To Your Mother

For the month of January 2015, both of my books are only $5 each. Buy 2 of them and I’ll give you a free mystery mini print. After January they are GONE FOREVER

I am selling them at or below cost so they can go to Fancy Bastards that will appreciate them, rather than a bonfire. Grab them HERE. 


It’s holidays times, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I have a Patreon and  an Amazon Wishlist for any of you who are interested in such things.

Vacation Sketch Diary 2014: Galveston, TX Day 1

Here’s the deal: I’m on vacation with my family this week, and try as I might I have been unable to create proper HE comics at night after spending the day frolicking with them on beaches and at water parks, and under board walks, and in this one REALLY shady Dollar General we went to in order to buy sunglasses (more on that later). So this week I am going to post some (likely three) vacation diary sketches instead of comics.

TARDIS Necklace from Science & Fiction

tardis necklace on etsy from science and fiction

Here’s the OTHER deal: Ever since I started my Patreon, my main goal has been to MAKE CERTAIN that I publish three new comics a week, every week. For the last couple of months I’ve been creating comics and posting them backdated in order to make sure every calendar week had three new comics. For the most part, I’ve been operating at a 1 week deficit and constantly playing catch up. This abstract concept that exists only in my head by which I am creating three new comics a week, yet telling myself they are LAST week’s comics and thusly all a week late is paralyzing my brain with frustration. I have made the managerial decision to call it even, as of this week, and date the comics for the week they come out. What this means for you is that “last week,” the week of 6/30 to 7/4, doesn’t have any new comics and never will. I’m really sorry about that. What it means for me is that I can try to repair my productivity-brain BEFORE San Diego Comicon, which is in less than 2 weeksOHGODOHNOOHWHYOHGOD. Anywho, I am trying my best, and failing a lot, succeeding occasionally and I suppose that’s what The Experiment is all about.


About those sunglasses: I bought them at the SKEEVIEST Dollar General I have ever been to. There was no AC and the lights were out in the entire back half of the store. People were just sort of milling about, groaning and twitching in the darkness. Could have been customers, could have been employees. Amidst the piles of deeply discounted detritus and darkness, who’s to say? I bought them specifically so I could take them too the beach and potentially (probably) lose them without getting too upset. The first time we went to the beach, on the VERY FIRST day of our vacation, a wave jumped right up out of nowhere, kicked me in the head, stole my sunglasses and delivered them into the greedy, gaping maw of Poseidon. That moist dickhead. Knowing good and well that this was always how it was going to end between me and those sunglasses, I STILL got super pissed about my unfair treatment by the the entire god damn ocean and spent a considerable amount of time squinting in abject rage. Also I got a qicked sunburn because scientists classify my natural complexion as “Easy-Bake.” Fun times. 

Here are some photos from the first day.


Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.34.41 PM

The Scenic Route

School is just about to start back up for Kiddo, so I took my family on a vacation/road trip to Sea World this week. I drove from Dallas to Austin, then Austin to San Antonio and I can say unequivocally that driving through Texas like taking the scenic route through an inbred meth head’s nightmare. Every square inch of the state that isn’t a major metroplex is a terrifying decent into a rust, decay, poverty and racism… by which I mean “quaint.” Texas is an extraordinarily “quaint” game of connect the dots, where the dots are cities with more than a million people, and the lines are squalid shitholes full of miserable people from a time thankfully gone by. Also there’s usually really big truck stop. The kind that is also a grocery store and a chicken restaurant and a place to buy drugs and CB radio parts and parking lot sex from parking lot sex-ladies. QUAINT, I tell ya. Quaint as all get out.

Thanks to @nmrjess for inspiring the Dairy Queen bit.

COMMENTERS: What’s the most “quaint” place you’ve ever lived/been to? 

The 2013 DIGITAL FANCY SKETCH DRIVE is still going through the end of this week! Check out the details and order yours HERE.

MY WIFE KEEPS MAKING AWESOME STUFF! My wife has a super cool, ultra geeky jewelry shop on Etsy. You can see her Tetris necklace andt the just announced Harry Potter inspired Quidditch necklace. Check out dat Quaffle!  

quidditch necklace

Comments (20)

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Ector, TX (NE of Dallas) was the first town I saw when moving to Texas back in 1978. Population of 549 (Salute! Ok, kiddos, Google THAT reference) What a culture shock. My first job in High School there was hauling hay. They had a one building school that housed all 12 grades. Also, the nicest people you would ever meet. What a difference from big city indifference that I was used to.

1 reply · active 96 weeks ago

thelogos's avatar

thelogos · 96 weeks ago

I have made the trek from Dallas (Well, really, Stillwater, OK) to Houston. There are still “sunset” towns in Oklahoma, I kid you not. As in, “don’t let the sun set on you <non-WASP person> in this town. They were like vampire lairs, but creepier.
Khel's avatar

Khel · 96 weeks ago

All of southeast Idaho… Between the meth, the mormons, the lack of any shopping centers other than the odd walmart… I’m getting depressed just thinking about it
Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 96 weeks ago

Accio nerd necklace! ACCIO NERD NECKLACE!!!!

The quiddich necklace would make a fantastic present for my sister. How much is she asking for them?

1 reply · active 96 weeks ago

Click that link to her store and all will be revealed.
Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 96 weeks ago

Nevermind, I clicked the link. Would she be willing to take the top half of playstashun? Or perhaps a stump munchler/weed wangler combo? Maybe a rotary…. NO!!! THE PTERODACTYLS!!!
Miles's avatar

Miles · 96 weeks ago

We road tripped from a small town in SOuthwest New Mexico (10,000 small) across the USA on the 10 Freeway… we now never want to drive though Texas that way again.

1 reply · active 96 weeks ago

Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 96 weeks ago

Ah, NM small towns. I grew up in Los Alamos (drive to the middle of nowhere, turn left and drive another 30 minutes). If you like hiking and mesas it’s a beautiful place to live. If you like doing anything after 8PM other than heading into the mountains and getting drunk, good luck.

My brother crossed TX and OK on his way to college, he says it’s what Hell must look like. Endless flat with nothing to distract the eye.

In 2000, drove from the then boyfriend’s home in Augusta, GA (where “other side of the tracks” really means something) to Savannah (which was beautiful and genteel). On the small highway somewhere in between was a high-fence-and-barbed-wire surrounded compound containing a gun range, a camouflage store, and a “PRIVATE” club. The boyfriend said “and probably a white hood section around the back” and we just kept driving until the Savannah suburbs.
Zee's avatar

Zee · 96 weeks ago

Gah. Whole point is moot. People should not go to Sea World anyway. Keeping incredibly intelligent five ton mammals, in enclosures that are usually the same size as you would keep half ton mammals, is fairly analogous to raising a child in a closet, and never letting it leave. They need to cut it out with the Shamus.
Larry 's avatar

Larry · 96 weeks ago

I spend a year living in Corpus Christi, my friends that where already living there told me it was beautiful on the Texas coast. once down there i soon discovered, that it is a flat one shade of dingy army green ( all plant life) and it smells like fish and ass when it rains! and it rains often.
Dio's avatar

Dio · 95 weeks ago

If you like SeaWorld, you should see the new movie made about it- “Blackfish”!

1 reply · active 95 weeks ago

I know about it. The trainers arent allowed in the Orca tanks anymore because of the trainer that was killed. The orca currently in captivity can’t be released back into the wild, so Im not sure there’s an easy solution. It’s not a perfect situation.
Just move to Shallotte, NC from Seattle, WA. It’s kinda like moving from your most wonderful dream to the most humid part of a donkey’s ass and then having people tell you it’s not so bad “cuz there’s a beach.”
There are a few places on the road from LA to Sturgis, SD that make me nervous… and I’m a 6’2 big-bearded biker dude. I stopped for gas in a small Utah town (but along I-15, so not exactly isolated) once and the cashier was a skinhead with plainly visible white power tattoos, one of which was on the side of his neck. (And my parents always told me not to get tattoos or I’d never find work!) Not to mention that it seems like a huge fraction of the population of Wyoming are scary looking rednecks who drive mud-covered pickup trucks. [Redneck B.M.W. – Big Mud Wagon]

As someone who’s lived in Southern California for several decades – to be more specific, the Greater Los Angeles Metro Sprawl [yes, that’s right – the G.L.A.M.S.] – I don’t put up with much attitude from people who live places that are flat and boring. If I feel like it, I can go to the beach and a ski resort in the same day … and weather that makes them both pleasant is not exactly uncommon.

Baskerville's avatar

Baskerville · 31 weeks ago

I ran into the most suspicious museum driving around in Texas. It claimed to have the greatest variety of rattlesnakes in the world. So obviously, I had to go in. There were indeed around 25 types of rattlesnake in the small suspicious building, as well as a man with four teeth who attempted to sell me a live tarantula.



CLOSEOUT SALE in the HE Store is still going on! 

These shirts are marked down to $14.95 and leaving the HE Blind Ferret Store for good!

Team EdwardEwok StareShow Us On The TrilogyWinter Is Coming and Sci-Five
Ladies versions of these shirts are on sale too!

These shirts are marked down to $9.95!

OvipositorUnicorn PoopAnd My Axe (Ladies), SyFy Movie Title Generator and British Knights

Texas is a hard place to call home sometimes. Texas has a reputation of deeply ensconced bigotry, misogyny, and “as long as I’ve got mine…” attitude. The face we show the rest of the country and world, through our elected officials, education system and treatment of the marginalized is an often times embarrassing one. Still, there are brave people in the Texas legislature that go to great lengths to remind us that our state can be better, more compassionate  more empathetic and less oppressive to women, minorities and the disenfranchised.

If you do one thing today, try to empathize with someone more marginalized than yourself. Try to understand an issue that doesn’t touch you personally from the viewpoint of someone who is deeply affected by it. Try not to allow your personal opinions or beliefs (be they based on faith, family tradition or your own experiences) deprive anyone else of their rights.

Comments (11)

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Echelon Four's avatar

Echelon Four · 103 weeks ago

I’m glad we have SciFi to describe these ridiculous situations that no one would attempt in the real world.
When the planet is a rockin’ don’t come a knocking’
It’s amazing to me that the politicians against Wendy Davis last night use Jesus as their reasoning … the same Jesus that said, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” Amazing how little empathy they have.
Jeff W.'s avatar

Jeff W. · 103 weeks ago

Nice thoughts Joel!!
I saw this conversation play out on Twitter and I have to say, you rock. Also “BORE El has left the building.” is some masterful writing.
Greg's avatar

Greg · 103 weeks ago

Your characterisation of Texans is pretty accurate from my experiences. I get the feeling Texans would prefer it if the state was physically cut loose from the continent and set adrift in the Pacific.

1 reply · active 103 weeks ago

Living here for 32 years, it’s STILL hard to tell if the majority of Texans are like that or if it’s just the loudest, proudest idiots who are like that. I really don’t know. I DO know that I never have a hard time finding people in Texas (even in Dallas) who are intelligent, compassionate, open minded, creative and interesting. Buuuuuut… I definitely have to seek them out on purpose. They aren’t just lying around for me to trip over. The majority of crowded areas in texas are crowded with the typical stereotypes, it seems.

Sometimes it feels like an occupied state. Like those of us that actually want to be a part of the rest of the country as well as the world keep quiet because we don’t know if it’s safe to talk.

mike-O's avatar

mike-O · 103 weeks ago

I have been living in NC for twenty rears now. Lately, our state legislature has been trying real hard to prove that our state can be just as backwards, bigoted and narrowminded as Texas, maybe even more so.
Take heart, though. The cool people in states like ours tend to be REALLY cool. It’s almost like they have to overcompensate for all the bigots.

1 reply · active 103 weeks ago

Fren's avatar

Fren · 103 weeks ago

The darker the times, the brighter your light shines and all that.
On the other hand, what other state can pull off a giant set of bull horns on the front of their cars?