582 – Violet • 01


One of my readers who works for the CSX corporation told me yesterday that her company’s firewall now excludes HOLE. It seems that the comic is now too “adult” and they were afraid that there weren’t any working there. (Even allowing for wildly varying values of the word “adult”, it’s hard to see the humor here as remotely approximating anything grown-up.)

I am sorry that she will have to forego reading the comic until she gets home, just as I am sorry for the rest of the folks working at CSX that they are (mostly) unable to remove their boobs, peckers, and fannies in the morning before work to better forget that they are actually human. I imagine that would make them more efficient workers — which is after all, everything any of us really want to be. (In case it didn’t translate, the previous two sentences were soaked with sarcasm.)

Now the one person in all this I am NOT sorry for is me. While I guess CSX’s decision doesn’t much affect me directly, it is the result of me following my own muses, and leaving the values of a whole swath of society I have no use for behind. (The values, not the swath. I’m sure they’re all very nice.) It’s liberating.

Very soon now I’m going to go upstairs and snuggle up with my wife and let the dog sleep on my feet and I’m going to be very, very happy. I will dream my happy dreams of killing zombies and copping a feel from Allison Hannigan, and even as I do, I will never forget that I am actually human.

I may be inefficient as hell, but I’m glad for who and what I am, and I’m happy.

38 Responses to 582 – Violet • 01

  1. The Violet storyline does contain graphic scenes of full-frontal nudity which does seem to be a bit of a diversion from the almost-family-friendly HOLE of old. I think at some point you went over the “Work Safe” threshhold!

    • No doubt. Regardless of my feelings towards corporate culture, I want to be clear that I am not complaining. I didn’t expect this, but only because I hadn’t thought about it. It makes complete sense, and I view being “banned” as an inevitable consequence of me taking the comic to the place I always wanted it to be, but didn’t because I was afraid of losing a large segment of my readership and sacrificing my success. After almost four years of doing this however, I have come to realize that if the comic is going to “succeed”, I needed to change the goalposts.

      Succeed no longer means a huge readership and financial gain. Succeed has come to mean a band of pals here in the comments, and a comic that is worth making because I enjoy making it. And THAT means nekkid people and lowbrow humor and whatever else my gutterbound brain finds funny.

      For me, the previous “Work Safe” comic was the diversion. I’m just getting to the good stuff.

      • “Work Safe” comic.

        WTF are you doing reading comics at work…

        genitals etc, so what. But you’re paid to do a job, how ’bout they get their arses in gear and do it.
        slack off/read comics on your own time (with your own gear/bandwidth).

        (vision of surgeon or pilot or sharemarket “floor” man saying yeah I’ll get back to you just after reading this page)

        • Since we’re now all apparently reporting to Carl, I’d like to ask for a new chair. The girl upstairs has a better one and I want one too. Also, the fridge is out of Diet Coke and you need to tell the guy in next cubicle he REALLY needs to start bathing more than once a month.

          Everyone direct all your work concerns to Carl, who is very interested in the way you perform your jobs.

          • Well work harder Kevin, you’ll get there one day (yeah right 😉 )

            Used to have a few managers that we paid good dollars to that thought work was stuff for minions and would fill the time w/ hobbies, how shocked they were when sacking time came because performance wasn’t up to minimum level (set by the bank and the loan repayments).

            And more than a few minions that figured listening to streamed radio/video was better than local radio stations yet whined about slow company WAN network response time, that’s not including the cost the data portion of the pipe blowing out the IT budget by 500% every month. Although that was partly from one guy who figured computers weren’t being used in the evenings so he’d run a uTorrent (and convinced one of techs to pinhole the firewall for him).

        • Not sure about you, Carl, but my half-hour lunch is unpaid. That makes it my time, not the company’s. The only valid point you made was abut using the company’s gear/bandwidth; although I would think the measly 800KB to load HOLE wouldn’t really cost them too much, would it?

        • I used to work on the helpdesk. It was encouraged to do things like read comics/play games when you were between calls in order to maintain your sanity. I’ve since moved on to “website administrator” where I’m still pretty much only working when something needs posting or goes down so I get a lot of time with nothing work-related to do, (but I need to be at work in case something does need doing.)

          There are a lot of jobs, (especially in IT) that require you to be available, but don’t require you to be working your entire shift, reading comics is great for that as you can drop what you are doing at a moment’s notice and start working, yet you aren’t bored out of your mind between assignments.

          • I take your point re: Worksafe in this case, but also note that the people paying for your services and the services they provide you have authorised (ie agreed) to pay you for such things.

            In my country there are few businesses that can afford to have people slacking around like that, as indicated above competition and low margins means most people have several tasks and a list of “when theres a moment”/”cold contacts”/research/cleaning/prepping stuff to do when there’s actually a moments break. Ambulance drivers are about the only ones I know of, and that’s because the government pays them here.

  2. Holy strategically placed speech bubble, Batman!

    Nice muscles there, Bunker. Nice new hairstyle. And I see Bunker is following the latest fashion of bikini-zone waxing for males. 😆

    Aw, Bunker should try to see the positive side of having a hot wife, even if she’s a half-troll: Enkidu will be absolutely envious!

    In other news, the artwork has much improved the past weeks since the change from color.

    • I really appreciate you saying that Christina! That is incredibly nice to read!

      (I often wish I could eliminate the speech bubbles altogether, because they always cover up some bit I really liked. Oh well, that’s how the bubble bounces!)

    • I agree, good job on the artwork! When you dropped colour I was worried you would let the quality go down, but it hasn’t. It looks better now.

      • Well, as one person helpfully pointed out, it really did drop quite a bit for a while there. I expected that though, and worked to overcome it. I’m happy with what I’ve gotten out of the pencils so far, and hope to keep improving.

        But thank you very much for saying so, Moginheden.

        • I’ll second that.

          I much prefer its black-and-whiteness now that we’ve both settled into the groove (ie: you’re used to drawing it, I’m used to looking at it).

          • I dunno. I liked the color. But what irked me after the change was not the lack of color. At first the pencil line-art was sloppy, and the proportions and facial expressions of the characters were off somehow. Which confused me, because prior to that, Kevin had done sterling work bringing those characters to life, and the art had taken a step backwards. That’s why I used to be rather sceptical about the change, because the comic strip o nthe front page is what first readers first get to see.

          • Lot’s easier to make as well!

            It DID get sloppier-looking, Christina. When I was doing the color, I basically had 3 opportunities to spot and correct stupid mistakes I made. Using the sketches means you get to see the raw art, before it’s been tweaked and honed and smoothed over and made presentable.

            When I first made this switch, I was kinda freaked out about that. Counterintuitively, what needed to happen on my end was that I needed to become less worried about it, and just relax into it. Have fun. That’s begun happening, but there’s still plenty of room to grow. (As I suspect there always will be.)

  3. Personally I thought the last few comics pushed the NSFW boundary a bit to far. Not because they contained adult situations, but because most of the nudity seemed unnecessary.

    I think comics 573, 581, and 582 are fine as is, but in the ones in between violet should have been covered, (with a cloak or something, not fully dressed.) It didn’t help the story to do otherwise and running around outside without clothes isn’t something that normally happens. Comic 575 would be fine in the first few panels too since it’s directly after 573 continuity-wise, but Morty should have covered her in a cloak at the end of it.

    • NSFW? North South Fast West? Oh! Not Safe For Work. You kids and your crazy lingo.

      Yeah, as I mentioned above, I like everybody here and I certainly don’t want to push anyone away, but as much as I love talking to all of you… you don’t pay me. So the actual value I get from the comic is strictly the enjoyment I get from making it. I like risqué entertainment, and that’s what I want to make. If I tried to satisfy each voice with an opinion, (which is not meant as a dig on you) I would quickly end up making a product that was no fun, and that would mean I was doing something I didn’t like for free… which would be even more stupid than what I am doing now.

      Violet spent all that time with no clothes on because A) there was a plot point that revolved around it, B) I like drawing nekked wimmins, and C) I thought the idea of Martin having a prolonged conversation with a nine-foot naked green woman in the middle of the street was kinda funny. So for me, the series served it’s purpose perfectly.

      • “I thought the idea of Martin having a prolonged conversation with a nine-foot naked green woman in the middle of the street was kinda funny.”

        Further proof to me that Martin is still in the closet. I mean, he admitted he fancies Bunker right after he had slept with his henchwoman. And he always tries to get the big, lawful, upright warrior’s attention to “corrupt” him. (Is that what you’re calling it, Martin? Sure, man, why not.) 8)

        But I sure hope I’ll be proven wrong, because otherwise I’d have to start having a sort spot for Martin. 😕 Principiis obsta!

    • There’s no point in nudity unless it’s blatantly gratuitous anyway…

      On a not totally unrelated subject, hurry up and bring Velvet back!

      • You may as well be patient, ’cause we can’t make it go any faster.

        Velvet is coming back soon-ish, we just have to get this gang to where they’re going first.

    • Obviously you never ran around in the same D&D groups that I did. There was many a time that the party was hungover from a victory party and had to fight an ambush in their birthday suits. Ahh those were the days.

  4. As a loyal reader for about the past year or so now I like where the comic has come to. It was fun in the beginning because I came into it kinda late, so I got to read from the beginning and literally spent hours catching up. I got to see you go from kinda scratchy black and white, to smoothing things out, to color, back to scratchy black and white, and now to this. And the entire time it was waaaay better than anything I can draw so I was perfectly happy. The art is still good, the humor is still there and now we have boobs and sex scenes. And since I don’t have internet where I work (not really sure how that would work anyway considering what I do for a living) I have to wait til I get home to read it anyway. So it all works out for me. Anyway, love the comic Kevin, and so long as you keep putting it up here I’ll keep reading it, laughing, and typing inane things on the blog.

  5. I’m pretty sure there’s a way to bypass that firewall, but that’s just my rebellious side talking =p

    also isn’t cleverly placed censors supposed to be fun to think up? I realize its probably too late but that probably would have saved you from getting banned while at the same time being a little extra creative

    • I’m not sure what you just said, but I imagine you’re right.

      There are a few ways to view banned content from work, but some are safer than others. Proxies used to be the way to go but IT people watch out for those now. Programs like Netshade hide the proxy from the server (supposedly… don’t ask me how that works) but your best bet is a 3G enabled portable like an iPhone, netbook, or the like. Unless your company is willing to scramble all incoming cellphone communication, (hint: they’re not) this is the only foolproof answer.

  6. hmmm this is intriguing i wonder who violet really is. i cant wait to find out.oh hey is she the hot redhead from the bar? dont tell me i am a patient man i can wait.

    censorship is bullshit. i believe that the only person that anyone should should censor is rush limbaugh(i dont like that guy). i understand the need for discretion on the computer and internet (especially where children are concerned and possibly at work) but it shouldn’t be someone elses responsibility to tell me what i can look at i mean c’mon man you’re not drawing porn. although i would like to see all the H.O.L.E. girls naked in a one page drawing i think that would be cool (yes im a pervert but weve already established this).but it has been a task of the american government to decide what we want for us since our inception as a country and it doesn’t look like its ever going to change. but i will keep reading as long as you keep drawing and posting.

    and also cant wait for Dear D.M. tomorrow

    • Lena ‘splained it to me. I was having a brain-block but she quickly laid it out for me. I’d go into it here but I think I’m going to make it a separate blog later.

  7. Sorry kids the good old days of free internet access at work are over. On the one hand nobody wants to work next to a guy who whacks off to porn all day. On the other, once they put the blocking software in place it was a short step to blocking anything they just didn’t like. My workplace banned scarygoround.com for awhile and there’s never been any nudity. Happened right after two 17 year old characters got it on. Scandalous. Yesterday I got a screen saying this was a banned as a Rascist Hate site:
    Then again, I’m pretty sure my company is indeed run by giant lizards:)

    • Sounds like they’re in the habit of banning anything they don’t know the definition of. Pretty funny.

      Most large companies are in fact run by giant lizards, but you didn’t hear it from me.

  8. I finally am catching up with HOLE, my work also has it blocked. Did a quick look at comments, did not see the mentione of “websense”. My org uses websense to block content they feel might hold the employer liable for trouble (if person ‘a’ looks at porn, and person ‘b’ is offended, it can be ruled as spnsored sexual harassment. In a just world, they would either tell person ‘a’ to stop it, or at least take it somewhere not visable to others, but meh, easier for the trogldytes to just block it).

    It is likely many orgs use either websense, or the same list that they use. One of my sites was flagged by them as “gaming” and I had to set up another site I could access and update my site. There is a way to challenge it, but I fear that if they look at recent comics, they would be hard pressed to change their ruling.

    So I have one “fun” link at home now. Yours. The rest I can still look at on my breaks and whatnot.