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A Guide To Good PaRANTing

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FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 55/100 prints are sold! If you were thinking about supporting this IRS “Get out of tax jail” fundraiser, NOW is the time.  The “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” print is signed by both of us, numbered and limited to 100 pieces. [More details HERE.]

hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

All proceeds are going to pay an unexpected IRS tax bill. Your support and help are greatly appreciated, plus you get a pretty sweet piece of art for your wall. Hate art? Hate walls? Donations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

Here’s a new print I made and put in the HE store: “Adventure Time Lord.” I bet it will also be a shirt over at Sharksplode pretty soon.

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Speaking of making new things, my wife just made a couple of Game Of Thrones inspired necklaces for you Starks and Lannisters.

Game Of Thrones Necklaces - Stark and Lannister - Science And Fiction - Etsy

Thus ends my railing against Garfield for now. If you want to see some truly dark, bizarre and experimental comics, please take a look at the Garfield archives starting HERE (going HERE, HEREHERE and HERE) and ending HERE. [SPOILERS: I think maybe Garfield was dead the entire time.]

My stance on “Why are you being so hard on a kids movie/show/comic/whatever?” is pretty straight forward. OF COURSE there’s art that’s JUST for kids. Kid’s like dumb stuff and there’s a ton of dumb to fill that need. But kids ALSO like high quality stuff, and there’s plenty of high quality kids’ stuff out there that also has crossover appeal to adults. Sure, not everything can be Pixar, but a lot of it can exist on a spectrum of kid+adult entertainment that ranges from “non-annoying” to “I really want to see how Curious George gets out of this mess he’s gotten himself into.” And the simple fact that quality kids entertainment DOES exist and is READILY AVAILABLE just makes everything else unnecessary.

I don’t mind if my kid reads Garfield or other boring, not funny comics as long as she enjoys them. I even get excited that shes’s exploring the medium of comics on her own, regardless of what she’s reading. Hell, I get excited that she loves reading so much, regardless of what she’s actually reading. But I get extra special super excited when she reads something fantastic, something I loved and still love, something that sparked my imagination at her age and helped shape who I am and what I do today – something like Calvin And Hobbes. So I will continue to guide her along her geek journey and gently nudge her in the direction of quality, but I will also sit with her and watch incredibly vapid and annoying cartoons like Littlest Pet Shop (guhhhh) just to be around her and just to make sure she knows I am more interested in her than I am in making sure she likes the right things.

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Arbiters Of Good Taste

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FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 50/100 prints are sold! That’s half! MATH! I have to sell the rest by the end of January if I’m going to be able to pay my taxes. The “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” print is signed by both of us, numbered and limited to 100 pieces. [More details HERE.]

hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

All proceeds are going to pay an unexpected IRS tax bill. Your support and help are greatly appreciated, plus you get a pretty sweet piece of art for your wall. Hate art? Hate walls? Donations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

I got some big plans for 2014. Check them out in the blog post under THIS comic.

One of the hard parts of being a geek/nerd parent is letting your kid figure out what THEY are into as opposed to pushing onto them what YOU’re into. Eventually you (hopefully) realize that you are an entirely different person with potentially WILDLY different tastes from your child’s and you let them find their own way. If you’re a good parent and they trust you; trust your opinion then you can expose them to the things you love and they will take your endorsement as a sign of quality. They still might hate your favorite movie, but at least they’ll give it a try. Unless it’s Ghostbusters. If they hate Ghostbusters, you should see a doctor immediately. If a doctor can’t help, then just take them to the edge of the woods, point them away from you and tell them to walk until they hit water. This isn’t cruel, because what you had wasn’t a child. It was a monster.

Just beneath the instinct to force you likes and loves on your kids is the more rational argument, “I’ve already sifted through all the stuff. I’ve spent years cultivating and curating and THIS, THIS IS THE STUFF that is the good stuff. START with THIS STUFF and your life will be easier than mine.” That’s the kind and helpful idea, at least. The reality of that argument and way of thinking is that you’re denying the importance of the act of discovery. The ways you find things, the people that introduce them to you, the reasons you pick one book over another, THESE are the actions that make geeks fall in love with books, movies, tv shows, games, comics, etc. Sure, there are the things you love because your parents shared them with you, but there are also the things you love because you spent the night at a friends house and they were allowed to watch scarier movies that you were allowed to watch, so now you love Friday The 13th, or because your parents were late picking you up from the mall, so you had to walk around the book store for 30 minutes and ended up discovering Ray Bradbury all on your own. The circumstances by which geeks claim their geerkeries is almost as important as the subject matter. They’re the spices that accent the meal. NOT robbing your geeklings of that is just as important as making sure they see Monty Python.

Oh yeah, here’s a new print I made and put in the HE store.

Adventure Time Lord

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This was taken from one of the recent Fancy Digital Sketches. I was super happy with out it turned out and decided to make it into a print which can be yours for only Only $11.95!

Major huge giant thanks to Fancy Bastard Wesley B. for the inspiration to draw this.

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We’re Ready To Party, We’re Ready

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FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 40/100 prints are sold. I have to sell the rest by the end of January if I’m going to be able to pay my taxes. The “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” print is signed by both of us, numbered and limited to 100 pieces. [More details HERE.] hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

All proceeds are going to pay an unexpected IRS tax bill. Your support and help are greatly appreciated, plus you get a pretty sweet piece of art for your wall. Hate art? Hate walls? Donations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

I got some big plans for 2014. Check them out in the blog post under THIS comic.

Part 2 of a interview I did with The Anglerfish is up HERE now. Part 1 is HERE. It’s a good read if you are interested in why I’ve made the recent changes to HE that I’ve made. I talk a lot about parenting and creative work and softball dads. Also I ramble a bit because I was actually drawing a comic while they were interviewing me.

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The Sign On The Door Says Pull

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FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 33/100 prints are sold. I have to sell the rest by the end of January if I’m going to be able to pay my taxes.

The “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” print is signed by both of us, numbered and limited to 100 pieces. [More details HERE.]

hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

All proceeds are going to pay an unexpected IRS tax bill. Your support and help are greatly appreciated, plus you get a pretty sweet piece of art for your wall. Hate art? Hate walls? Donations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

Where has HijiNKS ENSUE been? I took some time off for the holidays to basically relax, enjoy my family, finish some WAY overdue digital sketches and make some plans for 2014. Here’s a bit more of an explanation.

Here’s a short list of what I’ve got planned for 2014: 

  • Finish selling all of the fundraiser prints THIS MONTH and pay dem taxes!
  • Finish the last handful of Fancy Digital Sketches (6 or 7 of you are still waiting)
  • Start a Patreon campaign for HijiNKS ENSUE to will ensure more frequent comic updates and an actual update schedule (a FIRST for HE)
  • Do WAY LESS conventions. So far I am only scheduled for 2 conventions in 2014 (and a handful helping out the guys at Cyanide & Happiness). I want to focus on comic, comics, COMICS this year and all the travel and con prep is too much of a distraction from the one thing that should be the most important. COMICS.
  • NEW BOOK! I am hoping to release a book that will contain most if not all of the remaining HE pop culture strips, so I can have them all in a nice collection and move on to making books of the story based comics in 2015.
  • Website improvements! A friendlier layout, updated character and about pages, a better archive, separating the pop culture and story strips so it’s easier for new readers to get into the new comics, but still very easy to find and read the old ones, maybe less tan and brown…
  • LOTS MORE! This is just the start. 2014 is sort of my “start over” year. I’m taking everything I’ve learned as a self employed pro-cartoonist over the last 6 years and making the changes that need to be made so I can still be a self employed pro-cartoonist in another 6 years.

Lots to do, lots of fun, lots of work and hopefully lots of support from you Fancy Bastards. Hey, here’s a weird idea. Come back tomorrow and I bet there might (maybe) be another new comic. What?! I know. More on that (and more on a solid update schedule) after the Patreon Campaign launches.

Part 2 of a interview I did with The Anglerfish is up HERE now. Part 1 is HERE. It’s a good read if you are interested in why I’ve made the recent changes to HE that I’ve made. I talk a lot about parenting and creative work and softball dads. Also I ramble a bit because I was actually drawing a comic while they were interviewing me.

Comments (30)

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I am currently planning to attend ECCC in Seattle and PHXCC in hell. The rest I do (SDCC, NYCC maybe one in Canada) will be with Cyanide and Happiness.
I might be going to Calgary, but probably not as HijiNKS ENSUE. I might just be going as a hired Sharpie for Cyanide and Happiness.
Richard Kane's avatar

Richard Kane · 75 weeks ago

That’s a wonderful moment ! The day my 4 year old son found my old Calvin and Hobbes books was a life changer for both of us.

1 reply · active 75 weeks ago

Especially when he started playing his own version of Calvinball?
I remember when I discovered Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. I can’t wait to pass that along.
according to my mom, I started reading “The Far Side” when I was 4 or 5, when I was too young to get all of the jokes. According to her, she can tell it had an effect on my life and sense of humor. If I ever have kids, this noble tradition will be passed on….
new book?? <throws money at you> when???….hang on, better yet, release it when you’re good’ and ready, just know that we will squeal, then throw money at you across the Internet
Welcome back and happy New year! 😀
Happy new year!!!!
Awww man, good on Joel here for doing this! I was introduced to Calvin and Hobbes when I was about 8 and The Far Side shortly thereafter. Haven’t looked back since.
lou's avatar

lou · 75 weeks ago

SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS GOES “BOINK”
One of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes books, and possibly my first. You gots good taste, man.
So THAT’s why it disappeared off my wishlist. I thought someone had bought it for me, and I waited and waited for delivery like a sad-eyed puppy. I realized someone must have gotten it for themselves not realizing it marks it as purchased on my list so I re-added it.
Jingy's avatar

Jingy · 75 weeks ago

Oh wait… you mean YOU actually wanted the stuff of you wishlist?
I thought those things were just like, things you wanted us to buy… you know… for US.
I guess I’ve been granting peoples “wishes” all wrong. I feel bad for that.
But on the upside, all this great stuff I’ve gotten myself makes me feel a LOT better!

Excuse me while I go play with these Legos off my nephews wishlist.

Richard Hendricks's avatar

Richard Hendricks · 75 weeks ago

I made my son buy his own copies of C&H, he ain’t getting his grubby hands on my hardback 3 volume collector’s edition, no matter how much he promises to take good care of them…He’ll thank me when I will them to him on my deathbed. 🙂
Kathleen's avatar

Kathleen · 75 weeks ago

I got the kids Calvin and Hobbes books for Christmas….

Such a good mommy am I

Have you seen “Hobbes and Bacon” yet? It’s tribute comic that takes place 26 years after Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin has a daughter named Bacon and he gives her Hobbes. It captures both the art and the sensibilities of the original comic. The feels factor is through the roof.

2 replies · active 75 weeks ago

Jingy's avatar

Jingy · 75 weeks ago

Weren’t there only a handful of those made?
I remember reading them and being sad it ended so quickly.
Did the artist end up continuing it at a later date? because the project seemed dead back when I came across it.
Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 75 weeks ago

Good timing, I was humming “how much is that tiger in the window” this afternoon.
petsinwinter's avatar

petsinwinter · 75 weeks ago

But I like the tan and brown!

1 reply · active 75 weeks ago

I like it too, but the site has been unchanged for years.
Adrienne's avatar

Adrienne · 75 weeks ago

Way less cons? Whew, glad I made it out to Austin this year then. I have a signed book and it was worth the horrible death diseases I got from all the grubby people.

1 reply · active 75 weeks ago

Yeah I need to take a break or else I’m going to get burnt out and never want to do cons again. It takes a toll.
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Phoenix Comicon 2013 Fancy Sketches Part 2

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Go to my store. I promise there is something there you will enjoy owning. In turn, I will enjoy owning your money.

Hey hey! It’s part 2 in my 2 part series of 2 sets of Fancy Sketches from 1 Phoenix Comicon! This set indirectly stars my friend John Scalzi, who is known for his best selling sci-fi novels, his love of churros and his crippling addiction to Coke Zero. I defaced his booth sign along with some other dudes for reasons.

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He made this face when he saw it.

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COMMENTERS: Your favorite author has just become a giant robot. Who is it, are they good or evil and (regardless) do they fight Godzilla?

Comments (31)

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Cool art. 🙂 Wish I could have hit Phoenix.

oh, and FYI. Your site seems to have weird pop-up boxes that glide across the screen, and block your artwork. You may want to punch one of your ad-servers.

Titmouse's avatar

Titmouse · 107 weeks ago

George R.R. Martin…. so hes pretty evil and just kills everone you love just as you really start to think everything is going to be fine!!
Nakari's avatar

Nakari · 107 weeks ago

H.P Lovecraft.

He’d probably be evil by modern standards. He would fight Godzilla, after taking down the Dutch. Man really hated the Dutch.

Teri's avatar

Teri · 107 weeks ago

Philip k Dick ‘bot would probably be good, and he’d eventually figure out that Godzilla is a robot. Then he and Jasper Ffordebot will open a portal into the Southland Tales universe.

The Mark Z Danielewskidroid would be the Tardis.

What would Kafkabot be like?

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

zathael's avatar

zathael · 107 weeks ago

An enormous cockroach, obviously
Neil Gaiman. He is (obviously) good and he would clearly not directly fight Godzilla, but rather dazzle him with a cunning plan that would involve something absolutely brilliant.

Also, Wreck-It Doctor and Amy von Schweetz may be my favorite of your Fancy Sketches ever. Or possibly any drawing of all time.

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

Hey thanks! That was the sketch-requesters idea, but I thought it came out pretty great. Actually the Amy was my idea, but hey whatever.
Asimov! And it would kill outside those pesky laws!
Leshka's avatar

Leshka · 107 weeks ago

Stephen King would spend 200 pages describing the path that Godzilla took to get to the city (complete with witty banter in it’s head,) then another 100 pages detailing the struggle between good and evil that robot King has to face. And then, because King is bad(ass,) he would team up with Godzilla and oh, so deliciously plunder the countryside, dedicating a good 50 or so pages to the raping of the women.

Yeah, I’m re-reading The Stand and it may be giving me a bias 🙂

 Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 107 weeks ago

Patrick Rothfuss. He would have a beard of writhing cables that would subdue all those who stand against him. He would be good, but misunderstood (probably because of the tentacle similarity to Davey Jones in the Pirate movies). He would fight Godzilla simply because any giant robot worth his salt would, but they would come to an understanding and Godzilla would agree to get a RoboBeer (just oil mostly) with him and teach him the names of all things.
Neil Gaiman. Good. And yes. He takes him down through deploying the powers of whimsey to turn Godzilla into a churro-eating, barbeque-providing friendly dinosaur.
Grimslade's avatar

Grimslade · 107 weeks ago

Bran-don Sanderzon would differentiate his robot abilities depending on what fuel it consumed. It would be completely devoid of morality. Good, evil, are judgements by others. The death of Godzilla is only the beginning of the liberation of Monster Island.
I agree that Patrick Borgfuss would wield an electro beard mas grande, making Cthulhu jealous of his facial tentaclular superiority. He would fight Godzilla, but only to subdue him and help him end world hunger.
zathael's avatar

zathael · 107 weeks ago

ALL SHALL FEAR THE GEORGE RR MART-TRON!!
Michael Crichton’s family, following the protocol he set out long before his death, reconstitutes his DNA into a artificially supported neural structure his son has spent the last 15 years constructing. At long, long last, he arises, stares at Godzilla and immediately starts postulating scientific reasons how Godzilla came about. After spending a number of hours intrinsically searching to find what really differentiates human nature from that of Godzilla, he realizes that Godzilla isn’t a force of nature, but a result of human nature. He resigns to the fact that Humanity will only destroy itself as he snaps Tokyo Tower in two and takes his place in the natural order.
Andy's avatar

Andy · 107 weeks ago

Well you already did Scalzi perfectly. Joe Abecrombe would be an evil robot, covered in spikes and all dark metal. He would join Godzilla in trashing Tokyo. Richard K Morgan would start out not caring but eventually fight Godzilla because it benefited him.

David Brin, Vernor Vinge, Myke Cole would all be good robots. George Martin, Orson Scott Card and Stephen Erikson would all be evil.

Nick H's avatar

Nick H · 107 weeks ago

Raybot Chandler wakes from his cybernetic slumber and potters around the office, struggling with his programming. The coders wrote an ordered sense of right and wrong but something was off in the assembly. His circuits are corroded by a steady stream of brown liquors and he goes through the motions but can’t seem to muster up the respect for civic authority he should have. The Dame, Pneumattie, crashes through the dingy glass and asks for the third time if he’ll reconfigure her to forget that no good husbot. Problem is, Raybot’s already taken husbot’s dough and can’t bring himself to care which of the two has more corrupt data.
Kathy J.'s avatar

Kathy J. · 107 weeks ago

Terry Pratchett would be a good guy, ambling along in his thin soled ancient footwear shaking hands with giant doorknobs, and when he meets Godzilla he hires him for the Ankh-Morpork city watch.

1 reply · active 106 weeks ago

Godzilla turns out to be particularly good at apprehending deliquent dragons. 🙂 Thanks for saying Pratchett! <3 <3 <3
Candace's avatar

Candace · 107 weeks ago

Steven Brust would at first appear to be an evil giant robot, but ultimately turn out to be moderately good in the end. He would not fight Godzilla, but might convince him to jam with Brust’s giant robot band, which might result in the ultimate destruction, entertainment, and/or terrification of all within earshot.
Ali's avatar

Ali · 107 weeks ago

Neil Gaiman. Neutral. He wouldn’t fight Godzilla directly, but he’d get him to stop rampaging…by teaching him about subtlety, thus leading to much more disturbing and nightmare-inducing terrorizing of Tokyo. (I mean did you SEE Nightmare in Silver?!)
Richard's avatar

Richard · 107 weeks ago

Margaret Weis. She would probably fight Godzilla hut since she wrote all the stories about Draconians from the Dragonlance series, she’d know his reptilian weak spots and send him packing back to the ocean! he would return in the sequel to marry her so they could have Godzilla Jr and her understanding of draconians would make her the best reptile monster mom ever!
Bryce's avatar

Bryce · 107 weeks ago

Good, bad, everybody fights Godzilla. If you don’t fight Godzilla what’s the point of being a giant robot? What are you going to do, fight second string knock-offs from Sentai shows? Aliens with odd biblical themes that may actually be your mother? Other giant robots from series that are so commingled you don’t know who’s ripping who off when one turns into a jet?

No, screw that. Fight Godzilla, then you can worry about what else you do.

Tom's avatar

Tom · 107 weeks ago

David Weber, and he’s good until someone lets him cross genres and mix science fiction with fantasy.
skoby's avatar

skoby · 106 weeks ago

Ive got a bad feeling that George RR Martin would trap siblings and force them to do stuff. I think he would kill godzilla eventually but only after godzilla kills everyone you care about.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 106 weeks ago

Douglas Addams, back from the dead as a robot?
I don’t think so much “good” or “evil” as perhaps indifferent, apathetic and possibly depressed. Unless he can telepathically send out radio shows.
But then he’d watch the HHGG movie, and the depression would set in again.

1 reply · active 100 weeks ago

Aww, misspelling your favorite author’s name? That’s not right.
I hope that was your phone’s autocorrect.
Chaucer59's avatar

Chaucer59 · 102 weeks ago

MechaHarlanEllison fights Godzilla, melting flesh from the giant assembly of lizard bones with a spew of acid from his mouth and then defaces Gojira’s memory by reassembling the bones into a giant penis sculpture.