Malcolm And His Amazing Monocolor Browncoat

Last night I tuned into the Firefly 10th anniversary marathon on the Science Channel somewhere around hour 3. I didn’t get up from the spot I was in for the next 12 hours. I really hadn’t watched the entire series since the DVD’s came out. I was gifted the Blu Rays for my birthday by a generous Fancy Bastard, but I had yet to break them out and it seemed like 10 years was far too long to have waited. It also seemed like an impossible amount of time to have passed since they did, in fact, take the sky from me.

3 New Shirts at @SharksplodeWibbly Wobbly Timey WimeyRival Smugglers and Might Club!

Grammar Dalek shirts are now available in Ladies sizes!

Grammar Dalek Ladies Shirts

Also, pretty much all HE shirts are back in stock size-wise for your holiday shopping enjoyment. 

One thing that always catches me off guard about Firefly is that all the tropes and memes and catch phrases are things that were used, shown or said just once in the series. Everything the nerds glommed onto, from Jayne hats, to strawberries, to tight pants, to problematic food were just one off gags in single episodes. I think this is a testament to two things: A) the show was so well crafted that everything about it felt pre-established upon the first viewing. The world, the ‘Verse Firefly presented us with was already fully realized, even as it was unfolding before us bit by bit. To the audience it really felt like peeking in to something very old (in terms of development) and very real. And B) With only 15 hours of tv content and a eventually an added 2 hours of movie to obsessively analyze, nerds did what they do best and… obsessively analyzed the limited resources at their disposal.

After the marathon Science showed a partial cast reunion roundtable that took place just before the big Firefly panel at Comicon this year. Interviews with the missing cast members (excluding Ron Glass if I remember correctly) were spliced in. It was touching to hear how the palpable sense of demise pushed them to make the show even better, rather than causing them to sleepwalk through the episodes with a sense of gloom and defeat. Joss’s tear jerking speech to the San Diego crowd at the end was just that. An eye misting declaration of gratitude if their ever was one.

A couple of things I wasn’t expecting were the final revelation of why Inara had to leave Serenity and why she refused to allow herself to love Mal, and a deeper explanation of what Inara’s “magic” syringe was intended for. I know they explained it in the DVD commentary, but after hearing Tim Minear layout what the episode would have really entailed, I can’t think of anything darker that has ever appeared on a tv drama. Not even Breaking Bad could have touched that plot line.

As I write this post, I am listening to “King Animal,” the first new Soundgarden album in 13 years. Firefly and Soundgarden – early 20’s me is in full effect right now. This far removed from the cancellation, the outrage the fruitless online petitions and the shocking lack of fairness of it all, I think I would really appreciate an animated series right about now. So… let’s go ahead and make that a real thing.

I have a guest comic up at Wasted Talent concerning TRUE CANADIAN ADVENTURES!!!

Wasted Talent Guest Comic by Joel Watson of HijinKS ENSUE

COMMENTERS: Did you watch the Firefly marathon? Is there anything that you’ve caught 10 years later that you missed during the initial viewing? Or did you discover Firefly long after it was axed?

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.  

Rival Smugglers

Alternate Title: The Smugglers Brothers

NEW PRINT SIZES IN THE STORE! I might have some prints of this comic with me at SDCC. If you would like a print and you won’t be at SDCC, you can click the “Buy A Print” button beneath the comic [or click HERE] and select from either 8.5×11″ for $15 or 11×17″ for $25. They are printed on SUPER nice matte stock and ready to be framed.

The Fancy Sketch Drive ends TODAY Wednesday 7/11/12! I will be turning it off as soon as I leave for San Diego, around 2pm central time. 

San Diego Comic-Con is right now! I will be hanging out at booth 1332 with Blind Ferret. Check my Twitter for signing times and availability. More info HERE.

Grammar Dalek Shirts will go on presale after I get back from SDCC.

I was going run some of the Fancy Sketch Drive sketches as filler while I was away at SDCC, but at the last minute I got inspired to post a colored and be-backgrounded version of the original art I did for the Edmonton, Alberta chapter of Can’t Stop the Serenity 2012. Apparently the drawing raised over $100 for Equality Now. Pretty shiny.

COMMENTERS: I don’t really think the Star Wars and Firefly universes would crossover well, but I was having a conversation recently that (with a little rule bending) the Avatar and Firefly universes could co-exist. What other sci-fi or fantasy ‘verses would mesh nicely together? I bet Blade Runner takes place 40, maybe 50 years before Fifth Element.

You Can’t Take This Guy From Me

HijiNKS ENSUE eBook iBook iJinks Ensue Drawing Hands Is HardIf you are a Donation Subscriber, you are A) one of my favorite people, and B) going to get an email today with a link to download the first HijiNKS ENSUE iBook/eBook. It’s called iJinks Ensue: Drawing Hands Is Hard, and it contains all of the HE comics from 2007-2008 plus some neat extras at the end.

It will be in iBooks format for iPad and PDF format for everything else. My wife and I have worked CRAZY hard on it, so I really hope you guys enjoy it and understand how much I appreciate your donations. If you are not a donation subscriber and don’t plan to be ($2 a month? C’Mon!), you will be able to get my eBook offerings on a pay-what-you-want donation model starting later today.

Looks like you’re going to have to wait at least one more day to find out what repressed “rememberies” Eli was starting to uncover.

I doubt I will get to see the Firefly panel at SDCC since people are probably already in line for it, but thinking about their “huge announcements” has sent me down a certain train of thought. Has anyone else seen Tron: Uprising on Disney? Can’t you imagine a Firefly/Serenity animated series done exactly in that style? The visuals look serious enough that you can take the story seriously. Does that make sense? And it wouldn’t cost $20 million an hour like the movie did. If the crew can never be reassembled for TV or features again, and the occasional comic just isn’t cutting it, doesn’t animation seem like the most logical choice for carrying on the verse?

Speaking of SDCC: Due to booth problems beyond my control I will not actually have a spot to sit, but I will be hanging out at the Blind Ferret booth (1332) throughout the weekend. Check my Twitter for signing times and availability. More info HERE. Despite the lack of a table I will find a way to do sketches for you. I’ll probably bring a little collapsable stool or something. NEVER GIVE UP! I WILL SKETCH FOR YOU!

Speaking of sketches, money is EXTREMELY tight in HijiNKS land right now, so I am going to do a live sketch drive this week. Starting tomorrow you’ll be able to order custom sketch cards from this site and I will draw them (whatever you requested withing reason) live on Ustream with times to be announced on my Twitter. I’ll probably limit them to 100, but if it’s a success I’ll do it more often.

COMMENTERS: What do you hope they announce at the Firefly 10 year anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con? Realistically and in your wildest imagination? How about my animated series idea? How would you see that playing out?

Dallas Comic Con 2012 Fancy Sketches

Dallas Comic Con and I have always been at odds. I resent it for being so close to my home and yet such a poorly organized, terribly mismanaged convention, and it resents me for being alive apparently. Don’t get me wrong, all of the fans I talked to (all half-dozen of them) were quite kind and wonderful. But I spent a day away from my family, paid for a table and sat there for 8 hours for basically no reason. I’m sorry, Dallas. You must have done something VERY wrong, because you don’g get a good con. [I wrote a GIANT post about why this con was an incredible disaster, but I realize it was a bit of downer so I moved it to this TUMBLR post.]

Major thanks to all of you Fancy Bastards that have started donation subscriptions since I added the new $2, $3 and $4 monthly levels. There is a now a premium RSS feed just for subscribers that has the full comic in the feed. You’ll get an email with a link when you sign up. If you have already signed up, you’ll be getting an email this week.

When I told you all that I was rethinking what I was doing with HE, I opened myself up to a lot of criticism. A lot of it was constructive, and a lot of it was painful to take in (because it was true). Still some of it was painful just because a few of you took my self evaluation as an invitation to let me know how badly I’ve been fucking up for the past year or so. Not many of you, but enough. One thing that KEPT cropping up was a deep, all consuming hatred for the photo comics. Many readers told me they were the very reason they stopped caring about the comic in general. A lot of people said they were all in-jokes with my friends and this inaccessible. This is a criticism I can sympathize with despite not really understanding it at all. I always assumed the appeal of the photo-comics WAS that I was bringing you inside. Many of the people I feature in the photo comics are far more famous than I. I never expected writing silly situations for me and famous friends to act out would seem exclusionary.

Now, before you jump to their defense and tell me you LURV the photo comics, rest assured that I have heard from your camp as well. I have determined that these photo comics are the MOST DIVISIVE thing I have ever created. You either ALL THE WAY love them or hate them, but you do not KIND OF anything them. I admit they are a bit self indulgent, and certainly not in line with the regular drawn comics you might be accustomed to here. Since I do enjoy making them, and SOME of you do enjoy reading them, I am working on a way to separate them from the main archive. I am also considering moving the convention sketches along with them. I am thinking you would see regular HE comics on the site when you visit it, and then there would be a sidebar widget they told you if there was a new “Convention” comic or a new “Lo-Fi” comic.

I am definitely doing this with the Lo-Fi’s, so that’s not up for debate. The reason is, if I move them I can actually do them multiple times a week (on the same days as the regular comics even) which was always the plan. I’m just not sure if I should break out the photo comics, the sketches or both into their own area. I am opening the floor to your thoughts on this matter. Please don’t use this as a reason to let me know why you hate the photo comics. I’ve heard enough of that for a lifetime. I just want the site to be as user friendly as possible.

COMMENTERS: Weigh in on this idea if you have something constructive to add. I am going to base my decision largely on your feedback. This site is for you to enjoy, and I don’t want to go breaking it needlessly. If you read my TUMBLR post about Dallas Comic Con, feel free to add your own convention (or other gathering) nightmares. I once went to a ren faire where the sewers backed up and started creating little cesspools here and there throughout the faire grounds. It was very… authentic.