Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Quick Recommendation: Hijinks Ensue

You may have heard of this comic before. Hijinks Ensue has been running about a year and a half now, updating three times a week on a MWF schedule. It is a good comic, with solid art and well-developed jokes. The art takes a page from Penny Arcade's stylebook, but cartoonist-entrepreneur Joel Watson brings enough of his own artistic style to keep it visually interesting. Honestly, this comic may not be as big as Penny Arcade (no comic is as big as Penny Arcade!), but Hijinks Ensue is doing for geek-culture at large what PA does for gaming: it approaches its task with clever wit and takes critical jabs at media and entertainment where they come up short. From NBC's Heroes to digital music copy-protection, it goes beyond pop-culture references into actual industry commentary. And it's good.

Of particular interest to comic creators will be Joel Watson's accounts of The Experiment--the things he's doing to make a full-time living with his comic and support himself and his family. While working an unengaging job in sales, he started doing his comic and connecting with new fans through it. When he was let go from his job, he decided to no longer be "a closet artist wearing a business man disguise" and to go full-time with the comic. He's not yet making a full-time income off the comic, but he's taking steps to get there, and he remains optimistic. The "Experiment" portion of his website is equal parts inspiration and practical tips for making a creative living with the aid of the internet, and if you're a webcomic creator as well as a reader, it's worth checking out.

So, there's your quick-and-dirty recommendation for this Wednesday. If you're a geek that likes to see the world of geekery cleverly mocked, or if you just want to see a professional nerd humorist in action, go take a look at Hijinks Ensue. Joel Watson, in my estimation, is a webcartoonist worth supporting.


Unknown said...

Great write-up! I love HE and Joel is quickly becoming a geek hero!

Jackson said...

Thanks, Joseph. I'm all about celebrating the efforts of guys like Joel--guys whose efforts are well worth celebrating. :)

Dram said...

Thanks dude, always glad when people give HE attention

Anonymous said...

I've been reading HE since just before Joel lost his day job, and it has since become by far my favourite thing about the Internet. Joel's wit brings a smile to my face every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and as you said, he's an artist worth supporting.