First Hand Experience

I’ve been making alternate versions of my recent comics with NEW JOKES and posting them exclusively for my Patreon Patrons. I posted 5 DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF MONDAY’s COMIC and opened it up for all to see!!!!

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They’re HERE on my Patreon FREE FOR EVERYONE!

I posted FOUR alternate versions of today’s comic just for my Patrons and DANG HOO BOY are they weird. They are HERE.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.04.35 AM

Dearest Sharksploders, please help me get my Patreon over the $2000 hump. Comics is my full time job, but it doesn’t currently pay full time money. Every little bit helps and is QUITE appreciated.


A Drinkin’ Song



The big giant mega blowout HE Store sale is over, and we are putting the final touches on the new HE store which will soon live HERE. Big thanks to everyone that supported the blowout sale and my apologies to anyone that had to pay unusually high shipping prices. Unfortunately that problem wasn’t sorted out before the sale ended.

Pacman Necklace on Etsy


Yesterday was my wife’s birthday. Celebrate it by buying yourself a present from her Etsy store “Science and Fiction.” Check out her her latest geeky creation, a Pacman inspired necklace!

Alternate titles for this comic: “Face Down, Ass Up,” “Bound For The Floor” and “Hello Linoleum, My Old Friend.”

I used to work for a landscape company as a book keeper. I was 19 years old, I knew nothing about landscaping and even less about book keeping, but I interviewed extremely well. In fact, I’ve landed essentially every job I’ve ever interview for. Perhaps THAT should have been my job. Getting jobs. At the landscape company I worked for a tiny little man with an ENORMOUS chip on his shoulder regarding his tiny little stature. He was a temperamental little sprite and he took great joy out of bossing around his large, tall, somewhat slow-witted business partner. They had a very “George and Lenny” vibe going on. “The best laid sod of mice and men…” and what not. This little, angry dude also had a sign hung next to his desk and over his mini fridge that said “NO BEER UNTIL 5pm!” Guess what the mini fridge was full of.  Day-drunk for him was apparently both a constant struggle and a way of life.

My only real experience with that early afternoon temptress, Lady Day-drunk, comes from comic conventions. It’s much easier to get through 10 hours a day at a slow convention when a reader brings you a tiny bottle of rum and you’ve sold just enough merch to afford a $9 Coke from the concession stand. Day-drunk is the Universes way of saying, “Let’s go ahead and put a stop to this crappy day before it even happens.”

COMMENTERS: What are your best and worst experiences with being (or being around someone who is) day-drunk? Was it at a festival, a funeral, at work or at home because you’re an adult, god dammit, and no one’s going to tell you 11am isn’t wine o’clock!

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seriously's avatar

seriously · 90 weeks ago

Funnily enough one morning after Christmas we wanted pancakes but realized we’d used it all making eggnog the night before.

Turns out eggnog loaded with bourbon + pancake mix = surprisingly good pancakes. And gets you slightly tipsy.

You can substitute Egg Nog for any ingredient in any recipe and it will usually improve the situation. That’s just science .
This may be my favorite ever HE storyline. You’re on a roll, Joel.

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

Hey thanks! I’m having fun.
Annie B's avatar

Annie B · 90 weeks ago

I must say I really like the new tangent. Before, I would skip a few comics when my RSS were too full (900+ posts is way too much to go through without marking a few categories as read), but now I make a point of reading your comic every day. Good job!

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

Mission accomplished. Thanks!
Michael Corley's avatar

Michael Corley · 90 weeks ago

Beernana is going to be the drink of the next spring break!
Wesley's avatar

Wesley · 90 weeks ago

Best day-drunk.. can’t remember. It’s great just spending the day with friends or on a festival having fun and drinking.

Not-so-great were the burn-out days. Being by yourself, avoiding everyone because everything felt like stress and getting drunk to feel better.. except you don’t. You feel worse. It didn’t happen every day, but it was darn-well rotten not being able to cope, feeling frustrated and being too drunk to finish a damn thought.

first thought: man Hijinks Eli gets drunk alot, second thought: IRL Eli would have Wolverine’s healing powers then if he drank that much lol

2 replies · active 90 weeks ago

Well, A LOT of comics so far only relates to getting drunk ONCE in actual time. It’s all relative.
mist's avatar

mist · 90 weeks ago

Well technically if he gets drunk once early on, and stays topped up, that also counts as “only once” 🙂 (con rules.)
PokeyPuppy's avatar

PokeyPuppy · 90 weeks ago

I am the most boring person alive – haven’t been drunk, let alone day-drunk, in years. But when everyone around me is getting stupid-drunk, the last thing I want is to be mentally impaired!

2 replies · active 90 weeks ago

Trish's avatar

Trish · 90 weeks ago

Weird, cuz that’s exactly when I feel the need to be drunk. Drunk people are a lot easier to tolerate when you’re impaired.
Judy R. Wilder's avatar

Judy R. Wilder · 90 weeks ago

It is good to know someone is thinking with a clear head. My biological father and Step father were both alcoholics and even though they were good men, the drinking kept them from reaching their full potential. They both died young.

A lot of people drink beer and it is the beverage of choice in many countries. I guess what I am saying is that getting plastered isn’t a solution for anything. I feel it is wrong to make people, mostly minors, think getting drunk is away to wind down or forget their troubles. It is only my opinion and I am just an ancient flower child trying to share a “little” wisdom.

Day-drunk of the living dead?
Bron's avatar

Bron · 90 weeks ago

I’ve always vaguely enjoyed getting sloshed during the day (when not working that day obviously) its especially nice in the summer. I especially like going out for lunch and having a drink and a chat in the pub until dinner and then maybe going to the club afterwards to play darts or some such. When I was in university we used to do that at least once a fortnight sometimes twice a week (we had Wednesday afternoons off you see, I think we were supposed to be doing sport or some other similar nonsense). We once worked out we drank about 200-300 units of alcohol between the 5 of us per session, I’m surprised we didn’t die of liver failure.

I had great difficulty with a co-worker once who turned up drunk to work a lot (or was suspected to be doing so, she became erratic after breaks) but no one could work out where she was getting alcohol from. We noticed she always smelled overwhelmingly of cheap floral perfume, turned out she was drinking the stuff, jolly strange way to go about things I must say.

zathael's avatar

zathael · 90 weeks ago

actually, there are three more legitimate claims.,_Pri…,_Duke……

The first is the direct descendant of Napolean, the other two of House Bourbon by way of two different family branches.

lou's avatar

lou · 90 weeks ago

Now I have to find out just how much territory the Hapsburgs ruled! My parents visited their old palace in Vienna, Austria, and learned they basically ruled all of Europe, but Mexico too?!
The closest I have to that drinking in class story is when I had to take an American Studies course when I went to SJSU, and we had our last regular meeting before finals in the Gordon-Bierscht microbrewery in San Jose. There we were, giving presentations on various topics, while drinking different types of GB’s original brews!
Mitch H.'s avatar

Mitch H. · 90 weeks ago

Philip II (he of the Spanish Armada, widower of England’s Mary I, aka “Bloody Mary”) ruled about a third to two-fifths of the world in the early 1580s after inheriting the Portuguese throne, although his wars with his rebellious Dutch subjects and former English subjects had already started dismantling the Portuguese empire in the East Indies, and Spanish dominion in the West Indies.

And the professor was an idiot. The colony of Tejas was under a Hapsburg king for maybe fifteen years before the Bourbon succession. And the Austrian branch of the family *never* had a claim on the Spanish possessions in the New World.

lou's avatar

lou · 89 weeks ago

Portuguese? Philip II was King of Spain
Bear's avatar

Bear · 90 weeks ago

Woke up around noon on a Saturday, opened the fridge, saw a beer, and thought, “Why not?”. Skip ahead ALL THE BEERS later to me waking up laying on the dog bed in the dark and thinking, “I don’t remember going to bed here last night.” I checked my phone and saw that it was 8 o’clock… in the evening. I’d managed to drink myself onto the floor in a few hours and “nap” the day away.
I have 2 stories.

The first is from college.

My room mate and I picked up a bunch of little packets of slushy mix that Kool-Aid made. i don’t think they’re made anymore, sadly. We’d mix them with vodka and freeze them in solo cups and then wander around campus eating boozy slushy and nobody knew. NOBODY KNEW. Stealth drank.

The second involves breakfast.

I made some absolutely incredible bread pudding, studded with orange and bourbon soaked raisins, with an amazing bourbon sauce that was… very, very strong. So my parents came over and I made scrambled eggs and bacon and this intensely fantastic bread pudding and coffee and we all got breakfast tipsy off the bourbon sauce.

Emmy's avatar

Emmy · 90 weeks ago

There is a horse race in Australia called the Melbourne Cup, AKA ‘the race that stops a nation’. It’s held on a Tuesday, around lunchtime. Almost every office stops for the race and there’s sandwiches and champers or beer. I learnt early on not to send emails after Melbourne Cup Lunch – there is a risk that you’ll piss off soemone who you really don’t want to piss off.

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

 beer o'clock 's avatar

beer o’clock · 90 weeks ago

II can’t count the number of times I’ve been day drunk! I’d have to say my favorite is water parks and theme parks. We would carefully unscrew lids off water bottles so that little ring would stay attached to the cap and pour in any clear Booz we wanted then re-seal them. Most parks let you take in water and not much else so we took full advantage of their naiveté.
There’s never a bad time to have a drink.
Hey, It’s gotta be Noon somewhere right? 😛
bubujin_2's avatar

bubujin_2 · 90 weeks ago

Once in college a buddy and I mixed up 3/4 of a gallon of strawberry daiquiri and took it to afternoon classes to share with our fellow students. After three classes I know we were definitely feeling a good buzz–buddy swore I was day drunk but I didn’t think so.
Aetheling's avatar

Aetheling · 90 weeks ago

Last year, me and a friend mixed up White Russian and put it over cereal (Cinnamon Grahams, to be precise) to go to an 9AM lecture with breakfast after a heavy night of drunken Risk. The lecturer didn’t realise that the milk in the tupperwares…wasn’t.
Then we went home and did it again, until about three in the afternoon, when we both passed out.
Holly's avatar

Holly · 90 weeks ago

Everyone’s favorite: the Office Christmas Party. Except I was working in a theater, and the party started at 11am. We drank during the “awards ceremony” at the theater, drank in a party bus on the way to a restaurant/arcade, drank while playing ski ball and Pacman, then drank in the party bus on the way back to work. Best. Party. Ever. One of the accountants had to call his son to pick him up from work.
The only downside: being a theater the real work actually started at 5pm. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sober up until intermission.
Runcibletune's avatar

Runcibletune · 90 weeks ago

While I have no day-drunk stories to relate, I want to say that I think this is one of your finest comics, Joel. Something about the pacing of the puns, juxtaposed against the way you’ve drawn Eli on the floor… it’s still making me chuckle just thinking about it!

1 reply · active 89 weeks ago

That’s very kind. Thanks!

Kirby Krackle

PORTA JOHN SMITH” SHIRTS ARE UP AT SHARKSPLODE WHUUUUUUUT?!?!? sharksplode-t-shirt-porta-john-smith-1

The big giant mega blowout HE Store sale is technically over, but until the plug is pulled (today? tomorrow?) you can probably still get some cheap books and shirts HERE. I’m really sorry about the high shipping prices many Fancy Bastards have been telling me about encountering in the store. That basically defeats the purpose of having a blowout sale, doesn’t it? Oh well. I still really appreciate the support for the sale and I promise when the new, improved store opens (hopefully later this week), there will be no such problems with insane shipping prices.

Pacman Necklace on Etsy


Today is my wife’s birthday. Celebrate it by buying yourself a present from her Etsy store “Science and Fiction.” Check out her her latest geeky creation, a Pacman inspired necklace!

Eli (IRL)’s cat, Kirby (or is it Kurby? Who cares?) weighs somewhere between 30 lbs and 1/4 the mass of a neutron star. Rather than beg for food, he will usually just scoot himself into a area where food is likely to fall, and lay there, upside down, mouth agape for hours. He’s like a feline filter feeder, just floating through the ocean that is Eli’s home, allowing bits of cheese and sausage to get caught in his kitty baleen. What a giant piece of shit.

COMMENTERS: Why are cat’s such giant pieces of shit? How do your cats let you know that your sole purpose in this life is to service them? Are you a piece of furniture to them? A scratching post? A method by which food is delivered? What?! You say your cats AREN’T total assholes? Those, my delusional friend ARE NOT cats. Those are either unusually large guinea pigs or rare, african land otters.

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I feel like this is a perfect cat eulogy.
my mother has a cat that loves black pants and black shirts. Despite our best efforts yesterday, she needed to sit as close as possible to us because we had black shirts on for a photo shoot. i think somewhere in her cat mind, she probably said “yes, shed on the black shirts!”
Is that mustard sauce she is feeding the cat? Feed it mouse-tard sauce. Cats love mousetard sauce. They also love mewnnaise!
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 90 weeks ago

We just moved (less than a month ago) and the trials of Nuku-Nuku (the old cat) vs. The House have been completely entertaining.
She’s still way too scaredy to be an asshole, mostly. She lets us know that she trusts us – we wouldn’t let the dogs next door eat her – and that she needs us – to protect her from the traffic in the street for some reason – and that I’m furniture that feeds her.
I’m allergic to cats AND THEY KNOW IT so they like to come up to me and wrap themselves around me and purr and cuddle my face. It doesn’t matter how stand-offish or hostile a cat normally is. I enter the room and they are all over me.


3 replies · active 90 weeks ago

I think both of those are spot on assessments.

I really love cats, but I don’t love asthma attacks and swollen runny eyes.

They can smell your weakness.
You’re doing a great job making Eli and Co strong and interesting characters 😀

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

Thank you. It means a lot to hear that from someone else’s perspective.
Today’s comic was fantastic! I laughed over the cat falling into Joel’s lap, the drank 5 beers comment and the cat being fed cheese wiz! Lots of fun today!

However, I like cats. Because they ARE a$$holes! 😉

Trish's avatar

Trish · 90 weeks ago

I don’t trust any living creature that isn’t an asshole at least part of the time. Which is why I’m a cat person and not a dog person, and which also explains my choice of friends…
Dave's avatar

Dave · 90 weeks ago

The great Terry Pratchett once wrote a bit on the matter.
“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty cruel little bastards they really are. Style, that’s what people remember”
“In ancient times Cats were worshiped as gods. They have not forgotten this.”

2 replies · active 90 weeks ago

Actual LOL from the Pratchett quote.
StephC's avatar

StephC · 90 weeks ago

This is too much like my dad and Tippy. That cat is a medicine ball with legs (he’s a heavy bastard). The last three panels are *exactly* what the interactions between Dad and Tippy are like… just add more swearing.
Most of my other cats are supreme assholes. Two of my girls will launch themselves from 7-8 feet away and land on your shoulder while you’re doing something, then they’ll start to lose their balance and grab onto you with every single claw.
PokeyPuppy's avatar

PokeyPuppy · 90 weeks ago

We used to foster cats for the Humane Society, but my husband is terrible at fostering and wants to keep all the kitties, so now we have SEVEN. SEVEN CATS.

They are all sometimes assholes, but also adorable and snuggly and hilarious, so tolerable.

3 replies · active 90 weeks ago

And when they find your bodies, the headlines will also read, “SEVEN. SEVEN CATS.” When I was younger we had a friend of the family that was a sort of surrogate grandmother to me. She lived out in the woods and had 21… TWENTY ONE feral cats that lived on her property. She’d go to the back porch and cry, “BAAAAAAABIIIIIIES!” and twenty fucking one cats would come running out of the trees and bushes and get their food. One of them, named Hobbes, had deformed front paws and hopped on his back feet like a rabbit.
lou's avatar

lou · 90 weeks ago

Seven! Seven cats! Ah ah ah ah ah!
PokeyPuppy's avatar

PokeyPuppy · 90 weeks ago

I have no doubts we would have 21 cats along with a pack of rescued greyhounds if we had a larger property, but we live in a 3-level townhouse, so yeah, seven is still a ridiculous number.

Luckily, my husband is a clean-freak, so no one would ever guess we had 7 cats.

that cat most likely died on his lap…

Anyway, my cat–which is only about a few months old–likes to to to where we keep the cat treats and beg for one even though there aren’t any, stare outside like she’s still in heat and go near electronics like their scratching posts even after repeated warnings and sprayings

seriously's avatar

seriously · 90 weeks ago

Why are cats such giant pieces of shit? For much the same reason babies and little kids are, they don’t know any better and are too cute to boot across the room.

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

Karen's avatar

Karen · 90 weeks ago

My big fat cat, Boober, is known for being an asshole. People would come to feed him if we were gone and have to face 20 lbs of pissed off cat. He even cornered someone on the stairs once and they had to fight him off with a bag of used litter.
Looks like that pussy….

*puts on sunglasses*

…totally wrecked your dick.


1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

I like kittens, but I don’t like the fact that they grow up to be cats.

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

lurkie's avatar

lurkie · 90 weeks ago

The trouble with a kitten is that
eventually it becomes a cat.
Ogden Nash
Tom327Cat's avatar

Tom327Cat · 90 weeks ago

Cats exist to be the purpose of squirt guns.
UnderTheDark's avatar

UnderTheDark · 90 weeks ago

Panel 4 EXACTLY expresses how it feels to have a CatBeast pile-drive into your sensitive areas! One of my cats loves to pick up speed on the floor, launch herself directly at my internal organs, and use the accumulated ricochet force/agony to power a giant LEAP at my other cat’s face :S
LawWren's avatar

LawWren · 90 weeks ago

I am a cat person. Especially evil, asshole cats. I have one that is well over 20 lbs and she knows that she is the queen and treats us all as her servants.

Recently, while visiting a friends house, I stumbled upon her roommate’s even bigger cat and was told, “Don’t touch him, he’s the Devil.” I can’t stay away from any animals though and had to reach in and scratch his ears. He followed me around the rest of my visit and wanted pettings every chance he got.

Cats can tell a friend when they see one.

Candace's avatar

Candace · 90 weeks ago

We used to have a completely declawed Siamese that was the sweetest cat that ever lived, sweeter even than many dogs. He loved everybody and was very affectionate.

OTOH, one of our cats we have now started out as a juvenile delinquent, and is now working on being a grouchy old man. He can be really sweet and cuddly and funny when he wants to, other times he’s out for blood. He’s like a cat version of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Our other cat is bitchy to the other pets, but very sweet to us.

Just goes to show not all cats are assholes, and most of them are not assholes all the time. They are damn entertaining, though, in any case. I laughed my a** off at the fourth frame, because cats do seem to have a talent for finding sensitive areas and stomping or clawing them.

And “Also here is the floor…” The last frame is up there with “All. All beer.” 😀

neph sy's avatar

neph sy · 90 weeks ago

I’ve owned two cats, and while they weren’t perfect, they were sweethearts who did not destroy or beg for food except near their scheduled feeding times.

Compare the contant trail of destructions by my sisters Pugs;
vomiting, defecating, and whizzing into shoes, chewing on shoes.
One pug will find any possible way to get food; he will pull tablecloths off the table, open the fridge, find his way into all kinds of garbage cans. One he got into the lazy susan cupboard and ate a bag of flour. He’s eats bars of soap and has even eaten rat poison and chocolate, and had to had his stomach pumped.

lou's avatar

lou · 90 weeks ago

I don’t really have a pet cat myself, but my street is the home to a cat (who’s someone else’s pet, but he roams around at will) that we call Patrol Cat. At various times of day, I’ll see him stalking the vineyard across the street from my house for varmints to eat, and sometimes I’ll catch him lounging on the sidewalk, catching some sun, and I’ll give him a belly rub. Is it wrong to just give him food from my kitchen?

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 90 weeks ago

Oh, I almost forgot: happy birthday to the missus! And I love the new direction you’re taking the strip!
And in answer to that question about movies that described the decades they premiered from a few strips ago, I thought of another ’90’s movie: PCU. I just watched it again on VH1 of all channels, and it’s just so damn funny!
Kylie's avatar

Kylie · 90 weeks ago

My cat knows that when the alarm goes off, he gets food. He doesn’t think I move fast enough though so he starts pushing everything off the bedside table – mobiles, lamps, glasses of water. He actually hit one so hard the other day it smashed me in the face.

Little shit

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

PokeyPuppy's avatar

PokeyPuppy · 90 weeks ago

Yeah, we have one of those, except she doesn’t wait for the alarm. Sometime between 5am & 7am is magic wake-up time, every day.
Missmushu's avatar

Missmushu · 90 weeks ago

I have two cats; both of whom follow me around the house waiting for me to become stationary. The moment I sit or, gods forbid, lie down…they both perch inches from my face and stare at me like Hypno-toads. I get the distinct impression that they don’t so much love me as they are waiting for me to die so they can eat my face.

Take My Breath Away

The BIGGEST MERCH SALE I HAVE EVER DONE  ENDS THIS WEEK (9/21/13)! GO NOW to the HE STORE $10 Books! $9 Shirts! 

When I was still in high school, my mom and I had a 36″ JVC TV that I have gotten from the store I worked at for essentially nothing because the coax cable input had been broken off of it. I figured we would just tune channels with the VCR. When I it home, on a whim I stripped the coax coming from the wall and touched it to the bare terminal in the back of the TV where the coax connector USED to be. Low and behold there was picture! And sound! It was the late 90’s, so let’s assume it was one or more of the friends from Friends! I held it still while she brought me some electrical tape. I taped everything just so and delicately backed away from the TV, holding my breath. It worked perfectly for at least 2 years, until I tried to solder on a new coax connector and ruined it forever.

Many years later I spent 3 or 4 months building a small form factor PC into an NES case in order to use it for a HTPC. Finally I had the thing all button up and running smoothly. A specially ordered external power supply and two little fans kept it running cool, and you could plug actual NES controllers into the controller ports and use them (through an internal rewire that sent their pins to the proper parallel port pins) to control the AV software. I hooked it up to the TV with VGA and got ready to watch a downloaded copy of The Animatrix. And… ANNNNNNNND… nothing. Despite it 1ghz processor and 1gb of Ram (halfway decent for the early 2000’s), it was unable to decode compressed video due to it’s otherwise shitty specs. That thing is still in my closet. I have never used it for anything and I will NEVER part with it. I could probably rip everything out of it and just plop a Mac Mini right inside of it. Kids today don’t know how good they got it… in terms of putting computers inside of classic game consoles…

COMMENTERS: What was the most complicated or ghetto AV setup you’ve ever had or had to deal with? 

NOTE: The Mobile Alt Text button broke when I put the big store sale banner in the site. As soon as the sale is over I will put the button back.

Have you seen my wife’s geeky jewelry creations? 

You can see her Tetris necklace below and more geeky goods in her shop! 



Comments (22)

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nenslo · 91 weeks ago

I recall in my student days that my friend’s house was covered in AV (multiple projectors, TVs, 5.1 sound systems, Xboxs, PS2s, DJ decks and the like). There was a mass of cables in the corner of the room, which to this day I’m sure you could see moving up and down as if it was breathing. I think if mouldy pizza was added to the mix, the first true instance of the Borg would have been created.

Side note: In the alt text, I think you mean “pour”, not “poor” </pedantry>

Aetheling's avatar

Aetheling · 91 weeks ago

For a society fundraiser at college only last year, we had an outdoor cinema and all day gaming marathon. Two of us hung from the upper windows of one of the lecture buildings to tie a sheet of canvas up on the wall using spare lengths of ethernet cable. There was a little almost silent petrol generator running that we didn’t actually have to power anything with- the Xbox and PS3 were sat next to it to stay warm on a Welsh May night. The projector and soundsystem were entirely held together with duct tape and the scart ends were attached to the bare cables with crocodile clips. We had a barbecue, and played Halo 3, Unreal Tournament 3, Soul Calibur 4 and a pile of old Tekkens. Then we watched Stardust and The Last Crusade. It was an amazing night.

1 reply · active 91 weeks ago

My favorite part is tying the sheet with ethernet cables. That’s perfect.
I have to say I busted out loud when I read the vacuum cleaner line! 😀

As for the comment question…
My family was in awe when they heard Super Mario Brothers being played through our home stereo for the first time. That game system was the original Nintendo System. 😉

seriously's avatar

seriously · 91 weeks ago

I imagine it’d look something like this:…
Mine is very close to that. I did have the CD tray coming out of the cartridge door. I mounted the two intake fans on the back, but otherwise it’s almost identical. I had seen a lot of them online and they were all so ugly. I made sure mine was super clean and incognito. As far as I know Im the only one that ever did the controller ports in the particular way that I did.
seriously's avatar

seriously · 91 weeks ago

A buddy once bought an entire entertainment system at a yard sale. It worked great, for about a week.

After that it was a never ending series of workarounds just to keep it working. By the end he’d replaced so much of it there was barely any of the original remaining.

TormundThunderfist's avatar

TormundThunderfist · 91 weeks ago

Being in a band in my teens we had a PA that we would hook up to the TV for movie nights with my bass amp as the crowning glory. We had to remove all the pictures from the walls as they would just fall off otherwise.
It would take us all day to transport and set it up at whoever’s house we were at, but that was half the fun.

1 reply · active 91 weeks ago

Oh god. You just reminded me of all the ways my teenage bands used to try and rig PA systems. THe first was a computer mic plugged into the drummer’s CD player. We’d prop it up in on his chest of drawers so we could almost sort of hear it. Eventually I blew both of his speakers. Later the bass player bought a 35watt radioshack power amp (used for CB radio I believe) and a car subwoofer box with 2 12″s in it. We have a shitty mic that I’d permanently borrowed from church and that lasted maybe 6 months. It was all feedback and screeching all the time. When I was 15 or 16 we all chipped in and got a halfway decent starter PA with a 100 watt Peavey head and 2 Gemeni (cheap DJ club brand) 15″s with horns. We were the envy of every other shitty teen band… until we broke up and had to figure out who actually owned the equipment. NEVER NEVER NEVER own gear with band mates. I should also mention that my mic stand was a PVC pipe stuck in a 20 lb lifting weight all wrapped in black electrical tape.
TormundThunderfist's avatar

TormundThunderfist · 91 weeks ago

…and when I was a student there was a wall near my flat painted white. The people opposite would put a projector in the upstairs window and the whole neighbourhood wood bring chairs and even sofas to watch the movie.
You can see it here

1 reply · active 91 weeks ago

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TormundThunderfist · 91 weeks ago

Laura's avatar

Laura · 91 weeks ago

I find every single part of your NES build to be amazing. AMAZING!

1 reply · active 91 weeks ago

I should really dig it out and post some pics. I probably have the “WIP” pics on my file server.
lurkie's avatar

lurkie · 91 weeks ago

A.V.lanche. ha. lurv it.
Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 91 weeks ago

Hey Joel, what happened to the alt text button? I can’t view the mouse-over text from my tablet anymore. It makes me sad. And I read your comics to bring myself joy. 🙂

2 replies · active 91 weeks ago

read the blog post.
Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 91 weeks ago

Ah. Well now I feel silly. Thanks for the reply though. 🙂

Coming Of Age

The World Wide Web is 20! They grow up so fast. Seems like only yesterday he was sticking erotic playing cards in the spokes of his bike and now he’s graduating boner pill college and marrying a sexy sorority slut in your home town who’s waiting for you.

NEWS FROM THE FUTURE! [Posted 5/9/13]

Here are things you should know about: 

  • You can now read HijiNKS ENSUE (and a crap load of other fine comics) on the Official iOS app of webcomics, Comics Chameleon. It’s free and has a pretty slick interface and it supports the creators of the comics it displays (unlike EVERY OTHER webcomic app in the app store).
  • Phoenix Comicon is in 2 weeks (May 23-26)! I will be there with David Willis at Booth 1749.
  • Speaking of David, he is kickstarting his new Dumbing Of Age book, for which I wrote the foreword. It’s already funded, but you should back the hell out it anyway.
  • Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have an announcement regarding my involvement with the Cyanide and Happiness Show.
  • LAST THING! HijiNKS ENSUE turns 6 on Saturday (May 11). If you have an idea for a piece of HE related fan art (using any medium), I will announce a Fancy Bastard Fancy Fan Art Contest on Friday. The winner (chosen by me) will get prizes! Get to arting!

COMMENTERS: What was your very first experience with The Internet (I know the WWW isn’t exactly THE INTERNET, but hey… whatever)? What type of machine was it on? When did you first use the Internet/WWW and realize that it was going to change basically everything about how society operates?

Comments (35)

My first Interneting was most likely using AIM at a friend’s house during the summer between 8th and 9th grade. That was the first time I knew a kid with a dial up modem. I never had Internet access at my own house until I moved out on my own when I was 18. Even then, Im pretty sure I was borrowing a dial up connection that my buddy got free with his college tuition for at least 2-3 more years. My first email address was a hotmail (pre Microsoft) account created at the behest of my 10th grade photography teacher. He insisted that we all have email to get assignments then never once sent us anything electronically. I remember there being a 3 or 4 page form you have to fill out to get an email address. It seemed super official, like the IRS was involved.

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

Conrado's avatar

Conrado · 108 weeks ago

Long time ago, maybe in 1992, I found out about this “Bitnet” thing in college (damn! I was in college in 92′! I suddenly feel old…) Next year the computer lab had several IBM Unix worksations running this “X-Windows” and there was that program… “Mosaic”… and there was this thing, the World Wide Web… and there was Lycos, and NSCA, and Yahoo Directory (actually a physical book!), and a lot of sites devoted to Doom WAD’s, and FTP, and Gopher… damn! I’m old! :p And I got my first email address… And then I became a geek…
Damn kids! Get off my web server!!

1 reply · active 108 weeks ago

Carlos's avatar

Carlos · 108 weeks ago

Holy cow! I started with Bitnet too. Only I was in high school at the time, which shared the computer lab with the adjacent college. Pretty soon I was all UNIX-y and started FTPing images off of the servers one of my high school assignments. Blew the pants off my teachers and fellow students who didn’t know you could do that. Emailing with pine followed. After that I got a chance to handle some NeXT workstations where I first started using graphical e-mail and some of the Mosaic goodness. The road to geekdom…
Lynne's avatar

Lynne · 108 weeks ago

My family got our first computer in 98 (when I was about to turn 8). We had a dial up modem, and I remember it being a really big deal whenever my mom would let me get on AOL for 30 minutes on Saturday mornings to play hangman. Sometimes she was expecting a call, though, in which case I had to wait until she was done with that.
I’m in pretty much the same boat as Conrado. I got on the college network (a VAX system) in 1990, which had an internal forum. It was either 91 or 92 when I ventured out into the wider Bitnet world (we thought those “internet” people were in a ghetto, because they didn’t have utilities like “finger”). I got on a bunch of email lists.Then, in late 92, I discovered Usenet. If you young’uns don’t know what Usenet is, go search Google Groups. Go WAY back in the archives. That’s Usenet. Fortunately, I graduated and got out of Usenet just before the Eternal September.

I was off the internet for a bit, until I went to work at an ISP in late 94. That was my first experience with the three Ws. I also learned about MUDs and shit. It’s been all downhill ever since.

Paul Turnbull's avatar

Paul Turnbull · 108 weeks ago

Earliest Internet was probably Newsgroups being imported into one of the dial-up BBS’s I frequented in the late 80s. First WWW use would be 1992 or 3 using Lynx on my university’s VAX system.And now I’m startled to realize I’ve been using the web for its entire existence. Yikes!

1 reply · active 108 weeks ago

HikingViking's avatar

HikingViking · 108 weeks ago

I was a late adaptor to the interwebs, in the same way that I’m typically a late adaptor to just about everything. I started “using” in the mid 90s, but really it was more for e-mail than anything else. I had a Yahoo account, because even at that time AOL accounts were kind of sad. Actually, to this day, some of my only online snobbery comes into play when I see someone with an AOL e-mail. I’m kind of waiting for the cool kids to start getting AOL addresses as an ironic thing. And no, I didn’t have any clue at how much the WWW would change the world. Or computers for that matter. I thought it was all just another toy – a novelty that would die down. How incredibly wrong I was, and how glad I am that I was wrong.
I was ten. My school library had installed two computers with THE INTERNET which we were supposed to use to help with library things. Of course a bunch of ten years olds in those days had no idea how to use the internet to get information so we just fought over who got to use it to play Neopets which had only just launched.For some reason we all thought that pressing down the F5 key would make the internet work faster.

Getting onto Prodigy and then having absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do. It was on an old IBM 486DX machine. This would have been around 1995? Really got into it once my 50 free hours of AOL kicked in! WOO!!!
hoboken nomo's avatar

hoboken nomo · 108 weeks ago

my first memory was back when ever the AOL first came out…my old man made that whole buddy list thingie there. you know that messaging system that has evolved into every sites chat program…… i was like 9 or 10
Josh would be proud: my first chat room hook up. Brown chicken brown cow!!Side note: I so wanted those Oakleys back in the day. Thankfully I resisted.

Ali's avatar

Ali · 108 weeks ago

I was in elementary school. We had “computer class” and I think about third or fourth grade, the teacher taught us how to use Netscape Navigator and AskJeeves. There were weird things about “gopher” and whatever the other one was that wasn’t http, that I don’t remember at all, and have NEVER needed to know since, except once recently I accidentally (I don’t even remember how) typed “gopher” in my address bar and pressed enter, and my browser added a :// to it and then got confused.My parents were fairly well-off by the time having internet in your home was a thing; we already had two phone lines, plus a third line for faxes, so they got a fourth line just for the dial-up modem, and we never had to deal with the whole “get off the computer, I have to use the phone!” deal that I see people my age reminiscing about. I quite enjoyed the modem handshaking sound and was kind of disappointed when we got cable.

1 reply · active 108 weeks ago

Ceri's avatar

Ceri · 108 weeks ago

Netscape Navigator – wow, that takes me back! That was the first browser I ever used. It must have been late 1997, when I was in England at my mom’s for a few months after graduating High School. I can’t remember what I used The Net for back then, because I’m sure I didn’t have an e-mail account until I started university in 1999 (just in time for the Y2K panic!). I do remember my first visit to the crappy computer labs at my Uni – you had to queue for ages, and the computers were so. damn. slow. I remember searching in vain for the Netscape icon on their desktop, because that was all I knew. Then I just clicked the one thing that had “Internet” in the title – yes, the dread IE – and made myself a hotmail account. The Uni mail system ran on an antiquated version of Pegasus – black 8-bit letters on white, keyboard use only. Ahh, simpler times…
Oh Internet. Your a good kid sometimes.
geekbear's avatar

geekbear · 108 weeks ago

CompuServe 1982. Atari 800XL .
AOL in Geoworks Ensemble in 89.
Faye's avatar

Faye · 108 weeks ago

I don’t have an impressive story, I didn’t even get online until 1999-2000, but it does come full circle.I remember getting an hour a day on the family computer when I was growing up, and choosing to spend it on the ol’ dial up modem, playing about on MUSHes. (The same game is now deserted at the times I used to log on, thankfully I’m no longer limited to ‘an hour a day after school’.)

When I was 16, and had money of my own, I bought my very own computer, with my own dial up internet – and a much faster 56k modem! Zoom! However, it could not maintain a connection for more than 5 hours at a time. I never actually used the phone that came with the line, I only wanted the internet.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Earlier this year, I got my own ADSL2+ line set up, using the very same additional phone line I had to have installed when I got dial-up. I still mainly use it to MUSH. (Yes, people still play on those.)

There are some differences: I do a lot of other things at the same time now, like read comics. (I have a dual monitor setup, typically browser or games on one, MUSH on the other.) And I have ‘Naked’ ADSL2+, which means no phone.

Nephaline's avatar

Nephaline · 108 weeks ago

My boyfriend was studying programming in another province, back in 97, the university had a T1 gateway. Since long distance was so expensive, my parents gave me their old computer and I paid into a BBS (Billboard System) email gateway over a dial up modem, so we could communicate.
After asking for additional donations so they could upgrade, this BBS group that had been going for many years collapsed. I assume this was because the cost for individual dial up was becoming more affordable, and people were no longer interested in the BBS system. Spending & donating that money and only get a few months of the BBS made me so mad!Did not have internet until late 1999-2000 after the boyfriend got a job and his office had a line I could dial into at night, used it for free for several years.

My family bought the Bally Computer System instead of an Atari, and you could follow the booklet provided and program games on it.:
Back in 83 my junior high had a computer programming class, where we “learned to program” (ha! right!) on Commodore Vic 20’s. We learned a bit of basic and were supposed to make our own games, but those stupid tapes were usually faulty.

bionelly's avatar

bionelly · 108 weeks ago

Not really using it myself, but the first time I remember being made aware of the internet was in my middle school computer class. It wasn’t part of the curriculum at that point, but the teacher demonstrated sending an email to us, then said, “By the time you’re adults, you won’t be able to get a job without being able to use this, and the kids who are in kindergarten now will be better at it than you. Good luck.”
Fisrt thing I did in internet was joining IRC; it was a chat room in DALNET i remember. And it took some time for people in the chatroom to convince me that they were not bots talking. I didnt give any chance for them to be real. The operator in the room was named Scott and at that time he was like a father to me 🙂
The Web was just a novelty in 1993, the Internet was still Usenet, email, IRC, FTP, MUDs and MUSHs and so forth. At the time, the response was often “well, it’s like a GUI for Gopher, right?”The real Internet disruption of 1993 was The September That Never Ended, when the commercial internet outfits invaded the previously-mostly-academic Usenet and associated environs in the fall of 1993. Previous Septembers had been periods of barbarian invasion on Usenet as the freshmen discovered their new university accounts and were painfully socialized and civilized. In the fall of 1993, the expected invasion proved to not just be the usual passing disaster,, but was instead a never-ending flood of digital Vandals, and the somewhat insular, hippie-libertarian culture of “the Net” never really regained its bearings.

Brian's avatar

Brian · 108 weeks ago

A dead crab, she said, she said?My family didn’t have much money, so we still didn’t have a computer. My first internet experience, therefore, was WebTV. I mostly used it for associating on a Tolkien fan board. I met my wife there. I didn’t know it was going to be the big thing, but it was pretty big for me at the time.

Ceri's avatar

Ceri · 107 weeks ago

I’m looking forward to the inevitable cosplay versions of World Wide Web you will meet at conventions from now on, Joel.
(Pics or it didn’t happen.)
Mahnarch's avatar

Mahnarch · 107 weeks ago

I remember my first foray into the WWW… Computer class (94?)
My teacher and I couldn’t figure, for the longest time, why the internets HATED me!No matter what computer I went onto I couldn’t get a single site to come up. I’d switch computers with another student. They’d work “mine” perfectly, and their old computer suddenly stopped working for me…

Turns out; It’s not http://www,(comma)[websight],(comma)com…
It took us over a month to figure this out.

missmushu's avatar

missmushu · 107 weeks ago

In the mid-80’s, we had a frankensteined Apple IIe that my dad cobbled together from spare components he found in the industrial engineering lab at the university where he worked. When he took me to work with him on the weeekends, I would use the dial-up connection to send messages to my sister at home. And when I say dial-up I mean I took the phone receiver off the hook and put it in a cradle and manually rotory-dialled the number. It was like a prehistoric live chat. Good god, I’m old.
Joseph's avatar

Joseph · 107 weeks ago

I went from BBS’s to Prodigy, and then to AOL.
Bryce's avatar

Bryce · 107 weeks ago

The first internet I remember is Hunt the Wumpus. I hunted that Wumpus so hard…
Shayne's avatar

Shayne · 107 weeks ago

1985/86. Commodore Amiga 1000. I was 12/13. Mostly local Bulletin Boards (BBS). I remember when Tetris landed. I happened to be learning russian at the time. This helped greatly since the executable/installation had not been translated yet. I got it installed and my older sister monolopized the computer from then on.
StoneMaven's avatar

StoneMaven · 107 weeks ago

Oooooh, the dark ages when I’d just gotten out of college and gotten married. My sister had something miraculous called AOL at her home in Denton, and we played trivia games in the chat. Then my husband signed up for the beta-test of our local phone company. We were livin’ the high life with Pegasus Mail program and downloading crap and ignoring WAREZ spam posts off the usenet. Those were the days.
Well I’m old skool…first Internet was pre-WWW using Gopher to hack out of University to grt into UglyMUG and other multiuser games. Rainbow also, and Aminet.I’d been using the Internet a few years until the browser came along (a few years late) but there wasn’t much to see in 1995. I was more about usergroups!
Gordon's avatar

Gordon · 106 weeks ago

All about the bbs on my Commodore 64, dog!