Waiving A New Banner

Alternate Title: “Hunting Ruffalo”

Why are things happening in the comic that seem to relate to things that happened in yesterday’s comic and the day before’s comic? Because times, they are a changin’. Also comics. Comics are a thing that is also a changin’. Specifically HijiNKS ENSUE comics. Read more about it HERE if you haven’t already.

Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated in the last couple of days, especially to the new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue and even flourish, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of free comics, I would consider you to be a pretty awesome type of person.

I wrote about it in my big Avengers review on Monday, but it bears repeating: HOLY DAMNBASKETS I LOVED THE HULK IN THIS MOVIE!!! Leave it to Whedon to take a character I have been ignoring for 20 years and turn him into the entire heart and soul of the film. Also, let me take this opportunity to address any of your reading that may work in Hollywood. I am pitching a new half hour 3-camera comedy called Leave It To Whedon. It centers around a precocious little redhead who keeps getting into all sorts of trouble because he can’t seem to work within the Hollywood machine. He keeps choosing artistic vision and thoughtful storytelling over easily digestible, mass appeal money making. Also he has a paper route and his dog dies in pretty much every episode. Usually just after you REALLY start to care about the dog. BAM! Milk truck or whatever. SPOILERS: In the season one finale he breaks the box office record for opening weekend and all of a sudden the bullies that always pick on him want to be his friend and greenlight all his pet projects. Season two will deal with the production of Serenity 2: See, You Cocksuckers? I Told You!

Here’s a big Avengers related link dump: 

COMMENTERS: Has there ever been a film, Tv, comic or other media adaptation that turned a previously hated character or franchise around for you? I was NEVER a fan of DC comics at all as a kid, but Batman: The Animated Series really got me into the characters and (besides just being a fantastic show) ended up being an easy entre into an intimidatingly large world of characters and continuity. After that I got into a few DC titles following the death of Superman. I still think their animated stuff is top notch. Young Justice is probably the only show besides Fringe that I get excited for each week. OK, now I’m super off topic, so go back and read the question and answer away!

SIDE NOTE: Based on all of your feedback I have decided to try just putting a thumbnail image with full blog posts in the RSS feed. Seems like most of you don’t mind clicking through since you are using the RSS just a reminder that there is a new comic. Here’s hoping this doesn’t impair the usability of the site for you, since it has the potential to greatly impact my ad revenue.

UPDATE 05/18/12: Donation subscribers of any level will get access to an RSS feed with the full comic in it.

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  1. "But I'm snack-drunk on spicy beer-corn" Is gonna be my new excuse for everything, I think

  2. Yeah, totally don't mind clicking through the RSS feed. Just read way too many comics to try to read them by hitting each site each day. But thanks for mentioning it, was wondering where the change came from. And also, it reminded me to disable adblock for your site.

      • And a flashing sign with neon lights and arrows pointing to:

        "Please remember to disable adblock for me if you enjoy this awesomeness"

        With the thumbnail, might not hurt either.

  3. I figured out a way to double the ad revenue you get from me: I read the comic at work (where we don't have adblock) and again once I get home (where I disabled Adblock for you)! Doubleplusgood!

  4. How about a "full" (like it was yesterday) feed for people who pay? I'd be more than willing to pay to be able to read the comic from the feed. I know myself, as it is now I'm just going to miss most of the comics… 🙁

    Or just put the ads in the feed too! Some do, so it must be feasable.

    • There always have been ads in the feed. The fact that you dont know that shows how effective they were. I just removed them today since you have to click through now.

      A paid feed for subscribers is a really cool idea. I dont know what the technical limitations would be or if it is even possible, but I will look into it.

  5. I grew up watching The Incredible Hulk tv series. It was always ridiculous how Dr. Banner could fight a bear in a river for several minutes without completing his transformation, but an argument with Mr. McGee would have the journalist running for his exotic '70s vehicle pronto.

    • I loved that show when I was little. I liked Bill Bixby. Also, wasn't his character named David Banner in that one?

  6. I have to say, I really like this change in the story style so far. I've loved the comics this week.

  7. The Marvel made me a believer in the big three that are Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Well, the Iron Man love subsided pretty quickly, as I cannot find it in myself to feel much of anything for smart, wealthy guys who can afford better equipment on the road to victory. But I always found Captain America to be nothing more than a boring boyscout and Thor to be uninteresting because not much is threatening to a god. The CapAmerica film made me empathize with and love Steve Rogers, and Thor showed me that the biggest weakness for the god is his tortured, broken (and ultimately more interesting) brother.

    On another note, Nolan's Batman films sent me in the opposite direction after being a big fan of Batman: The Animated Series (and Batman: Beyond). Their being moody and somewhat pretentious helped me to form my opinion about brilliant, rich characters who can essentially buy their victories. That's worthwhile wish fulfillment fantasy for some, but demonstrating the heart of characters is what really sells them to me.

    • I know this is geek blasphemy, but I hated The Dark Knight. Batman Begins was good enough, but I throughly disliked Dark Knight. I've loved Batman ever since I was two or three…I was a happy little child when the first Burton one came out, but I felt meh after Dark Knight. It felt thrown together with Two-Face as an afterthought. No disrespect to Heath Ledger, but I couldn't care about his Joker at all. The entire time I was watching it I kept trying to figure out what it reminded me of, then it hit me…Beetlejuice. It was like he was trying to play Michael Keaton playing Betelgeuse playing the Joker. It hurt my head.

  8. I actually hated the Hulk for the longest time until I saw the 2008 Incredible Hulk movie. Edward Norton was just fantastic, as always.

    • See, Norton WAS fantastic, but was he the Hulk? And was The Hulk in that movie fantastic? It just didnt seem to mesh for me.

  9. You are right about *most* teenagers being poor movie-audience members, but occasionally one redeems the lot. I was waiting in the popcorn line next to a surly teen who was grousing endlessly about how he had been dragged to see the Hunger Games and wasn’t looking forward to it because most movies suck because the movie makers always change everything from the original, just look at Eragon. (Okay, he had a point about Eragon.) But I told him Hunger Games stayed pretty close to the book and was actually pretty good, which helped calm him down a bit. Then I asked him if he had seen Cabin in the Woods. His face lit up immediately, and he said he was a huge Joss Whedon fan. I told him that my favorite recent picture of Joss was of him (in t-shirt) directing Chris Hemsworth (in full Thor garb). The picture was captioned, “The hammer is my what?” The teen just about fell down laughing, and said I just made his day. And as I got my popcorn, I felt pretty good about helping un-surl a surly teen with a bit of The Joss.

  10. What's with the "3 years later" stuff on Young Justice? I love that show, but it's basically a reboot where they kick most of the old characters out and stuff it with new ones we are instantly meant to care about.

    I didn't like Marvel's Thor until the Ultimates and the recent movies, he was just too cheesy and lame

    • I was a little put off by Young Justice advancing 5 years AND changing the name of the show so my DVR didn't pick it up. There is no way 5 years would pass with those "big 6" heroes not getting a clue about the missing 18 hours. Most of them go into space pretty often.
      I kind of like most of the new characters. I recognize a lot of them from their original runs in the Teen Titans. I'm going to give it a chance.

      Did you ever read any of Walt Simonson's big run on Thor in the late 80s?

    • Yeah Im confused as to whether or not they are going to revert to the old timeline or if this is a permanent change. Also, where's Kid Flash?

      • or Aqualad, or Artemis, or Red Arrow? I get the feeling this is a permanent change, but we will slowly learn about what happened in the break.

      • Yeah, were the hell IS Kid Flash? every episode so far I keep wondering about that. And the new "Robin" on the team isn't doing it for me (ok, that sounds just wrong when referring to a teen boy in tights…).

        The show name change screwed up my DVR too.

        • The new Robin on Young Justice Season 2 is Tim Drake, whom I recall is a fan favorite. makes me wonder if the YJ universe had its own Jason Todd.

      • I think this next episode synopsis mentioned an old ally who has strayed, so I'm worried that it's KF.

        Of course, best case scenario is that Artemis and KF are out there fighting crime as an adorable Benedict/Beatrice-like crime-fighting couple.

  11. I always figured the Hulk would have made a much better villain than a hero. I mean, for crying out loud…pretty much everyone was treating him like one anyway, like the whole "Wow, Hulk…super sorry about this but we're putting you in a rocket and shooting you into space. Say hi to Joel and the bots for us on your way to Planet Nobody Gives A Shit About The Hulk Any More!"

    • for like 1/2 of a millionth of a second I thought "Joel and the bots" was a reference to the HE characters.

  12. I never really cared for Cable or Deadpool until I read the "Cable and Deadpool" series. I heard good things about the series and decided to give it a try.

  13. I used to HATE westerns. Any westerns. Last year, a clerk at the local used bookstore told me about the Longarm novels by Tabor Evans. It's a series of novels about a US Marshal in the 1880s, published roughly every month. Tabor Evans is a house name for many different writers.

    Wikipedia taught me these and other similar series (Lone Star, Slocum, The Trailsman, The Gunsmith) are examples of Adult Westerns. Think "The Executioner," but with way more explicit sex, and set in the old west. Grocery stores around here sell them.

    Lone Star novels by Wesley Ellis (no longer in print, but available on Kindle for $2 each!!!) are especially great, because the main character is a wealthy Texas heiress who has a Japanese ninja bodyguard. She is on a quest to stop the mysterious cartel responsible for her father's assassination. The stories are half-western and half-ninja.

    • I have a soft spot for both Tombstone and Dances With Wolves. Tombstone because it IS PERFECT and Val Kilmer is PERFECT and the guy that was Kyle Reese from Terminator IS PERFECT and the entire movie IS FUCKING PERFECT, and Dances With Wolves because I am a sucker for an epic story that has a grand scale.

      • Tombstone is the perfect western. The devil got the short end of the stick for Val's soul to make that performance is all I'm sayin'.

  14. iPad reader here – any way we can get the mouseover text via a small button, a la SMBC's extra panel? Should be an easy implementation.

    As to the full feed for pay – I don't know how easy it would be to do, but I guess that's how you can get all your eyeballs paid for.

    Loving the continuity in the strips, the ability to mine the whole situation for jokes.

    • "Should be an easy implementation. " I looked it up and no one has done it so far. The best I can figure is it would require a modification to the wordpress theme or a custom plugin. The site backend is being revamped soon, but I dont know if thats going to take weeks or months. I will make sure that we try to figure this out as soon as possible.

      • Here's a purely jQuery-based solution:

        jQuery(document).ready(function() {
        jQuery('<a id="checker" style="display:block; width:100px; height:30px; position:absolute; bottom:20px; right:20px;">Click for titletext').appendTo('#comic-wrap');
        jQuery('#checker').live('click',function() {
        a = jQuery('#comic-1 img').attr('alt');

        Of course, you can always replace the text with a fancypants button, and the alert with a popover div. If you want me to code it up, let me know.

        • Cant say I entirely understand what you've posted here, but if it would get alt text working in on iOS please email me and let's see if we can make it a real thing. Thanks!

          • If there's any chance whatever solution you settle on will work on Android too, that'd be great. Missing out on alt text is why I never use my tablet to check updates here(and on a few other comics).

            There's always the barbaric low-tech solution of also having the alt text typed into the blog post somewhere. But that might not appeal aesthetically to you.

            No big deal though, no tears are being shred over being FORCED to read the comics on my computer instead (life is SO hard).

      • I would really appreciate that! But it's not essential. Also, I am a relatively new reader, like only been reading it for less than a month. Worked my way through the archived and have been enjoying it. Because I read them all in a glut, I can't give you much feedback on how I feel it's changed – it's all sorta merged into one – but I just wanted to encourage you that you're still pulling in new readers.

  15. This is an OK compromise for me in the feed. For some reason I don't mind clicking a thumbnail to see the full comic but when for like 1 day there it didn't have the full blog post attached, that annoyed me. Probably because that new tab I had to spawn only stays open for like 30 seconds while I read the comic? I dunno.

    BTW, the first donate link in the blockquote area of this post is broken: "Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated in the last couple of days" … "donated" links to http://hijinksensue.com/donate which forwards to http://hijinksensue.com/2011/12/13/donate/ which 404s.

    • "when for like 1 day there it didn't have the full blog post attached"

      That was actually a mistake which is why it only lasted for one day.

  16. I might get some hate for this, but I really got into Green Arrow after reading Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again. There was something about Ollie in it that just made me fall in love with the character. From there I also started watching the Justice League cartoon, where I started to get into the Flash and Green Lantern.

    Then I found the old Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics and it was all over. Those are hands down some of the best serialized comics I have ever seen.

    Also Joel, thanks for linking to the new "Experiment" blog post. I haven't looked into much of that, and it really did help the continuity thing make sense.

  17. As for the Hulk, you might pick up the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale "Hulk: Grey" It's one of the Marvel color series they did together and it's pretty good. It gave me new insight into the Hulk.

  18. Ok, now I really want to see Serenity 2. Sigh.

    Usually I don't like it when blogs mke you click through. But (a) it's not all about me and, (b) the thumbnail solution's not bad at all. And heck, as one struggling artist/family-man to another, I'm more than happy to help out in this tiny, easy way.

    And the new Continuity Now! Project is excellent. You are right, about how important your characters are to your comics. It's makes it feel like i'm hanging out with my own friends, trashing pop culture, watching movies…. Can't wait to see where this goes!

  19. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Now, I no longer hate communists, instead, I laugh at them like clowns! "Help, help! I'm being oppressed!" "Bloody Peasant!" "Oh, oh, did you hear that? Dead giveaway. You saw me being oppressed, didn't you?"

  20. Love the Continuity Now project also. I was fond of the full comic in the RSS feed but if it helps you to read the comic on the site, I'm all for it.

  21. As a response to your RSS change: I noticed, I prefer to read in the RSS reader, but I won't STOP reading just because I have to click-through, and if it makes a substantial difference your ad revenue, I'm glad to click through to support the comic. (I don't use any ad-blocking software on the computer I read my RSS reader on).

  22. The DCAU has made so many lesser known characters awesome. Ventriloquist, Mr. Freeze, Question, Clock King, Toy Man, Hawkgirl, Clayface, the list goes on.

    And it has been supremely idiotic for WB not to get the DCAU team involved in the live action movies. Their ability to maintain continuity and connect different plotlines alone should be enough. The way they were able to have stories in Justice League that followed up on ideas established in previous shows, especially Brainthor/Luthoriac, was just brilliant and actually make you wonder if they had the whole thing planned out 10 years ago when they were making Superman: TAS.

  23. Longtime reader, first time commenter. I ADORE your comic with the passion of a thousand hulks, and I am glad to click through in my rss reader to read your comic. Adblock disabled, subscription signed up for.. Please keep making the awesomeness!

  24. Here's how good Avengers was: at this moment, my wife, who is not a comic book reader, is googling Avengers fan fiction porn.

    • Don't make me horny, you wouldn't like me when I'm horny…

      Thor: The hammer is my penis.

      Now that don't ask don't tell is gone, Captain America is free to come out as Captain FABULOUS! And star in a new line of PSAs "remember folks, I would never go into "action" with out my "shield" on, and neither should you!"

      Ironman… well… that joke writes it's self… I never realized before what a potential innuendo that name was…

  25. Old Battlestar Galactica series vs. recent Battlestar Galactica. No offense to fans of the original BG series, but I just couldn't watch it because it seemed completely lame to me, and I can normally deal with cheesy special effects if I like the characters and the story. However, whenever I tried to watch the original BG, I couldn't get past the lame factor long enough to get attached to any of the characters or interested in the story. OTOH, the more recent BG series was totally awesome.

  26. I'm going to by totally honest: the RSS change does impair the usability of the site for me. But I can't blame you for wanting to get more ad revenue.

  27. Oh man, that popcorn beer sounds so deliciously disgusting that I kind of threw up in my mouth a little. And I liked it. Like having the Hulk smash you in the mouth with nasty.

  28. I basically have stopped reading all the comics that make me click through, but I wasn't making you any money anyway so it's cool…

    Since I have become addicted to the prose though you maybe I won't abandon ship as readily as I have on some of the other lower added value webcomic feeds.

  29. Happy Anniversary HE!

    The problem with being a webcomics addict is that you can't always buy something from an artist's site. Well, that and not live with your parents. I really hope things turn around for you, and if I get the $ to go to a convention, I'll make sure to bring HE cookies 🙂

  30. Also, Young Justice has quickly become one of my favorite shows in the last few weeks. I write a cartoon column and it's getting really hard not to just write about just the four shows that make up DC Nation and Marvel Universe.

  31. Maybe I’m alone in this (or maybe the people commenting here are just the ones willing to click through), but comics where I have to click through from the feed just get fewer views from me. This isn’t a petulant thing — I’ve just observed that comics that that small amount of friction means that I skip past those som a few times, thinking “I’ll go back to that later” until eventually I just unsubscribe because I’ve gotten ridiculously far behind. It probably wouldn’t happen with HE, because I like HE a lot, but I thought that about several comics I no longer read. It certainly is possible that somebody who is more marginal a fan would not bother.

    Personally, I have no problem with putting ads into the feed, so long as they’re not overwhelming – several other feeds do this, and I don’t find it annoying.

    • As Ive told a few other, Im sure you wouldnt find it annoying if I put ads in the feed because you didnt even notice that there were ALWAYS ads in the feed. That just shows how ineffective they were. I removed them earlier this week. Good feedback though, thanks.

      • I didn't say "why don't you try the novel idea of putting ads in the feed", I said "I have no problem with ads in the feed". The point being that if the choice is the old ads-and-comic feed vs. the new ad-free-but-click-through feed, I wanted to give feedback that I prefer the former. (I was actually surprised by your comment which implied there weren't ads in the feed, and when I looked, hey, no ads!)

        That said, if you believe that I and people like me are really good at ignoring ads in the feed, is there compelling reason to believe we'll be any worse at it on the website? (I'm genuinely asking – the answer might be "nobody knows for sure, that's why I'm trying this," but I was curious if you're aware of any numbers.)

        Also, until the change to the feed made me investigate what was going on, I wasn't even aware of the donation link – I really like the comic and seek both you and your merch out at conventions, but I rarely read the blog posts unless I don't get the joke – the comics are what keep me coming back, and the old quick link bar was really easy to gloss over. I'm not sure you care about my feedback, but it's possible that you would get more subscribers if the donate button in the feed had "popped" more.

        • Sorry for the misunderstanding. I am looking at all of this from a perspective of "this isnt working as well as I'd like, so I should change things up and see how that goes." Basically the definition of "experiment."

          I certainly do appreciate your feedback. RSS ads are thing that just doesnt really work unless you have RSS subscribers in the 30-40K + range. I would suggest that you try reading the blog posts because I often do try to make them funny or at least entertaining.

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