Phoenix Comicon 2012 Fancy Sketches

Once again Phoenix Comicon was a fantastic success. Next to Emerald City in Seattle, it is my second favorite US show. Thank you to everyone that came out and got a t-shirt, a book, a sketch or just said hi. The Phoenix Phancy Bastards (fancy withe a PH) also REALLY came through with the baked goods, caffeinated goods and beboozed goods. I was able to get David terribly drunk off of too many tiny bottles of Jack (which is a necessity since he’s at least twice as much fun when he’s hammered).

In addition to my comicing bros, I usually get to run around with the entire Wheaton family at Phoenix. This year was no exception, and shenanigans’o plenty (which is my Dropkick Murphys cover band) were had. Wil and I (along with Blind Ferret) debuted the prototype of the Wil Wheaton plushie we’ve been working on since ohhhhh… around the time of this comic dare.

The Wil Wheaton Plushie Plush Doll from HijiNKS ENSUE

It’s been almost a year in development, but we are all very proud of the final result. They’ll be going on preorder in a week or so and a good preorder means we get to make enough to NOT have to reorder before the holidays (reordering means months of time waiting for chinese shipping crates to arrive on boats). I hope you guys dig the plush and consider picking one up during the preorder. They’ll be $20 and you are fully encouraged to knit space sweaters and clown sweaters for them.

HEY! I started a Facebook group for Fancy Bastards to share ideas, get support and be a community of geeks and weirdos. Godspeed, You Fancy Bastards!

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.

I Will Avenger You. Will You Avenger Me?

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?

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

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.

Waiving A New Banner

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.