2015-10-27-sharksplode-brand-new-bag

Brand New Bag

2015-10-27-sharksplode-brand-new-bag

I pitched two ideas for my guest comic over at Cyanide & Happiness. This is the one they rejected.

If you’re under 30, you probably have no idea that for SEVERAL DECADES before you were born it was considered perfectly acceptable to wear a plastic mask of your favorite cartoon character, along with a trash bag (ACTUALLY A LITERAL TRASH BAG) featuring a full body picture of the same character as your Halloween costume. Not only was this considered acceptable Halloween attire for children, but it was an accepted business practice for companies to offer these “costumes” as their “best effort” in exchange for “actual money.”

Do you want A TON of bonus, extra and alternate comics?!  Then my Patreon is THE PLACE for you. Every little bit helps me continue to make a living, and is QUITE appreciated.

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Now I walk through the costume aisles of Wal-Mart and Target and kid’s costumes have achieved near Hollywood levels of production value. There are muscle suits, led lights, articulated armor, sound FX… it’s only a matter of time before children go door to door wearing green body suits, and handing out augmented reality goggles that make the candy-giver see them as a 70 foot tall full CG dragon. Dad will stand to the side with a flame thrower and torch the neighbors bushes for increased special FX.

I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween. We had the fundamentalist Christian alternative: HARVEST FESTIVAL. It’s EXACTLY like Halloween except you don’t get to Trick Or Treat and all the costumes are either animals, cowboys or Bible characters. I had a basic costume rotation each year of monkey, cowboy and… let’s say Noah. In retrospect I was just dressed like a modern day Muslim, but I had a burlap sack over my tunic. The 80’s were weird. One year I got a real screen quality ALF costume. It was my favorite thing ever and simultaneously the worst costume I ever had. The shag carpet full body suit made it 800 degrees and itched all to hell and the fur and latex mask was like a tight, rubbery panic prison for my face.

My wife and I enjoy helping our kid have a unique Halloween experience. She’s been Princess LeiaBoo from Monster’s Inc., a Backyardigan, Jessie from Toy Story, A Ghost, a WitchRaven from Teen Titans (complete with a narrative adventure) and Hermione Granger. This year she’s going to be Amethyst from Steven Universe. I’ll post pics of that one after it’s all assembled.

UPDATE: Here’s a Tumblr post with all the Kiddo costumes so far.

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The Dark Knight In The Bright Day

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This comic might look familiar too you. That’s because a version of it was originally published almost exactly a year ago in my very short lived HijiNKS ENSUE spinoff comic, FANEURYSM. Even though I had moved on with a new direction for HE, I still wanted to make the occasional pop culture strip. I made less than 20 FANEURYSM comics total, but a few of them are some of my absolute favorites of my own work. Since the series started and ended so quickly, I’ve always feared that those strips would be easily forgotten and certainly never get published in a book. So I’ve decided to rework those few favorite FANEURYSMs into Sharksplode strips, by resizing, re-laying out and recoloring them to match the Sharksplode esthetic. I’ll probably toss one in the archive each week until the 4 or 5 I don’t want to lose have been shared.

Have you seen my wife’s geeky jewelry store, Science & Fiction? She’s got necklaces and earrings based on Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars, The Fibonacci Sequence, DNA, Pac-Man and lot’s more. CHECK. IT. OUT. 

2015-01-21-what-lies-beneath

What Lies Beneath

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hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2UPDATE: ONE(ish) WEEKS LEFT! THEN THEY’RE GONE GONE GONE!!!

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

POTTER AND DAUGHTER IS NIGH! The Harry Potter podcast I’ve been recording with my daughter is dangerously close to getting released (when my Patreon reaches $1750). Read more about it here.

COMMENTERS: Why do some of you pretend all cats are not evil? Why do you lie? Does your cat have information on you that you don’t want getting out? Does it have a member of your family hidden beneath the floor boards or trapped inside its cat tree? Do you need help? If you need help, blink three times. If the cat has already chewed off your eyelids to prevent blinking, try screaming hysterically, “OH GOD OH FUCK OH NO THE CAT OHHHH GAAAAAAAHD MY EYES THE CAT HAS OH NOOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT HAS IT DONNNNNNE?!?! WHAT WILL BECOME OF MEEEEEEE?!?! OH GAHHHGHGHGHGLLLLLNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?!?!”

2015-01-19-bubblegum-bubblegum-toil-and-troublegum

Bubblegum, Bubblegum, Toil and Troublegum

2015-01-19-bubblegum-bubblegum-toil-and-troublegum

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2UPDATE: THIS WEEK! NEXT WEEK! THEN THEY’RE GONE GONE GONE!!!

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon? I do.

I went back and forth on whether or not to do this comic about a dozen times. One of my main goals when rebooting HijiNKS ENSUE was to have the comics NOT be so inside my own head, NOT so insistent that you be on the same page with me on every TV show, movie, Internet thing, etc. that the average HE reader couldn’t relate to the subject matter. Still, the more and more I thought about NOT doing this comic, the more it kept creeping in my brain because this is very close to an actual conversation that my daughter and I had and I really wanted to share it.

I’ll get more into it in the next comic’s blog post, but my kid has “cuteness blinders” for all things insidious and evil. For those of you that don’t watch Adventure Time, Peppermint Butler is… wait for it… a peppermint who is also a butler, specifically butling for the ruler of the Candy Kingdom, Princess Bubblegum. At least, that’s his day job. In recent seasons they’ve shown that Peppermint Butler is also an upside down bloody pentagram on the wall type sorcerer. I mentioned this to Kiddo at some point as in, “But of course we all know he’s actually evil,” and she was all, “WHA-HUUUUUUUUHHH?!” She demanded evidence, and I pointed out that in the episode we had just watched he was torturing another candy fellow in his cave, while reciting dark incantations to summon and bind a demon in order to force it to do his mellifluous bidding. To which she replied, “Well… yeah… but… HE’S MADE OF CANDY!” Cuteness blinders, man. I’m telling you.

COMMENTERS: Have your kids (or did YOU as a kid) ever completely missed the true intended nature of a character because of their cuteness? What about the lack there of? Anything that was supposed to be cute and cuddly that totally freaked a kid out?

2015-01-16-may-not-be-suitable-for-all-audiences

May Not Be Suitable For All Audiences

2015-01-16-may-not-be-suitable-for-all-audiences

hijinks-ensue-january-2015-book-sale-2UPDATE: ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT!!!

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 

HEY HEY HEY, did I mention that I have a Patreon? I do, and because my Fancy Patrons blew past the $1500 Milestone Goal, I was able to completely redesign the website.

Everything my kid watches on the television falls into one of two categories. Pretty OK and UNWATCHABLE CUTESY SHOUTING CONTEST. The pretty ok stuff comes, as the comic above suggests, mainly from PBS Kids. Shows like Word Girl, Martha Speaks, Wild Kratts, and Curious George actually do a commendable job of blending entertainment and education while simultaneously not being obnoxious to parents.

The rest  come from all over. Nick, Disney, Cartoon Network, probably the channel where they sell knives at night, maybe a ditch with half a snake in a Coke can… just all over. I can’t really pin down the source of the annoyance other than a seemingly universal opinion among children’s television producers that kids always want to hear character screaming, shouting, shrieking, shrilly cackling or singing makeshift autotuned pop songs that are vaguely about friendship and mostly about “being yourself” and “dancing” and “dancing yourself” and “self esteem achieved through dancing” and “dance esteem.”

Adventure Time is the outlier, because it is truly phenomenal genre fiction cleverly disguised as a show for tiny children and adult stoners. Not even Game Of Thrones can match the world building going on in Adventure Time. It’s FUCKING vast. AT is also unique in the way that it has created a framework within itself where the writers are free to completely abandon the established characters and locales (even the typical time and space dimensions in which the show takes place) and just expand outward in every creative direction to tell some incredibly complex and often times bizarre stories that still manage to stay grounded in the world from which they spring. Vast, man. I am telling you. Vast.

It also doesn’t hurt that it is expertly written and voice acted. It’s genuinely funny for adults. The most interesting thing I notice while watching it with Kiddo is what makes me laugh, but not her. What makes her laugh, but only makes me smile, and what makes us both laugh heartily at the same time. SPOILERS: It’s the farts.

COMMENTERS: What things do your kids or just kids in general enjoy that you can’t stand? What gives you common entertainment ground?