Calgary Expo 2013 Fancy Sketches


I have returned from North of The Wall with a bag full of Canadian “money.” While I recharge my batteries, please to enjoy a few of the fancy sketches I did for the Calgarian Fancy Bastards.

Intense thanks to Keith for hosting me this weekend, driving me around Calgary and being a generally awesome dude. Additional thanks to the Blind Ferret crew for being my convention home base and taking care of business (every day/every way). Even further thanks to David and Wil for three straight nights of beer-fueled bro-down hangouts.

Now If you’ll excuse me, I need to go exchange all this ridiculous pastel, plastic currency for something I can actually spend. CANADIAN MONEY TRIVIA: All Canadian bills feature photos of actors who portrayed The Doctor in the classic Doctor Who series’ (Sylvester McCoy is on the $10), except for the $20 which features Hellen Mirren.

COMMENTERS: Speaking of The Sarlacc, which minor Star Wars character (from any movie, book or game) do you hope gets a starring role in the new Disney regime and why? If you say Jaxxon, I’m going to reunify all the little bits of Alderaan just so I can punch it to death again.

Comments (38)

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Skintick's avatar

Skintick · 111 weeks ago

I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a full length feature on Jabba when he was younger (supposedly a bad-ass), Rogue Squadron, or maybe Boba Fett and that is only because the game was pretty cool.
nenslo's avatar

nenslo · 111 weeks ago

The gunner who let go the escape pod with R2D2 & C3PO inside. I always wondered if he was aware afterwards that he alone possessed the power to destroy the rebel alliance and the Light side of the force…
Blarrgl's avatar

Blarrgl · 111 weeks ago

R5-D4 needs a proper, that is to say canon, day in the sun.
lou's avatar

lou · 111 weeks ago

I’m sure there’s plenty of magic superheroes who act like stage magicians. Take Zatanna, who IS a stage magician in her day job, when she’s not rollin’ with John Constantine and Justice League Dark.
Stage magician superhero?
After “The Incredible Hulk”, Bill Bixby did play (kinda) one in the obviously titled “The Magician”…

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m… PRESTO!!!”

Ali's avatar

Ali · 111 weeks ago

Prince Xizor.
gratch's avatar

gratch · 111 weeks ago

It’s a little known fact that the design of Canadian money is based entirely around drinking. We color coded our money so that no matter how drunk you are you can still pay and receive change for your beer. Just hand the nice person behind the bar a purple bill and they’ll give you back a blue one and some coins. Frankly, I’ve always felt sorry for you Americans actually having to look at the numbers.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

jiynx's avatar

jiynx · 111 weeks ago

we went ahead and developed these things called ‘credit cards’ and their successor design ‘debit cards’, which function as an electronic key-signature authorizing transfers of money from bank to vendor.

you don’t even need to carry any coins or bills around, either.

ToxicBlade's avatar

ToxicBlade · 111 weeks ago

Dash Rendar

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

ToxicBlade's avatar

ToxicBlade · 111 weeks ago

because that game was awesome back in the day
lou's avatar

lou · 111 weeks ago

When the alt text said “road trip through the Dune Sea”, I thought of a STAR WARS version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I suppose Han Solo and Chewie acted like that in their early smuggling days.

1 reply · active 110 weeks ago

tom327cat's avatar

tom327cat · 110 weeks ago

Chewie took over piloting the falcon. I didn’t tell him about the mynocs. He would find out soon enough, poor bastard.
 Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 111 weeks ago

Fett & Sarlaac: We’re off on the Road to Mos Eisley!
Sarlaac: Your jetpack is chafing my hide! (Fett: Tell me about it)
Sarlaac: Whatever heroes we may face we haven’t any fear.
Fett: Sarlaac will digest them for the next one thousand years!
Fett & Sarlaac: We certainly do get arou-ou-ound!
Fett & Sarlaac: Like Luke and Ben Kenobi, we’re Mos Eisley bound!

1 reply · active 110 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

Damn that catchy tune!
HikingViking's avatar

HikingViking · 111 weeks ago

I’d like to see Abrams focus the whole movie on a small group of Imperial Guards who go on a revenge mission to take out high-ranking rebels responsible for blowing up the Death Star. Kind of like Munich, in space.

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

xero's avatar

xero · 111 weeks ago

wouldn’t that be more Valkyrie in space since they would fail
lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

“Valkyrie in Space” would be more like a cadre of Imperial Officers plotting to overthrow the Emperor and Vader, which has happened at least couple times in the EU.
Jay29's avatar

Jay29 · 111 weeks ago

What’s a “site gag?”

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

It’s like a pedantic asshole comment, but different.
Admiral Piett. He started as Captain and one strangled Admiral and BAMMO promotion!

Wedge would be cool also and perhaps the son of Porkins, Porky.

Paul Turnbull's avatar

Paul Turnbull · 111 weeks ago

Thanks for the most excellent art Joel! When I had Nathan sign it he sat back a bit and said “Who drew this!!” I directed him to you. You’ve successfully helped me to pleasantly startle someone two years in row.

Come back next year so I can add to my growing collection (Am I allowed to call two a collection?) of celebrity signed art drawn by you.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Oh you had him sign the “2 captains” drawing? Sweet! Post a pic if you can. I hope he dug it.
Paul Turnbull's avatar

Paul Turnbull · 111 weeks ago

Here’s the “2 Captains” signed:

And from last year Wil Wheaton and the Van signed:

Liam's avatar

Liam · 111 weeks ago

Jar Jar Binks
Mr.Torgue's avatar

Mr.Torgue · 111 weeks ago

Kyle Katarn. Abrams may have to rent some explosions from Michael Bay to make it work though.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

+1 to this! Those games were the most excited I’d been about Star Wars since pre-prequels.
Not a character? I don’t care. I will watch it if they put an E-Wing in it.

There is no other way I’ll put any more money into this franchise.

I want Luke Skywalker to have a conversation with spirit Yoda.
CalgaryKeith's avatar

CalgaryKeith · 110 weeks ago

Don’t mention it bud! It was a fun weekend.
 Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 110 weeks ago

Thanks to this comic, I am going back and re-reading my expanded universe novels. Might even go back a bit further and read some that I skipped.
DH8's avatar

DH8 · 110 weeks ago

I’m hoping the space marine on a unicorn is an obscure reference to the “X-Play Musical”!!…

1 reply · active 110 weeks ago

It is a reference to how a dude asked me to draw a car riding Robocop, riding a unicorn.

Toronto Fan Expo 2012 Fancy Sketches


HijiNKS ENSUE At Dallas Animefest

This weekend I’ll be at Dallas Animefest with Rob from Explosm. We’ll be in the dealer room, terrified of glomping cat-girls and Sailor Bubbas alike. I’ll have both HE Books, Prints, sketch cards, “Grammar Dalek” Shirts and “The Doctor Is In” shirts.

This was my first Toronto Fan Expo, but my second time in Toronto. Once again, I found the city and it’s comic-loving citizens to be as kind as pleasant as the Canadian Constitution requires them to be under penalty of mild reprimand. I only had one goal for my weekend in Toronto, which was to dine once again at Korean Grill House. This is a restaurant where you are given a table that is on fire, tray after tray of raw meat, some tongs and ZERO instructions, guidance or supervision of any sort. It’s $10 all you can (m)eat, and I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite place in the world. I wondered if I was hyping it up to my friends too much, but after seeing them marvel at the quantity and quality of meats, the looks of childlike wonder at the thought of throwing said meats into a flaming grill that was built into the table, and their amazement as we elected to reward ourselves for consuming our own weights in meat with celebratory milkshakes, I knew that I was significantly UNDERhyping the fantastical nature of this (m)eatery. If you are visiting Toronto, there is a KGH on Bloor and another on Queens. The service is terrible, the staff is incredibly uninterested in bringing you more lukewarm soda, and the bathroom was unusable, so please take all of that into consideration when I STILL DEMAND that it is my favorite place to eat.

I left the con a day early so I could get home in time to accompany my daughter to her first day of kindergarten. Delta lied to me and told me even though my flight from Buffalo to NYC was late I would definitely still make my connection to DFW. I was still on the first plane when my connecting flight home took off. Even if every plane had been on time, the flights were scheduled 27 minutes apart. Given the 15-20 minutes it takes to de-board the first plane, the time it would take to get to the other terminal (which was a “bus ride” away according to my flight attendent) and the time to board the following flight there was essentially no way possible for this connection to be made. Delta sold me an impossible flight, lied to me about my chances of making it home, then when presented with a plane load of passengers that missed their connections the Delta agents elected to offer us NOTHING as compensation. No flights into TX (for me at least), no flights on other airlines that might have gotten us to our destinations, no hotel and no travel vouchers.

The dead-eyed, policy spewing assfaces I spoke to (Shout outs to Kentun and Chris the PO at Delta in LaGuardia!) made it clear that if I had been the only one affected I would have been taken care of, but since their error screwed 10-15 people NO ONE would be given any sort of consideration. “What would you have me do? Give ALL THESE PEOPLE a hotel?” Oh, the people your company lied to, bilked and stranded hundreds if not thousands of miles from home? Yes, I would. That would be doing the right thing. Delta had an opportunity to make me a customer for life that night. Instead they made me miss my little girl’s first day of school, lose hundreds of dollars by skipping a day of the convention for no reason, and through their arrogance and lack of compassion they lost a customer (who spends nearly $5000 a year on air travel) FOREVER.

COMMENTERS: Please feel free to share your stories about Toronto, Fan Expo, Korean BBQ, or air trave nightmares.  


Emerald City Comicon Fancy Sketches Part 2


The only geek greeting you’ll ever need! The Sci-Five!
Get up on that Sci-Five shirt business!

Sci-Five Shirt from HijiNKS ENSUE At Topatoco

Emerald City Comicon is THE BEST show of the year. Part 2 of my blow-by-blow wrap up is below [Part 1 is HERE]. Lots of the links go to pictures from my various con adventures so click like your potential enjoyment of my pictures depended on it!



  • The show was a little slow which was fine, because I was A LOT slow. After 3 action-packed days and little to no sleep I was running on fumes.
  • The highlight of the last day of the show came in the form of a couple of brothers who did not realize they were cosplaying one of my comics/prints.
  • After teardown I had sushi with Gordon, Dave and a few of Dave’s local Seattle friends.
  • A homeless guy kept bothering us in the street and I told him to leave us alone. I felt like a dick afterwards. Then I felt stupid for feeling like a dick. A group of people should be able to walk a city street and have a conversation without feeling obligated to quietly put up with being assaulted by vagrants. I know it’s not a black and white issue, but if he wasn’t homeless his actions would just be seen as unacceptable and rude. I do not abide rudeness, regardless of the source. [steps off soapbox]
  • We finished the evening at the hotel bar where David regaled us with tales of the various conflicting expanded universe origins of the Transformers. I just kept asking questions and his eyes just got bigger and bigger and his enthusiastic smile grew wider and wider. I think he almost cried.

Monday I was traveling the entire day. I don’t really understand how you can get on a plane in the morning for a 4 hour flight, yet not arrive at your destination until late that evening. Times zones? More like time vortexes. Even MORE like time bullshit.

Regardless of my disdain for EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of air travel (did I mention they “shredded my suitcase?) I really did leave Seattle a changed man. It was just an incredible and eye opening weekend. Instead of trying to shoehorn myself into situations or groups of “cool kids” where I am less than welcomed (which is what it feels like I was doing for all of 2010… huge mistake), I surrounded myself with people I admire (and who seem to genuinely enjoy my company) and wonderful, fantastic things just kept happening over and over. This was a really big deal for me. It took me more than a year and over a dozen cons to realize that I should stop trying so hard to be friends with everyone and work on just being myself and letting others decide of they are interested in what I have to offer. You can’t force a friendship, no matter how bad you want it.

I am also proud of myself for not being quite so up tight and allowing myself to have more fun that I usually do. These are my lessons for 2011: Worry, fret, and anxiety are useless. If you can’t control/affect it, then be at peace with it. Everyone isn’t going to like you. Be kind, make an effort then move on. Find your friends, and you will find your home. Thank you, Seattle. I left my extra iPhone battery pack somewhere in you. Consider it a gift.


The Doctor Is Win


Alternate Title: “Horrible Fears A Who”

This comic started as a commission for a reader named Justin who I met at Dallas Animefest 2010. His idea was for a “Doctor vs. Doctor” duel with The Good Doctor triumphing over the horrible doctor. I finished the commission [which you can see HERE] and decided to take just the inks from that piece and rework it into a full color comic-type situation. I really had fun making this one and I hope you enjoy it. If so, thank Fancy Bastard Justin for the idea and the title. I also want to mention that I used a photo called “Dark Alleyway” from James Wong on Deviant Art as the basis for the background.

If you would like a print of this comic to hang on your wall or cube or shark tank or whatever, click the “Buy A Print” button beneath the image.

EWOK STARE SHIRTS [based on THIS comic] are  IN THE STORE!

Ewok Stare Shirt
More info about the shirt HERE.

COMMENTERS: Given the match up presented above, who would win (no pun intended) and why?

Want to support HijiNKS ENSUE? DONATIONS are great way to do just that! This month has been pretty lean from a financial perspective so if you are able to contribute, please know that I greatly appreciate your generosity and support.