Where You Lead, I Will Follow

There are multiple truths in this comic. A) I have been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls reruns, both on TV and Netflix, lately. The reruns on TV just hit the sweet spot where Lorelai has the inn open and she starts dating Luke and Emily and Richard are separated and Rory starts an affair with Dean and Lain realizes she has feelings for Zach and… it’s a really great show. Great characters, GREAT writing, just really excellent TV. Anyone that tells you different has never loved, been loved or is probably a replicant. And B) I cannot tell you how often I have forgone watching a movie in superior 1080p HD image quality because my Blu-rays were “all the way over there” and Netflix was exactly where my ass was.

Sharksplode is closing forever just after Thanksgiving. Some of the more popular shirts will be integrated into the new HE store, but about half won’t be. So if you want something from Sharksplode, now is the time to get it.

DID YOU GET YOUR HOGWARTS LETTER YET?! Check out these Harry Potter inspired owl post earrings and necklaces my wife made:

harry potter owl post letter necklace earrings etsy

Learning Through Osmosis

 This is such a true story, it is MULTIPLE true stories. With an S. The first time this happened I was in Toronto and the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls toys were being debuted at the show. Kiddo was obsessed with the movie and I was missing her first day of 1st grade to be at this particular convention, so I wanted to get her a cool gift. I went up to the booth and browsed what was in the case. There was a mother with her young daughter, 8 or 9 years old (American years… no idea what the Canadian metric conversion age is.), and it quickly became clear that we were looking at the same things. I feared her mother had warned her about the “grown men who like to play with ponies,” of which I was not one, but CLEARLY appeared to be one at that moment. I almost said aloud, “I’m shopping for my DAUGHTER,” but I thought better of uttering what is likely the shameful battle cry of the self-hating adult pony enthusiast.

My Patrons can see the original last panel to the previous comic which spawned the writing process for THIS comic [HERE]. 

becomepatron

A more subtle approach would be to ask, “How old is your daughter? Mine is 6 and she LOVES this stuff.” But as I thought the words they immediately became twisted and creepy. “HoWwWwww OLLLLLD izzzz yoURRR DAWWWWWWTERRRRRR?!?!? [pant pant hisssssssss]” Better to just smile as un-creepily as possible and wait for the booth worker to come over. She arrived and addressed the little girl first. “I want Twilight!” she belted enthusiastically. “OK, just let me get one from the back, eh? [aboot soory]” the associate replied. I had already been away from my booth for longer than I intended, so I just raised my hand and said, “Make that two.” I might as well have said, “I’ll have what she’s having,” then given the mom a wink and a pair of finger guns. Then I could just hold my wrists together and wait for security to put them in handcuffs. A more direct approach would have been, “I’LL HAVE THE SAME PONY THAT THE CHILD IS HAVING! I’LL HAVE IT FOR MY OWNNNNN!”

Anyway, I felt goofy buying it at a convention, but Kiddo loved it and that was the point. A year or so later at SDCC I had the exact same experience, only more so humiliating. My con-wife, David, had procured through man-child sorcery a special VIP pass to the Hasbro booth, which let you skip the massive line of other man-children and purchase whatever they were offering that reminded you of when you were young and alive and so much further away from an inevitable death. David and I made the death march from the webcomics area of the floor to the Hasbro booth which, while only being about 10 rows away, took a good 30 minutes to reach in SDCC time. The cases were full of robots and ponies and maybe some robot ponies, but definitely NO pony robots. I flashed my VIP (Very Impressive Pony) badge and was ushered to the front of an impossible long line.

To my chagrin, I learned that all of the stuff in the cases was not, in fact, for sale and was, in fact, for filling space in cases. The only thing they sold at this booth was convention exclusive toys, most of which cost upwards of $50-$100. I usually spend about $20 on Kiddo’s convention gift and maybe another $10 on comics for her. The cheapest thing they had, that would be of any interest to her at all was $35. It was a limited edition pony who was based on a character from an episode that she had seen, but who only actually appeared in the comics, which she had not read. I had come all of this way, and no booth was going to have shorter line than this. Maybe she would think the “con exclusive” aspect of it was cool. Whatever. “I’ll take a… Mane-iac Mayhem Equestria Girl.” The booth worker looked at me like, “Of course you will, Beardo,” and wrapped it up.

I wiki’d the character once I got back to the booth, so I could at least know what I was presenting to my child. That’s how it happens. That’s how you get THE KNOWING. Not, necessarily by being interested in your kid’s toys and shows themselves, but by being interested in your kid. Granted, there are lots of things she’s into that I am GENUINELY into. Adventure Time, Minecraft, Ninja Turtles… Our Venn Diagram of interests has plenty of legitimate overlap. MLP: FiMOMGLOL just isn’t my bag, and so I feel like a goofus when I have to display my uncharacteristically extensive knowledge of the subject matter.

My daughter lives in a world where everything she likes is the universally adored, coolest stuff ever. “How could anyone NOT like Littlest Pet Shop?! [I could list 1000 reasons] It’s the COOLEST! [It is not]” But, rather than be the dad who “doesn’t get it, doesn’t WANT to get it,” I want to be the dad who begrudgingly watches the overly bubbly, hyper manic, highest possible pitched shouting matches that are her favorite shows, so that when she wants to talk about them (which is always), I will have more to say than, “That’s nice, Kiddo.”

The problems occur when I actually start to have opinions about this stuff. Like how, in a world with three distinct evolutionary offshoots of the dominant species, where one of the subsets is so much more powerful than the other two as to make them appear crippled, does a caste system not naturally develop? Here’s how a real world Equestria would break down: Unicorns on top, ruling the Pegasi and Earth Ponies with an iron hoof. Just dominating every aspect of pony life and taking what they want, when they want, from whomever they want. They are telekinetic magic users in a community where everyone else can’t even get a book off the shelf without gnawing at it with their teeth! The pegasi are their enforcers. They are still subjugated by the unicorns, but they are awarded special privileges for keeping the Earth ponies in line. The Earth ponies are garbage. Just pure, fucking nonsense garbage. They dig trenches, and break rocks, and pull shit around in carts and probably serve as a food source for the upper classes.

Bare minimum, this shit is all going down 5 minutes after the unicorns figure out magic. Extrapolate a bit further, probably after an uprising or two, and the unicorns have completely wiped out the other two classes and enslaved… I don’t know… whatever species Strawberry Shortcake is.

Calling all Whovians with holes in their ears! Just look at these Sonic Screwdriver earrings my wife made! 

sonic screwdriver earings matt smith elevelth doctor who etsy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/200762224/doctor-who-inspired-sonic-screwdriver

Orphan Is The New Black

50% OFF SALE in the HijinkS ENSUE STORE THIS WEEK! 
Books, Prints, Posters, Lil’ Wil Wheaton plushies and Holiday Cards are all HALF OFF! Some shirts are marked down to $5! 

hijinksensue-store-50-off-sale-blog-banner-6-24-14

I tweeted this almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve gotten hooked on both shows. It’s ALLLLLMOST like TV shows with a primarily female cast can be really good. Weird.

Fancy Patrons: I’ve posted the rough sketch of this comic for you to put your eyes on hereWe are less than $50 away from unlocking more comics per week!

becomepatron

FARGOne Conclusion

The Fargo TV series is really good. Like REALLY good, dontchaknow. My wife and I started shotgunning it via VOD based on numerous accounts of it being of high quality and damn, if it didn’t grab me right away. At first I was confused, thinking that it was a retelling of the original Coen brothers movie. A lot of the characters and many of the situations seemed to be analogous to the those in the 1996 film. Also, they both started with an onscreen message about being based on a true story. So was it the same true story, or two very similar true stories that happened nearly 20 years apart? Was Martin Freeman’s character supposed to be the TV version of William H. Macey’s character? They both had dead end jobs and got involved with criminals before quickly getting in way over their heads.

FANCY BASTARD BULLETIN! 
Tuesday June 3rd is my birthday (I’m almost positive I’m turning 33). If you like to help me celebrate, please feel free to check out:

The Patreon is honestly the greatest thing you can do for me in terms of making sure I am still able to do HijiNKS ENSUE as my full time job. Otherwise, I’ll happily take an Internet high five via Twitter or Facebook.

So, what was the deal? It turns out the answers to my questions were basically, “Yessss? But also noooo?” Fargo, the movie, is NOT based on a true story. There are a few true crime stories that might have been inspiration, but one of them took place in Connecticut, and neither of them are similar enough to the film to call it “true.” That was just a lie the film makers used when marketing the movie to a world that didn’t yet have immediate access to all recorded facts in their pockets. Bullshitting was easier in the 90’s. Likewise, the FX show is also NOT a true story. It’s a great story, but a false one none the less. After a few episodes you actually learn that Fargo the show is a direct sequel to Fargo the movie in that they take place in the same universe, and at least one plot point carries over directly from one to the next. It is ALSO a bit of a remake/retelling in that many of the characters and situations are TV-ised versions of their movie counterparts. It’s a bit confusing when you analyze it, but it’s also great TV. And I should point out that knowledge of the movie is in no way necessary to enjoy the show.

Now go have some hotdish, hon, and enjoy the nice, gruesome murders on the TV.

becomepatron

I also made you this super cute Adventure Time/Doctor Who shirt. GO BUY IT! 

sharksplode-t-shirt-adventure-timelords-WIDE

Learning To Love Again

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 5.02.11 AM

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 #938 selling merch and doing sketches. Here’s some more info! 

I absolutely refused to give Arrow a chance due to its unfortunate pedigree. Being a DC/Warner Bros super hero “reimagining” on The CW and starring nothing but underwear model gorgeous people set off all of my “DON’T WATCH! DON’T WATCH!” alarms. Then, in a moment of weakness, I watched the pilot on Netflix. 3 days later I had binged the entire first season. 3 days after that I was caught up on season 2 via Hulu and The CW app on my iPad (both horrific viewing experiences when compared to Netflix). I gotta say, I was wrong.

Arrow is super enjoyable. That is to say, it is CONSISTENT. If you like the pilot, you will like every subsequent episode just as much, and several you will like quite a bit more. Everything good and bad about Arrow is present from the word “Go” and it keeps a pretty even keel throughout. The stars are far better actors than you’d expect from the CW, the writing is above average for a super-soap, the writers are obviously not scrambling to fit a bunch of loose plot threads together (it feels like they actually have a plan, but leave room for new ideas), the FX are not cheesy, the cinematography is better than most cable action dramas and (something I was not expecting to notice or care about) the fight choreography is quite interesting. There’s a lot of close combat (it’s not all arrows from afar) and the producers have obviously spent some time developing a fighting style for the main characters that plays well on TV without being overblown or unrealistic.

All of that said, there are moments of soapy-cheese (usually between Oliver and Laurel), sometimes the villains or the guest stars are not on level with the core cast acting-wise (but rarely if ever Tom “Wait… does… Clark… smell… a fart… or… is… he… just… trying… to… convey… emooooootion?”  Welling horrible), and… no, that’s about it. There just isn’t much to dislike about Arrow at all.

One of the aspects of Arrow that I’m particularly enjoying (something that Smallville failed miserably at), is how they are integrating characters from the wider DC universe in clever and subtle ways. They plant seeds episodes in advance for big character appearances in ways that would go totally unnoticed by non-nerds, but also won’t infuriate their core nerd audience. When they do introduce a larger than life character, they find a way to distill them down to their basic elements without totally reinventing them (since the Arrow-verse seems to be one without Metahumans or actual superpowers so far). I don’t want to get into specifics to avoid spoilers, but we are doing a SUPER SPOILERY THREAD over in the Fancy Bastard Facebook Group (newbies HERE and season 2 discussion HERE).

So, if you liked the idea of Smallville but wished it were 1000% less dumb, or 100% more like Batman Begins, I strongly recommend checking out Arrow. Season 1 is streamable on Netflix and Season 2 (which is about half-ish over) is available via Hulu (free version) and the CW streaming iOS app (though episodes are being removed as they get older). It feels good to enjoy a damn super hero on TV again.

Buying holiday type gifts for a special Harry Potter Fan? If you haven’t seen my wife’s Quidditch necklaces, you probably should is alls I’m sayin’.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.12.23 AM

HEY! CHECK THIS OUT! 

Graphic Knowledge MagazineI did an interview with Graphic Knowledge Magazine (Issue 2) (available here for iOS devices) about the origins of HE, the recent shift to storyline/character based comics, and the ups and downs of this weird job I have. I felt like I was super honest and there’s probably some good info in there for anyone looking to do their own thing for a living.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (22)

Admin Options

Don’t do it, Josh! It’ll destroy you!

4 replies · active 81 weeks ago

don’t you worry about a thing, this comic would never, ever, EVER actually happen in a million years. Smallville was dead to me about 3 episodes into season 4, and I will carry that grudge to my fucking grave. This comic is basically libel. Or slander. I forget which is which.
If it’s spoken, it’s slander. If it’s written, it’s libel. Spoken and slander both start with S, so that’s how I remember it.

Smallville also starts with S. Draw your own conclusions.

Hielario's avatar

Hielario · 81 weeks ago

And if i use a megaphone?
HandiGoat's avatar

HandiGoat · 82 weeks ago

I’m surprised you lasted up to season 4. To be fair, I don’t think the problem was bad writing, it’s just that Superman is a terrible character to have any kind of long-term story arcs for. He’s basically a god (time-travel anyone?), so trying to create any kind of conflict gets ridiculous after a while (“OHEMGEE, YOU have a chunk of a planet that blowed up on the other side of the galaxy?! ME TOO!”).
Jeff's avatar

Jeff · 82 weeks ago

Which of the three sister witches was a total B-Word? I bet it was the one whose name started with a ‘P’!
I stopped after the Huntress. I started to feel like we were treading into Cape territory after that – and I’m a LIFE-LONG comic geek.
I dunno. I might try it again. When my girlfriend’s not home and the shades are drawn.

1 reply · active 81 weeks ago

Pikkabird's avatar

Pikkabird · 81 weeks ago

Just…gloss over the Huntress episodes (there’s only 3 in Season 1, and no word of her in S2 so far). It’s SO MUCH BETTER outside of the Huntress episodes.
Matt.'s avatar

Matt. · 82 weeks ago

“Everything good and bad about Arrow is present from the word “Go” and it keeps a pretty even keel throughout.” <– My enjoyment of Arrow is totally summed up by this statement.

The wife, who is the resident comic book nerd, does not watch Arrow but will occasionally walk by and go, “Oh cool they’re introducing so-and-so”, to which I have to respond, “Um… sure…” Which is to say, it’s quite enjoyable for the those with little comic book background who just want their stories.

1 reply · active 82 weeks ago

bubujin_2's avatar

bubujin_2 · 82 weeks ago

Yeah that’s me. I read some review of Arrow elsewhere that caught my interest and so started watching it online before the start of the second season. And since the comic book character was only dimly known to me, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the show by not being previously familiar with the Arrow-verse.
Richter12x2's avatar

Richter12x2 · 82 weeks ago

The unfortunately problem I had with Arrow is that it made me interested in the comic books. Expecting the comic book reboot to be similar to the Arrow series, I was very disappointed. 😛 Joel sums it up very well by saying Arrow is a lot more Batman Begins.
There’s some sexual stuff, not much. Mostly its just a ton of violence that I wouldnt want my kid to ingest.
Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 82 weeks ago

I’ve caught a couple of recent episodes, and have nicknames for the characters like “the ugly one because she’s a nerd in glasses” and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Harvey Dent.”

ICBINHD may be a completely legit character from the comic, but he still feels like a cheap knock-off.

3 replies · active 81 weeks ago

Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 82 weeks ago

that should be “the ugly one ONLY because she’s a nerd in glasses”
merovin's avatar

merovin · 81 weeks ago

I don’t think they ever even hinted that Felicity is ugly. She’s just awkward.
Less the teen movie girl who takes off her glasses before prom and is suddenly gorgeous, more more Golden Retriever puppy still tripping over its feet.
dralou's avatar

dralou · 81 weeks ago

Well, it would if Golden Retriever puppies could make unintended sexual innuendos in about every sentences…

But yeah, it never occured to me she was supposed to be “ugly BECAUSE she is a nerd and wears glasses”. Personally, I think she’s cuter/sexier than Laurel.

I’m happy to hear the second season is good too, I was kinda afraid it would go downhill pretty quick.

The moment that hooked me on Arrow came pretty early; when Diggle started to suspect that this spoiled rich kid who kept disappearing on him was actually up to something – and then Oliver trusted him enough to let him in on his secret identity. If it were Smallville, Diggle would have actually seen him and recognized him – then he would have gotten hit on the head and conveniently forget. Seriously, everyone on that show was suffering massive head trauma, all so they could adhere to the bullshit “no tights, no flights” rule.
mouse's avatar

mouse · 80 weeks ago

I do hate the CW app, but discovered (for the android version anyway), that if I closed the app as soon as a commercial started and reopened it and hit play again, I could skip commercials. That made it much more enjoyable than watching it on the computer which had no way whatsoever to skip them and had a tendency to play the same old navy commetcial four times in a row every single commercial break.

1 reply · active 80 weeks ago

I was streaming from my iPad to the Apple TV via Airplay and found that every time it went to commercial, or rather tried to come BACK from commercial Airplay would quit and the CW app would glitch to where I could not restart the episode without first starting a different episode then going back to the episode I was watching (it only saved my place about 50% of the time) then restarting airplay. It was a fucking ordeal.