PREVIOUSLY: DJINNX by J.R. LeMar and Samax Amen
Now this is technically the second strip I created, although it began first. Let me explain.
So after I’d came up with the idea for DJINNX and sent the first idea (or I think I may have sent him the first two scripts at once, but I don’t recall exactly) off to Samax to draw, I then had to wait. While waiting, I kept thinking of comic strip ideas. And I started to think that it would be cool to also do a strip with Celina Hernandez, whom I’ve know for over 10 years and bought many commissions from. So before approaching her, I tried to think of something that would be right for her. Initially I was thinking of doing a single-panel strip, called WTF?!?, which would basically by my own take on the classic comic strip THE FAR SIDE by Gary Larson. Each strip would be a single-panel, depicting some absurd situation.
One of the early ideas I came up with was to be in Hell, showing two demons standing over a lake of fire, from which we’d see some human hands sticking out of, and the demons are sticking their pitchforks into the lake, as if poking the humans in the fire, and there’d be a 3rd demon, who’s clearly the boss, and he’s complaining about how they’re working. Or he might be telling them that they’d need to work on the weekend. I hadn’t completed that idea. I just knew the joke would be the caption that would say something like BOSS FROM HELL…IN HELL.
But as I was working on it, the phrase BOSS FROM HELL stuck with me, and I thought it would be more absurd to put that demonic boss, whom I was envisioning as a the class “Satan” look, but wearing a suit and tie, and stick him in a typical office-situation. And that morphed into a more tradition 3-panel comic. So I emailed Celina about it, sent her my idea, and she came back with this:
I’ll note that she came up with the little detail of the Boss’ word balloon being in bold with the “melting” at the bottom. Nice touch. Again, this was initially just thought of as a one-time thing. But this was actually finished before Samax finished his first DJINNX strip, so this was the first time I saw a comic strip idea of mine in completed form. It was just so awesome to see, and it’s what started a little buzz in the back of my head that this is something I might want to try doing on a regular basis. Once I saw this I almost immediately came up with another one.
As I said before at the time that I didn’t have names for any of the characters. My script to Celina just said to draw a Black guy and an Asian woman, and that’s how I described them in this and all subsequent scripts. At first I didn’t plan to ever give any characters in this strip names, I figured this represents how The Boss sees his employees, they’re just random peons for him to torture (much as he presumably did to bad souls in Hell). So in his mind, he probably just thinks of them as “Black guy”, etc, never ever bothering to learn or remember their names. I have recently changed my mind on that. I don’t know if Celina intentionally drew the Black guy as bald (I didn’t specify to her to do that), to make him look like me, but I sort of went with that, and have written him sort of with my personality. And the name I came up for him is T.J. LUCAS. The Asian woman I named ANDREA AOIKI, based on a Japanese coworker of mine who’s initials are A.A.
The boss is still just THE BOSS, he’s obviously SATAN/LUCIFER, but we don’t need to call him by name. I also haven’t decided whether I’ll ever name what company they work for, or what they do. For now it’s just a typical BIG CORPORATION, where a bunch of people work in cubicles all day long.
This came to me because it was the end of November, and preparations were being made for the annual Christmas party. By the time I posted this strip in January, it was no longer really topical. But, again, I wasn’t thinking of that at the time I wrote it. I love how it came out, though. The little meta fourth-wall breaking scene at the end, with T.J. looking directly at “us,” is what makes it work. It was after getting this strip that I really started thinking of making this a regular thing. Now, I knew I didn’t have the talent to being able to do a daily strip. I don’t know how the pros do that. But I got the idea of creating a site where I would do weekly strips, and my idea was that BOSS FROM HELL and DJINNX would be my two regular strips, that I would switch each week, posting a new DJINNX strip on Monday, and then BOSS FROM HELL the next Monday, and so one. That was the original plan for what eventually became MY COMIC STRIP CLUB. I decided to launch it on the first of the year.
I wanted to introduce another employee to the strip. And so I told Celina to introduce a HISPANIC WOMAN (and that’s what I called her the strips) who was based on her. And I’ve since named this character SELINA FERNANDEZ.
Although T.J. is my favorite character to write, since I’m basically just writing myself into the strip, I wanted to make sure to showcase all the regular employees, not have it always be the Boss and T.J. So I came up the above idea for Andrea (the real-life woman she’s based on is pretty tough and no-nonsense, so I adopted that into Andrea’s personality.
This lead into this idea I had to follow-up on the previous strip, which worked out perfectly, as I was able to schedule this to post on Valentine’s Day.
Again, T.J. is basically me…
…although I wouldn’t have fallen for this one.
The final line was originally the punch-line for the second strip, but I switched it. I still liked it, and so when I thought of doing an April Fool’s Day strip, I realized it worked perfectly for this premise.
And that brings us up to tonight. There’s one strip missing from this post, but I will talk about it in another post. I have to admit that BOSS FROM HELL had been my favorite strip to this point, it just flows so easy for me, and I really like the characters. But, like DJINNX, I’m putting it on hiatus for now. Celina and I have two new ongoing strips in the works, one of which will be debuting tomorrow morning, on MY COMIC STRIP CLUB, so I’ll y’all will check that out. But the gang from BOSS FROM HELL will return. We already have one more Boss From Hell strip completed, but I want to get these new strips up running before I post that. I’ll hope you’ll continue to stick around.
And if you need any art for yourself, be it a picture, or even your own comic strip, feel free to contact Celina Hernandez: