The “Just Us” Club

I have completely retooled my Patreon rewards and goals! Become a Patron now and you can help me release more eBooks of my comics and sketches, bonus monthly Patron-Only comics, an album of cover songs, a LOST EPISODE OF THE HIJINKS ENSUE PODCAST, and MORE! Read the details HERE or just check out my Patreon HERE.

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Here’s another of my recolored/rewritten FANEURYSM comics. You can see the original here. If you can spot all the differences, you win a punched out and devoured heart! Whose heart? Maybe yours! Are you a whale?! How did you get Internet in the ocean?! Oh, you bit into an intercontinental, underwater data cable? And now you can download the entire Internet straight into your whale brain? And even though you get decent download speeds depending on the tides, the upload is kind of slow? That’s a bummer! Still, pretty good for a whale, right?

 

The Dark Knight In The Bright Day

I think it’s safe to assume that anyone roughly my age considers Batman: The Animated Series to be the one, true, canonical Batman mythos. Kevin Conroy portrayed Batman/Bruce Wayne better than any other actor who was ever given the role. He was also the first actor to use different voices for Batman and Bruce Wayne. The series introduced the concept of Harvey Dent having an alternate personality BEFORE the accident that created Two Face, and it introduced Harley Quinn. And while we’re on the subject of definitive portrayals of classic DC characters, Mark Hamil’s Joker had a greater impact on me in terms of geek culture than Mark Hamil’s Luke Skywalker did. It was just flawless. It was also the first time I was exposed to the idea that Batman was entirely crazy, and that he was sort of ruining the lives of the kids he took under his care. Furthermore, it was the launchpad for the entire DC animated universe for the next 15 years. With all of that in mind…

COMMENTERS: What versions of classic, constantly reincarnated geek culture icons do you consider to be the definitive ones? Or just talk about how great Batman: TAS was. That’s fine too.

TARDIS Necklace from Science & Fiction

tardis necklace on etsy from science and fiction

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Denver Comic Con 2014 Fancy Sketches

Dearest Fancy Bastards, if you enjoy this comic, please check out my store, my shirts on Sharksplode, and my wife’s geeky jewelry on Etsy. It would help us out a great deal.

Thanks for coming out to see me in Denver last weekend (even though you were actually there to see Cyanide & Happiness). Here are some of the hundreds of sketches we drew for various enthusiastic Denverites. These are probably THE ONLY sketches from the entire weekend that didn’t involve graphic nudity, intense and disturbing sexual imagery, horrific violence and just a ton of boners and ass blood. It was that kind of weekend.

Fancy Patrons: We are less than $50 away from unlocking more comics per week!

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Momoa Justice, Momoa Problems

Dearest Fancy Bastards, if you enjoy this comic, please check out my store, my shirts on Sharksplode, and my wife’s geeky jewelry on Etsy. It would help us out a great deal.

Based on the casting of Jason “PecsPecsPecsPecs” Momoa, I am guessing DC is going for a less kind, less gentle Aquaman. No better way to shut up the Aqua-haters than to show us a badass Aquaman, I suppose. Of course the confirmation of Aquaman’s addition to Batman V. Superman: The Case Of The Crumpled Cape means the movie (which is NOT a Justice League movie?) will feature Supes, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg AND Aquaman. I’m guessing everyone except for B-Word and S-Hole show up right at the end, wink at the camera and fly straight into the sun. Seriously though, I am not 100% on board with this group-movie before solo movie Justice League situation. It seems super-flawed from a superhero super-storytelling perspective. I’m curious how they are going to integrate an older, grizzled Batman into a world that seemed to be totally flabbergasted by the appearance of Superman in Man Of Steel: Metropolis Gets 9/11’d X 100.

Fancy Patrons: We are less than $50 away from unlocking more comics per week!

I also just uploaded a new iBook/PDF comic collection for all $5+ Patrons. 

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HijiNKS ENSUE: I Could Really Go For A Martwinky Right About Now
(An iBook Collection Of HijiNKS ENSUE Comics from 2009)
EXTRAS: Contains an intro I wrote while on an airplane and while insane with sleep deprivation. I can not promise you that it makes sense at all. Also contains a whole section of freelance projects (many never before seen) that were commissioned by you, the Fancy Bastards.

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Learning To Love Again

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Do you live in or around Austin, TX? Come see me and Dave from Cyanide & Happiness and Randy from Something*Positive at Wizard World Austin this weekend (Saturday and Sunday only). We’ll be at the Dragon’s Lair booth #938 selling merch and doing sketches. Here’s some more info! 

I absolutely refused to give Arrow a chance due to its unfortunate pedigree. Being a DC/Warner Bros super hero “reimagining” on The CW and starring nothing but underwear model gorgeous people set off all of my “DON’T WATCH! DON’T WATCH!” alarms. Then, in a moment of weakness, I watched the pilot on Netflix. 3 days later I had binged the entire first season. 3 days after that I was caught up on season 2 via Hulu and The CW app on my iPad (both horrific viewing experiences when compared to Netflix). I gotta say, I was wrong.

Arrow is super enjoyable. That is to say, it is CONSISTENT. If you like the pilot, you will like every subsequent episode just as much, and several you will like quite a bit more. Everything good and bad about Arrow is present from the word “Go” and it keeps a pretty even keel throughout. The stars are far better actors than you’d expect from the CW, the writing is above average for a super-soap, the writers are obviously not scrambling to fit a bunch of loose plot threads together (it feels like they actually have a plan, but leave room for new ideas), the FX are not cheesy, the cinematography is better than most cable action dramas and (something I was not expecting to notice or care about) the fight choreography is quite interesting. There’s a lot of close combat (it’s not all arrows from afar) and the producers have obviously spent some time developing a fighting style for the main characters that plays well on TV without being overblown or unrealistic.

All of that said, there are moments of soapy-cheese (usually between Oliver and Laurel), sometimes the villains or the guest stars are not on level with the core cast acting-wise (but rarely if ever Tom “Wait… does… Clark… smell… a fart… or… is… he… just… trying… to… convey… emooooootion?”  Welling horrible), and… no, that’s about it. There just isn’t much to dislike about Arrow at all.

One of the aspects of Arrow that I’m particularly enjoying (something that Smallville failed miserably at), is how they are integrating characters from the wider DC universe in clever and subtle ways. They plant seeds episodes in advance for big character appearances in ways that would go totally unnoticed by non-nerds, but also won’t infuriate their core nerd audience. When they do introduce a larger than life character, they find a way to distill them down to their basic elements without totally reinventing them (since the Arrow-verse seems to be one without Metahumans or actual superpowers so far). I don’t want to get into specifics to avoid spoilers, but we are doing a SUPER SPOILERY THREAD over in the Fancy Bastard Facebook Group (newbies HERE and season 2 discussion HERE).

So, if you liked the idea of Smallville but wished it were 1000% less dumb, or 100% more like Batman Begins, I strongly recommend checking out Arrow. Season 1 is streamable on Netflix and Season 2 (which is about half-ish over) is available via Hulu (free version) and the CW streaming iOS app (though episodes are being removed as they get older). It feels good to enjoy a damn super hero on TV again.

Buying holiday type gifts for a special Harry Potter Fan? If you haven’t seen my wife’s Quidditch necklaces, you probably should is alls I’m sayin’.

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HEY! CHECK THIS OUT! 

Graphic Knowledge MagazineI did an interview with Graphic Knowledge Magazine (Issue 2) (available here for iOS devices) about the origins of HE, the recent shift to storyline/character based comics, and the ups and downs of this weird job I have. I felt like I was super honest and there’s probably some good info in there for anyone looking to do their own thing for a living.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (22)

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Don’t do it, Josh! It’ll destroy you!

4 replies · active 81 weeks ago

don’t you worry about a thing, this comic would never, ever, EVER actually happen in a million years. Smallville was dead to me about 3 episodes into season 4, and I will carry that grudge to my fucking grave. This comic is basically libel. Or slander. I forget which is which.
If it’s spoken, it’s slander. If it’s written, it’s libel. Spoken and slander both start with S, so that’s how I remember it.

Smallville also starts with S. Draw your own conclusions.

Hielario's avatar

Hielario · 81 weeks ago

And if i use a megaphone?
HandiGoat's avatar

HandiGoat · 82 weeks ago

I’m surprised you lasted up to season 4. To be fair, I don’t think the problem was bad writing, it’s just that Superman is a terrible character to have any kind of long-term story arcs for. He’s basically a god (time-travel anyone?), so trying to create any kind of conflict gets ridiculous after a while (“OHEMGEE, YOU have a chunk of a planet that blowed up on the other side of the galaxy?! ME TOO!”).
Jeff's avatar

Jeff · 82 weeks ago

Which of the three sister witches was a total B-Word? I bet it was the one whose name started with a ‘P’!
I stopped after the Huntress. I started to feel like we were treading into Cape territory after that – and I’m a LIFE-LONG comic geek.
I dunno. I might try it again. When my girlfriend’s not home and the shades are drawn.

1 reply · active 81 weeks ago

Pikkabird's avatar

Pikkabird · 81 weeks ago

Just…gloss over the Huntress episodes (there’s only 3 in Season 1, and no word of her in S2 so far). It’s SO MUCH BETTER outside of the Huntress episodes.
Matt.'s avatar

Matt. · 82 weeks ago

“Everything good and bad about Arrow is present from the word “Go” and it keeps a pretty even keel throughout.” <– My enjoyment of Arrow is totally summed up by this statement.

The wife, who is the resident comic book nerd, does not watch Arrow but will occasionally walk by and go, “Oh cool they’re introducing so-and-so”, to which I have to respond, “Um… sure…” Which is to say, it’s quite enjoyable for the those with little comic book background who just want their stories.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

bubujin_2's avatar

bubujin_2 · 82 weeks ago

Yeah that’s me. I read some review of Arrow elsewhere that caught my interest and so started watching it online before the start of the second season. And since the comic book character was only dimly known to me, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the show by not being previously familiar with the Arrow-verse.
Richter12x2's avatar

Richter12x2 · 82 weeks ago

The unfortunately problem I had with Arrow is that it made me interested in the comic books. Expecting the comic book reboot to be similar to the Arrow series, I was very disappointed. 😛 Joel sums it up very well by saying Arrow is a lot more Batman Begins.
There’s some sexual stuff, not much. Mostly its just a ton of violence that I wouldnt want my kid to ingest.
Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 82 weeks ago

I’ve caught a couple of recent episodes, and have nicknames for the characters like “the ugly one because she’s a nerd in glasses” and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Harvey Dent.”

ICBINHD may be a completely legit character from the comic, but he still feels like a cheap knock-off.

3 replies · active 81 weeks ago

Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 82 weeks ago

that should be “the ugly one ONLY because she’s a nerd in glasses”
merovin's avatar

merovin · 81 weeks ago

I don’t think they ever even hinted that Felicity is ugly. She’s just awkward.
Less the teen movie girl who takes off her glasses before prom and is suddenly gorgeous, more more Golden Retriever puppy still tripping over its feet.
dralou's avatar

dralou · 81 weeks ago

Well, it would if Golden Retriever puppies could make unintended sexual innuendos in about every sentences…

But yeah, it never occured to me she was supposed to be “ugly BECAUSE she is a nerd and wears glasses”. Personally, I think she’s cuter/sexier than Laurel.

I’m happy to hear the second season is good too, I was kinda afraid it would go downhill pretty quick.

The moment that hooked me on Arrow came pretty early; when Diggle started to suspect that this spoiled rich kid who kept disappearing on him was actually up to something – and then Oliver trusted him enough to let him in on his secret identity. If it were Smallville, Diggle would have actually seen him and recognized him – then he would have gotten hit on the head and conveniently forget. Seriously, everyone on that show was suffering massive head trauma, all so they could adhere to the bullshit “no tights, no flights” rule.
mouse's avatar

mouse · 80 weeks ago

I do hate the CW app, but discovered (for the android version anyway), that if I closed the app as soon as a commercial started and reopened it and hit play again, I could skip commercials. That made it much more enjoyable than watching it on the computer which had no way whatsoever to skip them and had a tendency to play the same old navy commetcial four times in a row every single commercial break.

1 reply · active 80 weeks ago

I was streaming from my iPad to the Apple TV via Airplay and found that every time it went to commercial, or rather tried to come BACK from commercial Airplay would quit and the CW app would glitch to where I could not restart the episode without first starting a different episode then going back to the episode I was watching (it only saved my place about 50% of the time) then restarting airplay. It was a fucking ordeal.