In The Not Too Distant Future


comfyconDid you miss my ComfyCon panel? Did you miss all of ComfyCon? Did you not know that ComfyCon was a free, online convention where many of your favorite online comics artists did live panels in their pajamas? Well, you can catch my panel, #PanelRoulette, archived here and check out the rest of the watchable goodies here.

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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 selling merch and doing sketches.

Are you somewhere between the age of 30 and 50? Then perhaps you remember the annual MST3K Turkey Day marathon. Well, guess what? I’ll tell you if you calm down! Are you calm? OK NOW FREAK OUT! It’s coming back this year! Joel Hodgson will be curating fan-favorite episodes suggested by you via his Twitter, online this thanksgiving RIGHT HERE. Now you have something to do besides stare silently across the meat-laden table at your horrible family!

If I was picking the episodes, and I was not limited to 6, I would say (in no particular order): Mitchell, Pod People, Touch Of Satan, Overdrawn At The Memory Bank, Alien From L.A., Time Chasers, Soul Taker, Space Mutiny, double feature of Invasion Of The Neptune Men (Space Chief) and Prince Of Space, Future War and Wild Rebels. I’m leaving out Manos: The Hands Of Fate because I only watch it every 5-10 years or so to preserve my will to live. Oh shit, also Jack Frost, Hobgoblins, and, perhaps most importantly, Final Sacrifice (Rowsdower saves us and he saves all the world. ROWSDOWER!).

COMMENTERS: First off, go ahead and add to my list of essential MST3K viewing or scrap it and create your own (less accurate) list.

Secondly, what piece of personal favorite geekery are you most enthusiastic about passing down to future generations?

Comments (61)

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Kirby's avatar

Kirby · 82 weeks ago

She seems to be trying to apply the logic people use on shows now on shows from the past.

Nostalgia glasses are non-transferable… such a shame.

That’s really kind of you to say, and I appreciate the encouragement.
Other Joel's avatar

Other Joel · 82 weeks ago

Your list is invalid without Werewolf. Other than that, you got it spot on

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

I know that’s a fan fav, but I believe it’s one of the ones I havent seen. THe good news is, there are still “new” episodes for me to enjoy.
Mitch H.'s avatar

Mitch H. · 82 weeks ago

Not MST3K. I lived in a commune (ok, large student apartment with a crazy-open-door policy) where they *loved* themselves some MST3K. Damn show always put me to sleep. I ended up staving off sleeping in semi-public by trolling Usenet whenever they started in on the bad movies.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

My only regret is that their version of Gamera is the only one on Netflix…
>add to my list of essential MST3K viewing

No, as long as Space Mutiny is on the list we’re good to go. Buff Drinklots! Butch Deadlift! Slab Squatthrust! Big McLargeHuge!

4 replies · active 82 weeks ago

Don’t forget Blast Hardcheese!
Fridge Largemeat! Gristle McThornbody!
Chris's avatar

Chris · 82 weeks ago

Bob Johnson!
SmolderingMuffin's avatar

SmolderingMuffin · 82 weeks ago

Space Mutiny is, by far, my favorite MST3K episode. It’s beginning-to-end hilarious.

Fist Rockgroin!

“How DARE you insult my knowledge of ancient dentistry?!”

Wack'd's avatar

Wack’d · 82 weeks ago

Hang on…you guys didn’t skip the theme song, did you? Because if she sat through the theme song she wouldn’t be asking this stuff.

Lessee…”The Day the Earth Froze”, “I Accuse My Parents”, “Pumaman”, “Monster A-Go-Go”, “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die”…beyond that I think you covered it.

As for what I’m gonna pass down to my kids, definitely this, “Doctor Who”, and “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

I think I was already watching “Final Sacrifice” on Netflix when they got home.
manbeardman's avatar

manbeardman · 82 weeks ago

star trek the good one not the new crap ( i apologize if any one here liked the new crap )
Rebecca Daniels's avatar

Rebecca Daniels · 82 weeks ago

I have SO MUCH LOVE for this strip! This is such a fine example of deftly weaving together the family stuff and the geeky stuff. Of course, that’s your life so I don’t know why I am even a little surprised. Well done, sir.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

RandalFlagg's avatar

RandalFlagg · 82 weeks ago

Pretty much any of the “Gamera” movies
Ive heard a lot of good things about this one, but I dont think I’ve seen it.
I’ve never been a MST-ie, but as for what geekery I want to pass along… – right there.
BoldlyGettingThere's avatar

BoldlyGettingThere · 82 weeks ago

I thought you were referring to yourself in the third person in the first panel. Oh, and are the Fancy Digital Sketches still being worked on?

2 replies · active 82 weeks ago

Yes, they are. I am the worst.
BoldlyGettingThere's avatar

BoldlyGettingThere · 82 weeks ago

No Joel, you’re the best. You’re putting so much effort into the ones you’ve posted on your Tumblr I’m surprised you have time to make the comic.
Steve's avatar

Steve · 82 weeks ago

If I ever have kids, I’m passing down my Transformers collection to them.

Granted, since I’m a guy totally into the D, having kids isn’t very likely, but I can always adopt or do it the old-fashioned way *shudder*

Steve's avatar

Steve · 82 weeks ago

In all honesty, the movie version of MST3K was probably one of the best MST3K forays there was. Only down side, no TV’s Frank. Still, Interociters aplenty, great laughs, terrific effects…they brought the A-game for the theatrical release. It was a shame what it turned into. But thousands of quotable lines and great movies made this one for the ages. Cave Dwellers, Mitchell, Pod People, Red Zone Cuba…and the shorts. Oh wow…the shorts.

2 replies · active 82 weeks ago

The short about the coils is my favorite.
Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 82 weeks ago

Ocassionally I say “nooooo springs!” and everyone looks at me weird.
MrPlow99's avatar

MrPlow99 · 82 weeks ago

I’ve already turned my friend’s daughter (she’s 8) into a Doctor Who fan. In fact, I’m going to visit them and watch the 50th Anniv. special with them.

I never watched MST3K regularly, but I recall Overdrawn at the Memory Bank and Puma Man.

Blake's avatar

Blake · 82 weeks ago

No love for Cave Dwellers? That’s my absolute favourite! Who could forget such incredible lines as:

“Ohhh neat, she’s making gunpower out of her own filth. Ugh!”


“It is everything…and nothing.” “Uhh, could you be a little more vague please?”

3 replies · active 82 weeks ago

Blake's avatar

Blake · 82 weeks ago

Nevermind… someone snuck some dwellers love in there. Awesome
Steve's avatar

Steve · 82 weeks ago

They never killed a puppet that big before!
Larry's avatar

Larry · 82 weeks ago

Fugitive Alien.

“This is the song, written for the train chase,
This is the chase, Rocky and Ken,
He tried to kill me with a forklift!”

Mark's avatar

Mark · 82 weeks ago

My wife has already introduced our kids. In fact “The Legend of Boggy Creek II” just finished in the back ground. I can’t wait until they are older to bust out “Ron & Stimpy” and Month python.
Those trees are loud.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

Whatcha got there, Banjo?
Runcibletune's avatar

Runcibletune · 82 weeks ago

I think panel three is a pretty adorable portrait of your family. Uh, not that I know your family… *clears throat nervously* You just look really happy.
bionelly's avatar

bionelly · 82 weeks ago

Nostalgia’s great and all, but it seems like I’m usually most enthusiastic (and my daughter’s most receptive) when I’m experiencing new stuff along with her. I suspect that’s why (much as I love them) Star Trek and Star Wars both fell kinda flat with her, but she is, if possible, an even bigger fan of Doctor Who and the Portal games than I am.
Genera Zollinger's avatar

Genera Zollinger · 82 weeks ago

I’m not big into MST3K so nothing to add there.

As for geekery we are passing down to our children, so far it’s a love of the Muppet Show, LOTR, Legos and Star Wars. And Indiana Jones. My oldest boy at 6 is intrigued by Doctor Who – all he really understands so far is, as he said, “The Doctor wins by thinking.”

And Batman. Ye Gods Batman. My eldest is often seen in a Batman cape running everywhere. We had a wonderful moment last summer when we were walking through the park and passed a kid in a Superman t shirt and cape.

“Hey Batman.”
“Hey Superman.”

And they just kept walking. Adorable.

~G. Zollinger

maggie's avatar

maggie · 82 weeks ago

I agree – ANY Gamera. but also Santa Claus Conquers the Martians – best line ever was Crow telling Joel what he wants for Christmas: I wanna decide who lives and who dies.
Evan's avatar

Evan · 82 weeks ago

You nailed it with Time Chasers and Soul Taker. Could there even be a Thanksgiving without Joe Estevez?!

I would add Werewolf and Merlin’s Mystical Shop, though…

groklife's avatar

groklife · 82 weeks ago

I’ve got to go with adding “Werewolf” and “Parts: The Clonus Horror.” And “The Pumaman.” And “Gamera.”

Best line from “Werewolf”: “And you’re welcome to my Flagstaff, too, if you know what I mean…” Or is it, “Paul! You is a waerwelf!” Tough to call. Hilariously bad.

Parts, the movie that sued “The Island.”

Oh, and “Gamera…” Gamera is fun to eat, he is filled with turtle meat, we all love you Gameraaaaaa!”

“The pew-ma-man, flies like a moron!” Gut-buster, for sure!

Thanks for reminding me of all these funnies, Joel (and other commetors!)

I’ve got to go with adding “Werewolf” and “Parts: The Clonus Horror.” And “The Pumaman.” And “Gamera.”

Best line from “Werewolf”: “And you’re welcome to my Flagstaff, too, if you know what I mean…” Or is it, “Paul! You is a waerwelf!” Tough to call. Hilariously bad.

Parts, the movie that sued “The Island.”

Oh, and “Gamera…” Gamera is fun to eat, he is filled with turtle meat, we all love you Gameraaaaaa!”

“The pew-ma-man, flies like a moron!” Gut-buster, for sure!

Thanks for reminding me of all these funnies, Joel (and other commetors!)

Sorry for the double post. 🙁
Roborat's avatar

Roborat · 82 weeks ago

I love MT3K, however due to stupid distribution rules in Canada, I didn’t get to see many episodes. I did however, introduce my kids to Monty Python, to the point that we can watch Holy Grail with the sound off, and Doctor Who. Also made them fans of the Muppet Show, Dinosaurs, Animaniacs and Tiny Toons. Didn`t have much luck with Ultraman however, they refuse to watch it after the first episode I showed them. Can`t say I blame them.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

Tony's avatar

Tony · 82 weeks ago

I don’t have much MST3K experience (though if you need suggestions on how to approach its baby brother Rifftrax, I could probably help, though, that’s pretty simply “Start with the Twilight movies, then move onto the next most terrible movies you’ve ever heard of, and probably avoid movies that you actually like, not that they’ll make you hate them or anything, but that the Riffs will probably fall kinda flat. Battlefield Earth and Batman and Robin are tough to endure, even with Rifftrax, but they’re worth it.”)

As for passing on of geekery, I just decided that my 4 and 2-year-old second cousins (who are, for all intents and purposes, nieces) are getting at least Here Comes Science if not the rest of They Might Be Giants’ educational series of CDs (double-whammy of geekery, in that they’ll be getting CDs) for Christmas. It’s going to be tough to break the older one out of princess mode and into geek mode, but her little sister is ripe for being made into a geek.

And as soon as they’re old enough to not have to worry about choking hazards, I’m looking forward to introducing them to LEGO, and I’ll be damned if I let them see any of the new boxes that don’t have the alternate model pictures on them as if to say “You know, you don’t have to build the thing on the front. There are other possibilities in this box, as many as your little mind can conjure and your young motor skills can assemble…”

Spaceballs. The Fourth Doctor. Lord of the Rings. RPGs.


alex's avatar

alex · 82 weeks ago

And netflix just added 5 new ones to instant. They sense a change in the wind… that or have access to the streaming rights to the show as well as data indicating a sudden increase in google searches for “LA-LA-LA”
Steve's avatar

Steve · 82 weeks ago

Hey Joel! How do you take your whiskey?!
Iver's avatar

Iver · 82 weeks ago

When I was managing at the Music Store, I used to show the MST3K version of the short “Mr. B Natural” to my new employees once they’d finished their training as a “reward”…
marchaux's avatar

marchaux · 82 weeks ago

I can’t believe no one mentioned “Attack of the Leeches!” “He’s a mess… a CHOCOLATE mess!”
Kaidah's avatar

Kaidah · 71 weeks ago

For MST3K, I would recommend ‘The Skydivers’. It’s a personal favorite and includes a short from 1956 on why boys should take shop class.
“Did the actors do their own skydiving?”
“No, the skydivers did thier own acting.”

I’ve already passed down some of my favorite bits of geekery to my sons: Star Wars, Lego (two great things that are great together!), Calvin and Hobbes (which helped my youngest develop his reading. I don’t care what my grandmother says, reading is reading.), Doctor Who, and a general love for all things sciency or science fictiony. My kids are awesome! 😀


Emerald City Comicon 2012 Fancy Sketches


Get it now @ Sharksplode! Scan it. It really works!

Wil Wheaton QR Code T-Shirt, The Code, @wilw, WilW, WWDN, Scannable Wil Wheaton Shirt

When a Fancy Bastard at Emerald City Comicon walked up, dropped some delicious monies in my cup and said, “Can you draw Wil Wheaton sitting on a throne of dicks?” he seemed almost puzzled at the speed with which I said, “Yup,” and got to work. It was as if he thought I didn’t have that image fully formed in my mind meer nanoseconds after the words escaped his lips. Everything I had drawn up until that point had prepared me to fully realize the dick throne in two dimensions on paper without the slightest hesitation.

ECCC 2012 was a record convention for sketches. The ones shown above are some of my favorites. I personally drew over 50 commissioned sketches in 3 days. At most shows I do 15 or so max, not including quick book doodles. Of those 50, at least 1/3 if not 1/2 involved Wil Wheaton in some fashion. When he and I are exhibiting at the same show there tends to be this fandom wormhole between our booths. Our mutual fans tend to stop at my booth, get a sketch of Wil doing or saying something questionable, then stand in line for hours to get him to sign it, then return it to me for final approval. It’s pretty awesome to think that there are people in the world that hold us both in a similar regard, or at least consider us both as “people that make neat stuff that I like.”

Last year at Phoenix Comicon, Wil and I had this deal going that I would “sexify” any of his Wesley Crusher headshots. His fans would bring their purchased photos to my booth, and I would essentially ruin them by drawing a beard on Wesley and writing “It’s sexy time!” in a speech bubble. That was one of my favorite things ever.

You can read Wil’s quick write up on the con HERE and see the couple that inspired the Nyan Wheaton drawing HERE.

COMMENTERS: What’s your most prized souvenir, signed item, sketch, etc from a celebrity (internet or otherwise) that you got at a signing or convention? 


Somewhere In Time And Relative Dimension In Space



Just before The Doctor saves the planet, that bitch Harriet Jones jerks it out from under him. ARRRRRRRGH!

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi

I owe a lot to Mystery Science Theater 3000. In all honesty I owe my job to that show. I didn’t realize it at the time, but every episode of MST3K I saw as a kid was teaching me how to be funny. From Joel, Mike, Crow and Tom Servo’s example I learned how to find the common threads in totally unrelated things and exploit them for comedy. I learned how to index, search and retrieve references and how to find the one glimmer of humor in a seemingly humorless situation (or film, in their case). They taught me less about “making jokes” and more about learning how to look at situations to see why they are already funny, or the find the missing piece that would make them funny. I use those lessons every single day and I am grateful that there was such a resource available to me. Considering none of that was even remotely funny, perhaps I have forgotten all I learned. Oh well.

I was lucky enough to get to hang out with Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett at SDCC last year and tell them just how much of an impact they had on my comedic upbringing. If you haven’t spent a great deal of time with Joel, Mike and the bots, I strongly suggest you stream the available episodes of MST3K on Netflix and FOR THE LOVE OF SPACE CHIEF you have to check out Rifftrax. The very fact that their commentary made both Eragon and Twilight not only endurable but enjoyable should be enough to convince you to give them your delicious monies in exchange for their electronic laugh-time files.

COMMENTERS: Please insert The Doctor into your favorite MST‘d movie. Give me the title and the key scenes. Perhaps in Pod People he could give Trumpy the choice to end his terrible reign of “making things float” and “doing stupid things” in exchange for helping him get back to his own planet. Of course in the end, when Trumpy doesn’t aquiesce, The Doctor would have to destroy him. Maybe The Doctor could team up with Rowsdower in The Final Sacrifice and stop all those… Canadians from… doing whatever they were trying to do. I’m still not sure about that one. ROWSDOWER!

100,000 bonus points to anyone that rewrites the MST3K theme song (any version) to be about The Doctor. I KNOW one of you can do it.



UPDATE: Today’s comic has been desktopified and wallpaper-o-tronned for your amusement and downloadification. All HijiNKS Ensue wallpapers are now available on a “Pay what you like” donation basis. Please consider donating to support HijiNKS Ensue.

TO CURRENT VAULT SUBSCRIBERS: I am currently reworking the Vault and the incentives for donations. I have some really fun stuff to announce, hopefully later this month (January 2012).


The Confluenza



Funny T-Shirts, Geeky shirts, Doctor who parody shirts, Team Edward James Olmos shirt, Groverfield Shirt, Sci-Five Star Trek Parody T-Shirt in The HijiNKS ENSUE Store

The newly relaunched HE Store is up and running over at Blind Ferret. Please go check it out and maybe buy a book or a shirt or something. Shirts will begin shipping soon, now that we are all back from Comic-Con.

My friend Amy has referred to the SDCC/w00tstock experience several times as “transformative.” Rather than going into an in depth play by play of all the incredibly amazing things that happened last week, I will just say that I concur with her assessment.

Guest appearances in this comic by: Stepto, Dammit Liz, Storm, Paul, Wil Wheaton, Ryan Wheaton (who has quickly become one of my favorite people, Adam Savage (who is indeed wearing a custom suit of leather Batman armor), Amy Berg, and Kevin Murphy. Unseen in these panels are a dozen other fantastic people who I shared at least one life altering moment with over the course of the week.

One last thought: if you have never been to a w00tstock show, PLEASE do yourself a favor and rectify that situation at the next available opportunity. I can’t stress enough how amazing and… well, transformative w00tstock is for a geek like me. It’s a solid 4 hours of knowing that you belong, that you are with like-minded people and that you are EXACTLY wear you are supposed to be, which for a geek can often be a feeling severely lacking from your day to day existence. I am so grateful to Adam, Wil, Paul, Storm and Liz for putting w00tstock on and for letting me hangout in their clubhouse.



Project Cloverfield: Top Secret Bath Gel?


J.J. Abrams has been quite geek-prolific these last few years. I can almost forgive him for Felicity. I remember when I told Josh “Cloverfield” might be a Cthulhu movie. He shit out his soul right then and there. He has a plush version of the “Great Old One” on his desk.

Zachary Quinto being cast as Spock is an interesting and appropriate choice. Just look at the logic in those eyebrows!

In what may be his worst lapse in judgement (or anyone else’s for that matter), internets have it that J.J. wants to put Tom “Fear me for I am Galactic Space Lord Xenu!” Cruise in the new Trek as Captain Christopher Pike. People keep trying to find new and exhilarating ways to make me hate Star Trek. I hope they hobble that alien worshiping shit bag with a tire iron and stuff him in that beeping iron lung/washing machine from The Cage.

For what it’s worth, I think Wesley would turn out to be a Sith. He’s got daddy issues. If any Hollywood-types are interested, I am willing to sell the rights to “Geek-Splosion” and the geek-quel, “Geek-splosion II: Xena and the Highlander Race Light Cycles with Tron and the Goonies, and at least one of the Corey’s…..Seaquest, War Games, Last Starfighter.” Let me rifle through a box of old VHS in the garage and we can work out a deal for episodes 3 through 6 too.

Bastian, say my name! Yeahhh. Say it, bitch. Momma like. Who’s your empress?”