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I Will Avenger You. Will You Avenger Me?

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UPDATE 05/18/12: Donation subscribers of any level will get access to an RSS feed with the full comic in it.

Read more about the new direction I am taking the comic in and how you can help HERE if you haven’t already.

Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated last week, especially to the new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue and even flourish, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of comics, I would consider you to be a pretty awesome type of person.

And thus ends my first mini story arc. I hope you are enjoying the new format so far. It’s been a lot of fun to write, but there have also been several unexpected challenges. I found myself asking questions like, “Wait, should I show them going INTO the theater? Is the setting clear? Can you tell how much time has passed since the last comic?” Simple stuff, but stuff I’ve never had to deal with none the less. I am really enjoying the ability to expand on a joke or a premise from day to day instead of trying to cram it all into one comic or truncate everything I want to say. It feels like the room suddenly got bigger and I have more space to walk around. I am going to do one or two stand alone comics next, then pick up with a new short story line. I suspect that’s how things will go for the time being.

I am going to be at Dallas Comic Con this weekend with Randy Milholland of Something Positive. I will ONLY BE THERE SATURDAY. Randy will be there Saturday and Sunday. You can find us at table 132. I will have books, prints, stickers and sketch cards, but no shirts. Really testing the waters on this one. If you guys come out and make it a good show, I will probably be back next year in full force.

HijinKS ENSUE at Dallas Comic Con 2012

Friday (5/11/12) was the 5 year anniversary of HijiNKS ENSUE. Thanks to all the Fancy Bastards for the kind words and encouragement that have been pouring in via email, comments and twitter over the last week. I couldn’t do this weird, amazing job without you, nor would I want to.

I have and idea for an Avengers themed restaurant. I bet people would really enjoy the experience of dressing up in fancy costumes, getting the shit kicked out of them for a few hours, then being fed Middle Eastern food with questionable ingredients while they bled all over the floor. It’s like Medieval Times but awesome. I am looking for investors, and this is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Watch your step, the ground floor is covered in our patrons’ blood.

COMMENTERS: What famous movie scene do you think would make for a great (or terrible) theme restaurant? How about a Beetlejuice restaurant where your shrimp cocktail turns into a hand and tries to kill you? Or a Pulp Fiction restaurant where you get to eat classic American diner food while two hitmen in their underwear try to diffuse a robbery? Can you imagine how much fun it would be to eat under a table with your face on the floor while everyone is screaming and waiving guns around?

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You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

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Alternate Title: “A Shawarma Bees” – I did not use this title because, despite making me laugh for an hour, it doesn’t make any sense.

Read more about the new direction I am taking the comic in and how you can help HERE if you haven’t already.

Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated in the last couple of days, especially to the new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue and even flourish, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of free comics, I would consider you to be a pretty awesome type of person.

I’m not sure a Marvel movie post-credits scene has ever gotten me quite so excited-pants as the one in The Avengers. Who knows if they will follow up that plot thread in the first sequel, or save it for a third? Either way, based on how well executed this first outing was, and assuming Whedon will he at the helm of future sequels, I have high hopes for where this is all going. [SPOILERS: It is going to space and shit is going to get CRAZY real.]

So after the post-credits scene, all the chumps (and all the teens… TEEEEEENS!) piled out of the theater like a bunch of chumps. When are chumps going to learn to stop playing themselves like chumps all the time? The post-post credits scene was… it’s basically the geek film equivalent of DaVinci’s “The Last Supper.” [no pun intended]. Note to self: Actually draw that. That would be hilarious.

On a special note, a MAGICAL thing happened to me at Starbucks tonight. My wife and I were witness to quite possibly THE WORST first date any two human beings have ever had. I live tweeted the whole thing and have collected the unbearably awkward joy for you HERE. I don’t know why I was chosen to receive this gift, but I will do my best to honor it and share it with the world.

Starbucks DateWreck Live Tweet

COMMENTERS: I’m going to tread lightly since I know not all of you have seen The Avengers yet. Don’t click this link if you don’t want the 2nd post-credits scene spoiled. So a certain type of… ethnic… product has seen a MAJOR boost in sales since The Avengers came out. Has there ever been a movie that made you aware of a food, product or any other useful and enjoyable thing that WASN’T specifically an advertisement? Did you start wearing trench coats after The Matrix? Did you start wearing cleric’s robes after The Matrix: Revolutions? What’s wrong with you?

NOTE TO RSS READERS: Based on all of your feedback I have decided to try just putting a thumbnail image with full blog posts in the RSS feed. Seems like most of you don’t mind clicking through since you are using the RSS just a reminder that there is a new comic. Here’s hoping this doesn’t impair the usability of the site for you, since it has the potential to greatly impact my ad revenue. I am also working on the possibility of a premium RSS feed for donation subscribers.

UPDATE 05/18/12: Donation subscribers of any level will get access to an RSS feed with the full comic in it.

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Waiving A New Banner

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Alternate Title: “Hunting Ruffalo”

Why are things happening in the comic that seem to relate to things that happened in yesterday’s comic and the day before’s comic? Because times, they are a changin’. Also comics. Comics are a thing that is also a changin’. Specifically HijiNKS ENSUE comics. Read more about it HERE if you haven’t already.

Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated in the last couple of days, especially to the new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue and even flourish, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of free comics, I would consider you to be a pretty awesome type of person.

I wrote about it in my big Avengers review on Monday, but it bears repeating: HOLY DAMNBASKETS I LOVED THE HULK IN THIS MOVIE!!! Leave it to Whedon to take a character I have been ignoring for 20 years and turn him into the entire heart and soul of the film. Also, let me take this opportunity to address any of your reading that may work in Hollywood. I am pitching a new half hour 3-camera comedy called Leave It To Whedon. It centers around a precocious little redhead who keeps getting into all sorts of trouble because he can’t seem to work within the Hollywood machine. He keeps choosing artistic vision and thoughtful storytelling over easily digestible, mass appeal money making. Also he has a paper route and his dog dies in pretty much every episode. Usually just after you REALLY start to care about the dog. BAM! Milk truck or whatever. SPOILERS: In the season one finale he breaks the box office record for opening weekend and all of a sudden the bullies that always pick on him want to be his friend and greenlight all his pet projects. Season two will deal with the production of Serenity 2: See, You Cocksuckers? I Told You!

Here’s a big Avengers related link dump: 

COMMENTERS: Has there ever been a film, Tv, comic or other media adaptation that turned a previously hated character or franchise around for you? I was NEVER a fan of DC comics at all as a kid, but Batman: The Animated Series really got me into the characters and (besides just being a fantastic show) ended up being an easy entre into an intimidatingly large world of characters and continuity. After that I got into a few DC titles following the death of Superman. I still think their animated stuff is top notch. Young Justice is probably the only show besides Fringe that I get excited for each week. OK, now I’m super off topic, so go back and read the question and answer away!

SIDE NOTE: Based on all of your feedback I have decided to try just putting a thumbnail image with full blog posts in the RSS feed. Seems like most of you don’t mind clicking through since you are using the RSS just a reminder that there is a new comic. Here’s hoping this doesn’t impair the usability of the site for you, since it has the potential to greatly impact my ad revenue.

UPDATE 05/18/12: Donation subscribers of any level will get access to an RSS feed with the full comic in it.

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The Big Chill

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If this comic makes no sense or seems out of place, perhaps it is because you didn’t read yesterday’s comic. Oh, what’s that? You didn’t notice the continuity? Well, it’s new. We just had it installed. I’m not sure if I like the color, but we have 30 days to return it, so…

If you are still confused, the guys WERE in line to see The Avengers and now they ARE in the theater, taking their seats. A betting man might assume they will next be watching the movie, then perhaps after that the movie will be over.

There has been nothing short of an outpouring of support from you, The Fancy Bastards, regarding my blog post yesterday dealing with the shortcomings I see in the comic and the changes/improvements I want to make. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent the whole of Tuesday reading comments, emails and tweets, processing them, responding to as many as I could and just thinking about what you guys had to say. The reactions ranged from “I love the comic and I will continue to support whatever you decide to do,” to “While I do still enjoy the comic, I don’t read it as much and I think you’re right in wanting to fix all those things that you want to fix,” to “YES! All of those things are wrong with the comic! Also here is another list of all the things you are doing wrong! Fix those things now!” Granted, that last group was a vast minority, but for some reason their words rang the loudest between my ears inside my overstressed, emotionally exhausted brains.

Major thanks to everyone that donated yesterday, especially to the few new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of free comics, I would very much appreciate it.

It’s taking every single ounce of… is humility the word? Probably not. Anyway, it’s taking all of the stuff that I can muster… MUSTERSTUFF! That’s the word! It’s taking all of that to read the comments and really absorb the constructive criticism without taking it too personally or getting offended. I basically opened a huge wound then gave everyone one of your a band-aid and a jar of pee and asked you NOT to throw the jar of pee at the wound. There’s sand in the pee jar too. It’s a bad scene where open wounds are concerned. A day later, I am extremely grateful for the band-aids and even the slightly pee-soaked band-aids… OK this metaphor was out of hand before it even started. Abandoning metaphor. Thank you for the feedback. I’m keeping a running list of ideas that I’ve gotten from you guys and I will be considering them strongly and implementing many of the changes you’ve suggested the make sense.

I was really shocked by the number of people that suggested that I take the comic out of the RSS feed and instead just give a link to the site in order to improve ad revenue. These comments came mainly from people who read the comic in the RSS feed. I don’t know how I feel about that since I read everything in Google Reader and get frustrated when I am linked out of it, but I am willing to experiment with anything at this point.

I can certainly say that writing for this week has gone MUCH faster than it typically does. The concept of “picking up where I left off” is altogether new to me and is far preferable to desperately searching for a new topic to write about every day. I am still scared of this new territory, but I am already optimistic about the direction I am taking the comic and my ability to produce better comics, more often and with some degree of reliability in terms of update schedule. More on that as this phase of The Experiment progresses.

COMMENTERS: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen anyone do in a movie theater? I mean, being a teen is pretty bad, but one time I was seeing Equilibrium and a dude just it up a freakin’ cigarette. IN THE THEATER! That’s some seriously sociopathic behavior. Another time, while watching either Paycheck or The Time Machine (I don’t remember which), I had to yell at a guy to wake him up because he was snoring so loud. I don’t remember the film, but once I saw a mom let her two small boys run up and down the aisles of the theater with toy swords during the entire movie. They were like teens, only smaller. It was terrible.

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The Unwashed Masses

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I’m doing something different with the comics starting this week. A bit of an experiment, or rather a continuation of The Experiment. I could certainly use your feedback and your support. Please take a few minutes and READ MORE here.

The thing I hate the most about going to movies in the theater, especially popular ones, is the people. Specifically the teens. I HATE YOU TEENS! I HATE YOUR STUPID PRETTY BUT STILL AWKWARD FACES! I am an adult, and as such I believe I have a right to live a life totally devoid of teens. I am all for teen segregation. They already have their own schools. Why not their own restaurants and movie theaters?

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!! Let the healing begin. 

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

There was a kid in line behind me bitching THE ENTIRE TIME about how “fucking retarded” this particular movie theater was because he stood in the wrong line for an hour and missed his showing of Avengers and no one did anything to stop him from doing such an incredibly stupid thing. To be fair, the theater was so incredibly packed that it was difficult to tell which line was for which showing. This kid, however, allowed himself to stay in the wrong line for over an hour PAST the start time printed on his ticket. Movies do not start an hour late. They are not concerts. Iron Man and The Hulk are not getting high in the green room while Thor gets his Mjolnir hammered by some Asgardian groupie. At one point he called his mom to complain that he was going to be late getting home because of how stupid the theater was and how he doesn’t want to just leave because he already spent like $20 (certainly hers, not his) on snacks. I should not have to endure such teenage dumbness just in order to see a film on opening weekend. Can I pay $5 more to sit in the Adults Only theater? Does that theater serve booze? Who wants to invest in this idea? It’s quite possibly the best idea anyone has ever had.

So what about The Avengers? Quite simply, it was a triumph. It rivals Iron Man and Spider-Man 2 for the title of “Best Super Hero Movie Of All Time” (I do not count The Dark Knight in this category because I just don’t. It’s its own thing.) Without question it is certainly the best Thor movie, the best Hulk movie, the best Captain America movie and the best Iron Man sequel produced to date. And the Hulk… Jesus the Hulk. I have NEVER liked any incarnation of the Hulk in any form of media, filmed, televised or printed. Yet give this character to Joss Whedon and he uses him with such precision and skill that he steals not just every scene he’s in, but quite possibly the entire movie. The use the words “the Hulk” and “subtlety” in the same sentence seems contradictory, but that’s what it was. As a matter of fact, every single thing I loved about The Avengers stemmed from that Whedonesque subtlety that I’ve grown to love so well. A throw away line here that is anything but a throw away, a bit of body language that goes almost unnoticed but tells an entire story. God dammit, Hollywood! Do you see now what we’ve been trying to tell you for a decade?

I want to write a thesis deconstructing the ways in which Michael Bay and Joss Whedon destroy downtown Manhattan. The ham fisted wrecking ball vs. the artist with the soft touch. In the end, the city is still rubble, but the way it got there could not be more disperate. I am not exaggerating when I say I fell asleep during the climactic battle of Transformer 3.  I honestly could not tell what was happening on the screen for the last half hour of the movie and I just lost interest in fighting the boredom. The last 30 minutes of The Avengers, however, might be the most fun I have ever had in a movie theater. Oh, and did I mention The Hulk? HULKHULKHULKHULKHULK HULLLLLLLLLLLLK!!! Seriously, it was that good.

COMMENTERS: Post your thoughts on The Avengers in the comments. SPOILERS MUST MUST MUST BE TAGGED or your comments will be deleted and you will be banned from commenting. DO NOT RUIN THIS MOVIE FOR ANYONE.