Friday, February 18, 2011

I play hockey in my boxers

Friday Favorite #2
Tyson Hesse
Tyson Hesse earned his BFA in animation at Savannah College of Art and Design.  He is the creator of the successful webcomic Boxer Hockey and his print-only comic Diesel.  I first found Tyson Hesse's work on deviantart back in my senior year of high school.  I immediately fell in love with Boxer Hockey.  Up until that time the only webcomic I knew about was Penny Arcade.  The world of webcomics was a mystery to me that I didn't know even existed. 

Boxer Hockey is. . .well I'll let Tyson explain:

"Boxer Hockey can be played anywhere, by anyone.  In your backyard, in a park, on the roof of the quick stop; anywhere that you can run around and have a good time.  Professional class boxer hockey is played in WBHL certified stadiums.  Stadiums can be designed to include any number of hazards or conditions [. . .] A professional Boxer Hockey team is comprised of four players, or boxey hockers.  Three runners and one goalie.  Runners are allowed to bring one "stick" on to the field, each.  A player's "stick" can be any kind of blunt object.  A baseball bat, hockey stick, pipe, broom, large rock; anything the player wishes.[. . .] The runners try to get the "ball" into the opposing team's goal, scoring a point.  [. . .] Oh, and most importantly, the "ball" is a genetically engineered frog.  [. . .] splicing the frog's DNA with rubber offers a longer-lasting frog, with less gory pauses to replace broken units.  In fact, a regulation WBHL frogs lives an average, healthy 6 years."  (Hesse, Tyson. Boxer Hockey. Vol. 1. 2010. 1. Print.)

The comic follows the lives of a Boxer Hockey team, the Mekpens (from left to right: Billy, Skip, Rittz and Chuck).  I love all of the characters in this comic.  None of them feel fake or are lacking personality.   The character's relationships with each other is complex and real.

Tyson started Boxer Hockey in 2006 and the comic has seen a huge amount of improvement and growth in this time. 

A good place to pick up Boxer Hockey is with, in my opinion, the most heart warming and emotional story arch in webcomics, the story of how Rittz and Skip met. After that it won't be a bad idea to go to the first comic and read through. Most of this comic is PG in nature and Hesse himself has said he likes to keep the art in that rating.  However, there are some parts that are not appropriate for younger audiences (but the adult humor will go over kids heads much like any Disney movie).  For example, Rittz has a coma dream that he has gotten Chuck pregnant.  Rittz being naive doesn't know how someone gets pregnant, so the only real inappropriate part of his dream is when Chuck gives birth to a baby Bill Cosby.  It is only one panel and the image is blurred, but still make sure to skip page 40.  Other than that panel the comic is PG (aside from the occasional gay jokes and some language) and is really an interesting and engaging story. 
Boxer Hockey is a must read!  I bought the first volume of Boxer Hockey when it first was published and had it signed by Tyson Hesse himself because I was one of the first 100 to order.

Besides Boxer Hockey, Tyson Hesse has made another comic called Diesel. 
"Diesel is my first comic developed exclusively for print. As I look to get into comic books
as a career I am finding that many publishers don't want to print material that people can get
for free on the internet already. Boxer Hockey is to stay free for as long as possible, so I
developed this new property over the past few years to shop around to potential interested publishers.
There is a slight possibility that Diesel could end up online in the future, but it will only be available
in print form for at least 6 months.

Diesel is a garbage girl who sails aboard a traveling airship garage. Her heritage begs that she one day become a great engineer, but all she wants to do is learn to pilot her late father's ship. A ship which she believes is rightfully hers. The ships current captain however, Diesel's childhood friend, doesn't want her anywhere near the helm. Adventures ensue. Call it steampunk, or fantasy, or sci-fi or what have you. It's a pretty fair departure for what you may be used to in Boxer Hockey. It's a bit more dramatic, but still light-hearted enough for few good gags here and there." (Hesse, Tyson. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Regarding Tyson Hesse's art, it is quite impressive.  The one thing I hear over and over again is people talking about how good Hesse is at drawing emotions and faces.  You'll see what everyone is talking about when you start reading Boxer Hockey.  Long story short, Tyson Hesse is my favorite webcomic artist and you should all read his comics and support him!

Tyson Hesse links:
youtube (check this out for his animation work)

Let me know what you guys think of Tyson Hesse's work and Friday Favorites in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. i love friday favorites because i feel like i learn something new every time.
    also, boxer hockey is rad.