • I totally agree with the tank top idea. I wanted to buy the Sci-Five t-shirt for my wife, but she would just start cutting it until it resembles something more of her liking.

      Oh! Love the changes to the comic!

    • Thanks for the feedback, but when you are screenprinting in bulk you really have to go with what the majority wants. It just wouldnt make any sense cost-wise to produce tank tops. Sorry.

  4. I am willing to admit that there are a few people who are alive primarily because it would take too much gas to get to the place where I'd want to hide the body at…

    • Hell yeah, with gas being so expensive now I can understand. Move to western PA … tons of abandoned mines out there, lots of places to drop a body, know what I mean?

  5. I am completely digging the arcs! But what did I miss? Why is Eli drunkie-pants McGee? Is he ok? Intervention? Intervention???

  6. now joel, stab the beast while he's down, return him to the abyss

    wait is that something joel would do, i feel like he doesn't have the gall for that

    maybe he could just slice the EFE a bit

    • If you strike down evil such as that without a blade of pure silver and the proper incantation, he'll only return to haunt you three days hence.

  7. Definitely loving the continuity. Hilarious sustained character dialog > single context-free punchlines. Keep it up my man!

  8. I love self-contained gags!
    Those are the ones where you close your mouth and nothing really comes out, right?

  9. Don't you see? It's all a trick. By allow you to experience pleasure at the suffering of someone losing what they love, the "cancellation" of his job, the EFE is teaching you to enjoy seeing someone's hopes and dreams being crushed. By sacrificing himself to teach you this, he has given you a taste of what it feels like to destroy something loved by millions of fans. Soon, you will no longer be content as a passive observer and seek to inflict such pain upon others. You will be seduced down this dark path and eventually become his heir. And you will be more powerful than he ever was, for having battled the EFE, you possess the knowledge of those who would oppose you.

    That is the nature of the EFE. It is like a phoenix of darkness and hate, blazing across the world to burn away hopes and dreams with its baleful flames until it has consumed even itself, but eventually it will rise again from the ashes stronger than before, bringing a new holocaust of banality and ignorance.

    • Very nice. I don't think it would be a good place for Joel's character to go in the long run. Josh however seems like just the right type of bastard for that. I don't recall if his character has the motivation to get there, but once there I could see him doing it.

  10. This is the RSS police.
    For realz. I wouldn't bulls!t about something like that.
    You are hereby ordered to change your ball punching thumbnail size comic, back to its original size in the RSS feed.
    come on.
    have a heart.

  11. I don't know why I didn't think of it before now, because stabbing was mentioned in the last comic also, but I recall what Penn Gillette said on a podcast recently. Friends of him told him if you ever have the choice between being stabbed or shot, choose being shot, because it's less painful.


    • I actually wrote a Firefly fan script in which a character who points out that he's been both shot and stabbed and that being shot is better. Glad to see my instincts were dead on.

  12. I have to say, Joel, I'm really loving these story-arcs. You've really kicked it up a few gears into awesome-drive. I'd say, this little experiment in arcs is really paying off well.

    • I've alway read it as "Jefe" I knew it was evil fox executive but the connotation areoun 'Jefe' just seemt to naturally fily. Of course this is also a problem that bleeds over from work, I work with Financial Advisors or "F.A."s and it always sounds like jefa to me.

  13. I am now envisioning Eli on a t-shirt with open arms in "bro-hug-prep" position, wielding a knife of Dundeean proportions, saying, "C'mon bro, can't we just stab it out?" (or words to that effect)

  14. Eli should storm in screaming about knives, EFE should have a uncontrollable bladder problem and pics should be taken and posted to completely destroy the Beast

  15. Shouldn't that be blood pouring out of his eyes? I thought EFE wasn't human anymore and had become undead (or at least one of the UnFeeling). Can Eli stab him through his undead programming executive heart with a beer bratwurst?

      • Oh bite me. I just turned the age of the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything last month, so cry me a fraggin' river. 8-p
        I'm now old enough to get spammers sending me AARP mail, and I'm wondering if it's real as I dump my spam box.

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