Broken Boy Soldier

This week is the 5 year anniversary of The Experiment. I posted some thoughts (a LOT of thoughts) about it here.

If you are a fan of The Experiment and would like to see it continue, please consider making a donationbuying something from the HE Store or Sharksplode or checking out my Amazon Wishlist. I am quite literally 100% dependent on the kindness of strangers. It’s a weird job, I know.

If you want a ZERO DOLLAR way to support HijiNKS ENSUE, pleasepost a few of your favorite HE comics to your site, blog or social media outlet of choice with a few words as to why you think your friends might enjoy reading HE as well.

Carl is the Newt of The Walking Dead. Why don’t we put him in charge?

COMMENTERS: I have expressed my problems with The Walking Dead at length. Is there any show where one character seemed to know exactly what was going on and no one ever listened to them? A sufferer of Wesley Crusher syndrome, as it were? Any show that you would have given up on long ago if not for a single redeeming character?

[thanks to @met2art for the alt-text]


This week is the 5 year anniversary of The Experiment. I posted some thoughts (a LOT of thoughts) about it here.

If you are a fan of The Experiment and would like to see it continue, please consider making a donationbuying something from the HE Store or Sharksplode or checking out my Amazon Wishlist. I am quite literally 100% dependent on the kindness of strangers. It’s a weird job, I know.

If you want a ZERO DOLLAR way to support HijiNKS ENSUE, pleasepost a few of your favorite HE comics to your site, blog or social media outlet of choice with a few words as to why you think your friends might enjoy reading HE as well.


It’s hard to tell what the writers and producers of The Walking Dead hate more: the audience, the characters, the comics or the show itself. In this week’s season three finale, they made it clear that we, the audience, are at least pretty high on the hate list. After another season of languishing plot and pacing so slow that it often moved in reverse (seriously, this season was all about story archs moving forward in one episode just to be totally set back in the next), we were presented with a season finale that contained 2, maybe 3 satisfying moments amidst an hour of vamping and build up for climaxes that would never come.

I know the show’s internal workings are troubled. You can’t have a totally stellar first season, then continually fire showrunner after showrunner while the network tightens the budget yet demands more episodes and not expect the quality to decline. The latter of those problems was ESPECIALLY evident in seasons 2 and 3 when nearly every other episode seemed to just be the prelude to the next episode. Either they really aren’t being given the funding and network support to write, and produce 10 or 13 episodes a season or they simply do not understand the purpose of a short season at all.

In a show like LOST (in the early seasons) or BSG (in the latter seasons) where you have 26 episodes a season, it’s fair to expect a few place holder episodes. Yet with barely a baker’s dozen hours to fill a year, The Walking Dead spent all of season two standing around and arguing about secrets and feelings on a farm and all of season three with our heroes considering leaving the prison, considering attacking Woodbury and considering getting rid of or keeping various newcomers. Both seasons were big on debate and internal (often unspoken) conflict and light on… doing… much of anything. With a short season show, the ENTIRE story and all major plot points need to be mapped out ahead of time so that the action, drama, humor, gore, etc can be evenly split among the episodes. I can’t wrap my  head around the creative or financial impetus of “give ’em one good one, 2 bad ones, a kind ok one, an infuriatingly bad one, then repeat.”

Now, with the finale of season 3, The Walking Dead has robbed its fans of any type of resolution regarding The Governor, or the prison and given us no indication of what to look forward two next season other than possibly the REST of season 3’s plot and some fond time’s in Uncle Rick’s Lockdown Nursery and Retirement Village. And despite that fact that THE ONLY THING I was looking forward to in the finale was seeing Michonne take The Governor’s other eye just before Andrea put that pocket knife elbow deep in his heart, the producers elected to elevate The Governor to the role of Jason Vorhees-esque, unkillable boogie man and make him a series regular next season.

I don’t know, guys. I might be out. The only plot element I liked about the finale was Carl… which I will address in the next comic.

COMMENTERS: That season finale was fucking bullshit, right? Spoilers away. Tell me how you feel. 

Walker, Infectious Danger

CRUISE FUNDRAISER: About 55/100 prints are sold and I only have until Dec 15th (10 days left!) to meet my goal of selling all 100. Help me get on a nerd boat and get some neat art for yourself in the process!


How is Zamby formed? How does girl get infacted?

Sweet decapitated, yet still teeth gnashing Father Christmas I am SOOOO pleased with The Walking Dead‘s return to form this season. I consider it a television tragedy of the highest regard that they basically took an entire season off, but with season 3 the show has done such a fierce and rewarding 180 as to almost allow forgiveness for wasting our time for 13 Farm-tastic episodes.

In all honesty, season 2  had maybe 4 episodes worth of compelling story and content, but they decided to spread it out over 13 hours with nearly an hour of it jammed in the finale. It made for an uneven and uninteresting season and prompted many fan (including myself) to mark the show as dead in the water. I know it had a lot to do with the budget cuts, increased show order and crew departures, all of which make it even more shocking that Season 3 has been so enjoyable. Enjoyable is the thing where you’re so tense it feels like your temples are being crushed under a forklift and you bleed uncontrollably from your ears and scalp, right?

COMMENTERS: What do you think about The Walking Dead’s comeback and the midseason cliffhanger? There are 8 episodes left in this season. Can they spend all 8 killing Merl and The Governor over and over and over and over? Alternately: Please continue the fan in panel 3’s review of Season 2 of The Walking Dead or any other terrible season of an otherwise great show.

I made you a LoFi comic about Jack Reacher. Don’t forget to check the thumbnail to the right of the comics to see if there’s a new LoFi. I’m updating them more often now.


Where’s Carl?!

NEW SHIRT!!!  Where’s Carl?! Shirts based on this very comic are live at Sharksplode!
Where's Carl? Walking Dead Calvin and Hobbes Mashup Parody Shirt

Where’s Carl? NOT where you told him to be, that’s for damn sure. That kid is exactly where he is NOT supposed to be (where ever the most zombies are), doing exactly what he is NOT supposed to be doing (which is anything but staying nearby and surviving) with EXACTLY who you told him NOT to be with (basically anyone that aren’t his parents). That Carl is a scamp and a half! 

The Walking Dead season 2 ended last night and my spoiler free review for the entire season goes thusly: There were five boring episodes then one cool thing happened at the end of number six, then five more boring episodes followed by two rather awesome episodes. Looks like AMC’s whole “give us double the episodes for half the money” strategy didn’t really pan out. You could probably edit the entire season down to six quality episodes, but as it stands there was hardly three hours of good story telling or interesting action in the whole season. There was too much time filling, too many arguments over the same issues, NOT ENOUGH ZOMBIES, too much of every character saying the same thing over and over again, episode after episode, NOT ENOUGH ZOMBIES, too much time standing around the god damn farm, and NOT ENOUGH ZOMBIES.

If you want a high quality print of this comic, you can get it HERE. Might look nice as a print triptych with my Calvin & Hobbes/Serenity comic and my Calvin & Hobbes/Game of Thrones comic. Just sayin’.

If there is interest, I will consider a T-shirt as well.

COMMENTERS: How do you feel about this season of The Walking Dead compared to the first? Were you satisfied with the ending and where they seem to be going with season 3? NO MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU MUST POST SLIGHT SPOILERS PLEASE MARK YOU COMMENT AS SUCH VERY CLEARLY.

JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic Part 5

AND MY AXE!” shirts are discounted in the HE store!
And My Axe - Gimli shirt by HijiNKS ENSUE


Here we are, gentle traveler of the seas, at the end of of our JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Photo Comic journey (SPOILERS: This is not the end. There is at least one more). After David, Rob and I were guests on the Paul and Storm Podcast (listen here), we were also the chorus line in Molly LewisMarian Call and Vi Hart‘s (Molly’s head is obscured by a music stand) version of the Schoolhouse Rock classic “Conjunction Junction.” Spelling “but” wrong was a last minute idea of mine that seemed to play pretty well for the audience. David’s usual “I don’t know what’s going on” facial expression really sold it. He did wear that sign for at least a few hours after the show.

During our Advanced Drinking And Drawing session, there was an old (non JoCo Cruise) dude that kept slipping rob shots and demanding that he draw dogs. Within a span of 20 minutes, Rob went from a sane, rational human being to just completely worthless. By the end of it Rob was significantly destroyed with alcohol and this dude was bating him with cries of “YER SPOSE TO DRAW ME A PUG!” Rob was (and I offer ZERO exaggeration here) completely incapable of drawing the circles and rectangles that typically make up his characters, much less a particular breed of dog. I chipped in by finishing a few of his “commissions” and eventually he was coaxed back to his room for non-alcohol based rest. The old dude eventually slipped me a tequila shot as well. I think he was trying to get us to go back to his stateroom. Rob, David and I all collaborated on a piece for Wil entitled “Dude getting his dick kicked off while throwing a butt-taco.” It was a masterpiece.

Nerds tend to sit down or stand relatively still during “nerd-rock” concerts. They are certainly appreciating the music, but they don’t seem to feel the need to shove each other for two hours like the typical concert goer does. Of course these rules of etiquette are thrown out the porthole immediately when the headlining acts starts playing a song about zombies. Then they’re ambling and shimmying and moaning and… well, doing the closest thing they do to forming a mosh pit. It was a sort of moosh pit. Speaking of acting like zombies, please read this Sea Monkey’s account of one of my favorite moments of the entire cruise, in which I was part of a spontaneous theatrical production and bit a stranger on the leg.

Have I ever mentioned that Paul F. Tompkins is a delight? Well he is. He is also one of the sharpest and quickest minds in stand up comedy today. His speech about Han and Chewie’s particular bromance is something that he told me backstage way back during w00tstock Dallas. I found it an incredibly fitting and insightful metaphor for a “nerd-adjacent” among the super nerds. Listen to his podcast. It is among my favorite things.

By the end of the final night our host, Jonathan Coulton, said something like, “I don’t think I even need to show up next year. It will all just keep running on its own momentum.” Not to disparage him or belittle his contributions to the cruise (hell, it DOES have his name on it), but I think he was right. I never got the sense that JoCo was the glue that was binding everyone together on the JoCo cruise. It was a deeper sense of community and belonging (for many, FINALLY belonging) that brought these people together. JoCo just put them on a boat so they could have incredible amounts of excellent fun together. It is a safe bet that each and every person in our group was a fan of Jonathan’s music, but I believe they were even bigger fans of each other. This wasn’t a concert. It was a gathering of like minded people that support independent creators, create great things themselves and strive to uplift and improve the world they live in, the people they appreciate, themselves and each other. Jonathan was the match, but the Sea Monkeys were the flame.

[panels 1 and 2 feature some photos that I found on Facebook or Flickr, but I don’t remember from whom. If they are yours, please let me know so I can credit you]

COMMENTERS: If you were ever awkward or any type of outcast, when was the first time/place/group setting that you knew you belonged and why?