Kristof Haines – IZS

Author Archives: Kristof Haines


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Who needs insurance when you’ve got nothing worth ensuring? That way, a house fire will be just like that weekend clean out you never really got around to.

We are just one week away now from Tauranga Zinefest – this is one of the coolest little creative events in the country so needless to say we’re pretty excited. We’ll have Nimbutt enamel pins for the first time, new prints,  new bookmarks plus our comics and stickers. If you’re anywhere near in the area, take a trip to the Tauranga Art Gallery on Saturday and come say hi. It’d be great to catch up with y’all.

↓ Transcript
“Oh shit. The house is on fire. Help me grab everything valuable!”

*Looks around, doesn’t see anything valuable*


Like a Lead Balloon

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Izak can claim credit for the original idea on this one. There were a bunch of different endings that we bandied back and forth, including one where the balloon went all the way into space and all their corpses were just floating around, but in the end this version won out.

What a stupid, stupid place to propose. I mean, everyone who gets on one knee for a marriage proposal is sure they’re not gonna be turned down, but the reality is that some people do. You have to plan for that shit. And ideally that planning should not include being stuck in a small enclosed space with the person who may turn you down, plus at least one other random stranger. Fortunately the balloon captain in this case executed an elegant solution which ceased the suffering of all three participants. What a good guy.

Oh and just because I have the power to suggest music to you all, here’s a balloon song that’s currently infesting my head.

Izak Edit: Yeah and because I have the power to edit posts I’m just gonna say that we have a new item in stock in our store. Meet nimbutt, the little cloud guy in the picture below. He’s perhaps my most favourite piece of merch we now have.

We’ll be talking a little more about him in the coming days, but I think Becky did an awesome job on him.

↓ Transcript
Wide shot of a hot air balloon floating above a majestic mountain range at sunset. Speech bubbles come from the basket.
“Katrina - will you marry me?”
“... um, no.”

A man is on one knee looking very affronted. Katrina is pretty unhappy too.
“Are you serious?”
“It’s not that I don’t like you-”
The balloon captain, a grizzled fellow reminiscent of a crusty sea captain, interjects.

The captain points to a prominently displayed board:
The Rules:
1. Serenity is sacred.
2. No marriage proposals.

A full panel gives an expanded version of the first panel, with the mountains and sunset looking their best. It is very beautiful. Two bodies plummet toward the ground below.

Lucifer’s Love Song

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I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that it wasn’t pride that brought Lucifer down, but rather a desire to meet God on an even playing field. After all, the God of the Bible offers love and acceptance but only on his terms. This concept has also made its way into a larger project that i hope to get around to one day – probably quite a while from now. As far as I’m aware (please correct me if I’m wrong) no one has really dealt with the story of Lucifer’s rebellion and the war in Heaven in a mature, insightful and compelling way. That’s one story I’d love to read, and if no one else is going to step up, I’m going  to damn well tell it.

↓ Transcript
An angel falls raggedly to Earth, wings and skin burning like a meteor.
All I wanted was to love you as an equal
but you said no and cast me down.

A chubby toddler points toward a badly burned angel. The angel, reclining in a small impact crater, reaches toward the toddler.
Now I teach others to challenge you
so one day you might see a piece of me
in these creatures you love so much.

The Install Wizard

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The Install Wizard, while being a friendly chap who makes all of life’s transitions a little easier, sometimes gets us all into savage situations.

This particular strip went through a good few minor iterations before ending up in its final form. Izak even redid the wand of rebooting, after we decided that it wasn’t quite wandy enough – which I’m pretty glad about to be honest because what he ended up with looks scary as fuck. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with all the snakes (or where most of them went… better not to ask) but I guess if you’re executing a spell and get snakes, you’ve probably gone badly wrong somewhere along the line.

↓ Transcript
(The install wizard is the only one speaking in this strip)

“Hello! I'm the install wizard. I'm here to set up some exciting new features in your life.

Oh. Shit.

I'm sorry. Something went wrong.

Prepare to interface with the wand of rebooting.”

The Last Mirage

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Sometimes that’s all we need. Just a shimmering illusion to keep us going, in the face of a world that offers no real hope.

We’re still giving that Twitch thing a go! But for people who don’t have time to sit around watching us draw we’ve been pulling out little highlights and chucking them onto Youtube. Don’t be fooled by our colourful preview images. It’s always just us glaring at the half finished comic and I decided that wouldn’t always be very visually appealing.

↓ Transcript
The water casks ran dry weeks ago, so we left our masters to the sands.

Now we follow our last mirage.

It won’t save us. But it’s good to have one last dream.

Undying Loyalty

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This strip came out of Izak discovering that dogs have a tendency to eat their dead owner’s face, before any other body part. There’s no way of knowing (without a quick Google search) exactly why this is, but it seems to be a domesticated behaviour. Wolves, for example, will just rip into the belly straight away – easy access and plenty nutritious organs just sitting there for the taking. I like to think that dogs start on the face as a sort of tribute – one last act of communion with their former master. That’s probably horseshit, but it sounds good and I’m sticking with it.

Take a peek at the video clip below for a portion of the Twitch stream for this comic, in which Izak, Becky and I discuss family friendly sponsorship, condom flavoured babies and sperm obstacle courses.

No Clouds for Atheists

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This one, like many of Izak’s strips, came out of something someone actually said. The first line is more or less verbatim. All three of us thought the idea of rainbow grannies being superior to religion was so ridiculous that we just had to do something with it.

In other IZS news, we found out today that our enamel lapel pins which Becky designed are most likely going to arrive before the upcoming Tauranga Zinefest. We’ll definitely be posting more about them as soon has we have the pins in our grubby little hands, but for now let me just say that they’re adorable and just a wee bit ‘cheeky’. Also, shoutout to Ola, our most vocal Twitch follower yet who taught us about pierogi dumplings and Polish vodka. It’s nice when the void shouts back.

↓ Transcript
“I don’t believe in religion. So I told my son that gran is living in the rainbow now.”
“Oh yeah, there’s definitely nothing pseudo-religious about that.”

“Kid, your mother lied to you. She thinks your gran’s rotting in a hole.”

“Personally though, I think she’s rotting in hell.”

The Perks of Being a Wallstick

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“You know, just for once I’d like someone to acknowledge that I have something to offer. That I’m somebody too. That I’m at least marginally nutritious.”

I ended up watching Becky draw a good chunk of this one on Twitch. It was something of a marathon session, given the demands of the new art style she’s trying out. It’s really fascinating to watch a piece develop, and gives me as a writer an insight into the artistic process that I’d never otherwise get, as they’d tell me to fuck off eventually if I was breathing down their neck in person for three hours. This way I can just watch their every move from the comfort of my couch. Way less creepy.

↓ Transcript
A leaf insect is hanging out on a branch, chatting to a caterpillar.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible.”

“Everyone else gets noticed and I just sit here like I don’t even matter.”

A bird grabs the caterpillar. Caterpillar blood spurts onto the leaf insect as the bird prepares to devour its prey.
“Fucking typical.”

My True Self

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When we picture ultra-advanced robots who can think and feel like us, we almost always imagine them looking like humans. That’s understandable – in our experience, highly intelligent life pretty much only looks like us. But really, when you think about it – why would they want to be anything like us? Beyond some vestige of creator worship, which they might bypass altogether, there’s no good reason to emulate some carbon-based animal that’s been flung together by chance and improved blindly and extemporaneously.

This is a subject that we’ve explored in the past, in this bonus strip which never made it as an official comic because we only did funny strips back then:

↓ Transcript
A bedroom. Long satin gloves and a fur stole are draped over the back of a chair.
Caption: Now that they’ve left, I don’t have to pretend.

An evening dress and underwear lie puddled on the floor.
Caption: I can look how I want to look, feel what I want to feel.

A female figure sits at a vanity with her back turned to us. She is fully nude, looking in the mirror. In the mirror, we can see she is peeling back her face to reveal glistening mechanics below.
Caption: Now the humans are gone, I can finally be myself.

Forgotten But Not Gone

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I know I geeked out about the new art style in Friday’s comic blurb, but I’m excited again – it’s Kite and Mule-bot’s first colour strip! I’ve been doing some thinking recently about where I want to go with the story for these two adventurers, and got so excited that I wrote two K&M scripts in one day. This was the first – the other will pop up in good time. By the way, if you haven’t encountered these guys before and you want to do a quick catch up, the link above will do you fine – just scroll down to the bottom and start from there.

↓ Transcript
A wide shot of Kite and Mule-bot standing in a seemingly endless corridor, with banks of cyberpunk-style servers lining the entire wall surface. Kite is kneeling to investigate one of the machines.
“How is this stuff still working with all the people gone?”

A much closer shot of the two. Kite glances over to Mule-bot.
“I haven’t noticed anyone - have you?”