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Hello everyone. Drake and I are back from our trips. A good time was had. We saw many friends and let's not forget the Shellac / Oxes show. They rocked! Although, I figured out that I'm about armpit height and being immersed in a sea of rockers demands an investment in a pair of platform shoes... or nose plugs ;-).

Oh yeah, don't forget to set your clocks an hour back this weekend (unless you live in a place that abstains from this crazy custom that makes us cry because we "lose" an hour in April and happy because we "gain " an hour in October).

Have a great weekend!


Hi folks. Jen and I will be out of town for most of next week, so we are going to take a short break with the comics. We will be back with an update on the 21st (Monday), so we hope you'll come back then!

Meanwhile, for those of you who haven't yet seen Microsoft's CEO dance around like an insane monkey, we ask you to please check out this exciting video. Who has more soul? Monkey boy or Banana? You decide.


Our buddy Steve is the brains behind our latest poll - thanks man. Not only is he a poll-thinking-up machine, but he's got one of the coolest jobs of which I know (if you watch Cartoon Network, you've heard his sound engineering skillz). Plus he's coming from Atlanta to visit us and catch some Q And Not U punk rock action this weekend. Rock!

We spent Friday night with friends at the retro "radical prom", served up by Gainesville's own Civic Media Center. There is hardly a less coordinated beast than a cartoonist geek (e.g. this one) dancing to eighties alt-rock... it's true. One of the many cool things that happend that night was meeting the friend of our friend Katie (happy birthday, Katie!), Jeff of Alternative Comics. Now there are nice guys who will buy you a drink when they first meet you, and then there are uber nice guys who will give you a 50 lb. stack of comic books because they like the cut of your jib. Jeff is such a man.

These comics are seriously cool; among the artists published by Alternative Comics are talent like Sam Henderson, James Kolchalka, and Nick Bertozzi. Check 'em out if you haven't already. Personally, I never felt I knew as much about alternative print comics as I should. While my extensive Garfield and Hagar the Horrible trivia knowledge is a thing to behold, it really isn't worth many "indie credibility" points. Thanks Jeff, this stuff is great!

Chad from digimuffin.com decided to target us for some friendly SETI@home competition. I think we're up to it. Whatever you do, don't join Team Digimuffin! They are very silly people. Join us, because we love you. Speaking of SETI@home, they have a new feature (well, new to me) where you can add a personal profile to your account, including background info and a picture. We'd love it if any of you who join would take advantage of this feature, so everyone can finally know each other (yes, we need to do it too)!

Reader Asas sent us a fun link to the try2hack website, suggesting that Preston try it (I estimated that Preston could reach level 2 at most :D). Finally, here are a couple of links I need to disseminate, due to their funniness: Nerd Movies!!! and Rock and Roll Confidential (for those who appreciate rock). As always, thanks for reading our comic! Until next time...


Hi everyone. We're very much behind on our mail, so sorry to all of you who have emailed us and are still waiting for a response. We really do appreciate all your feedback...

We just finished watching all of the show 24 that we borrowed from Sandy, the video pimp at my work. For those who don't know, it's a TV show that covers 24 hours (episodes) of a counter-terrorist agent's day in real time. This is, without a doubt, one of the best and most addictive shows ever- we'd been watching it in 5-6 hour batches just because it's impossible to stop. It has really ruined television watching for me, in that normal TV programs, and even most movies, just seem so crappy compared to 24. The new season starts in October... YAY!.

But enough of that TV talk. Yesterday Jen and I saw a lot of bats. We watched an estimated 60,000 bats swoop out of their house to go insect hunting for the night over Lake Alice. Sometimes I realize how cool it is to live in Florida- it's like having a swamp in your backyard, everyday. Jen likes it too, though she's currently engaged in a vicious battle against the evil fire ants that have overtaken our yard. Go Jen!

Looking over our website logs, it seems that we were "sort of" Slashdotted a few weeks ago, in response to a User Friendly book review. Look at one of the first comments: "if you appreciate the 'humor' of UF, you'll love this [hackles.org]". (Score:4, Informative!) Thanks kraf, that brought us over a quarter million hits. To return the favor to Slashdot, we'd like to link back to them. I'm sure Cmdr Taco will appreciate the extra traffic we send their way.

Our old friend Enrico (who we still need to write back to!) is translating our comics into German, a gesture which flatters us to no end. We really must learn to speak German soon - I think half our readers must come from there :).

On a final note, I'd like to thank the handful of you who've joined the Hackles SETI group. There isn't any membership card, newsletter, or prizes, but it's neat to see who decides to join up. I'm confident it's only a matter of time before we kick Team User Friendly's butts... ;-)


Wow, it's been a long time since we did a news update. Jen and I have been as busy as mallets in a whack-a-mole machine (to coin a phrase). I'm busy working, reading action-packed RFCs, coding, and trying to play Linus and Lucy on the piano (a lifelong pursuit of mine). Jen has been prognosticating nonstop on the subject of labyrinth architectures for our backyard, and lending a hand to our friend Kimberly who just gave birth. Meanwhile the neighborhood cat has somehow figured out how to ring the doorbell whenever she wants Jen to come out and pet her. It's a crazy world.

The wedding last month was fun, and it was good to see our old friends from that whole North Carolina era of our lives. We also visited the famouse Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, where we tried to sell the curator some framed Hackles strips (I kid!). You can see some pictures of our trip to New York here, if you're the kind of person that likes looking at random people's vacation pictures ;-).

My job involves constantly learning and doing new stuff, which is great- although lately my duties have included talking to a number of software vendors. Now admittedly, this is an art form which I haven't mastered yet. Judging from the truly skilled guys in my office, it is a delicate verbal dance, involving mostly browbeating them into silence and then hanging up. Excellent...

By the way, yesterday's strip marks our 200th cartoon! Hooray! Let's have some cake. To those of you who've written to us lately: Thank you! And if we've been slow to respond: Sorry! We really do appreciate your feedback and support. Our free time has been whittled away by that tedious demon, Real Life, and his elusive partner, Healthy Social Life.

Just kidding about the social life part ;-).


Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying life out there. Drake and I have been very busy, but we are taking a little break to see our friends Inga and Mike get married in Buffalo, NY. So we will not be posting on the 12th or 15th, but we will be back with more strips for you to enjoy on the 17th. Until then, you might like to take a look at the links on our random comic generator for your comic fulfillment. Have fun!


Sunday (June 30th) was Drake's birthday! This is his last year as a twenty-something. Some friends and I went with him to the closest Indian restaurant we can get to, about 40 minutes away. It was great! Of course he also got some new computer books for his birthday.

In our last poll, Coke beat Beer only by a few percent. With all that caffeine being consumed, I started to wonder how much sleep people out there get. Lately, I've become addicted to Arizona Green Tea. Unfortunately, it's been interfering with my sleep at night. So, our new poll askes how much sleep you get per night. Are you guys night owls too?

In other news, we wanted to mention that Drake's brother, Tod, helped produce a neat short film for Nintendo's film contest based on their new Eternal Darkness game. It's called "Carnal Noise" and you can check it out here along with the other entries, until July 4th (oops! that's tomorrow!). If you rate all ten films, you are entered to win a Nintendo Game Cube!


mozilla dino Yay, at long last Mozilla 1.0 is available! No, Jen and I didn't attend any of the official Mozilla parties, but we did celebrate at home with some ice cream (Hey, we like our parties small). I used to prefer Opera greatly over Mozilla, but lately (especially after discovering Mozilla's awesome tabbed browsing feature) I've been using the two browsers in about equal amounts, depending on my mood. Jen pretty much sticks with Mozilla, 'cause she's cool like that.

Oh yeah, check out the new poll. Of course, I firmly prefer Mountain Swill... err Dew :). Also, check out Jen's new bookcase- she built it herself! Pretty handy gal, that Jen.


Hello everyone! So, Drake and I finally saw Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. It was pretty good. Definitely a big improvement from Episode I. Maybe a little slow in the middle, but the special effects were cool. And it was nice to see Yoda in action. We'd go again.

Drake and I went mouse shopping this weekend. I got a cool IBM optical mouse. It's totally ergonomic and the most comfortable one I've ever used! I feel like I have much better control than with the rollerball style, and I'm finding the electric-blue-glowing scroll wheel to be quite useful.


Well, the results so far are pretty positive for our Star Wars, Attack of the Clones poll. Drake and I have not placed our votes because, amazingly enough, we have not seen it yet. We are very excited to see it soon.

For you X-Files watchers out there, yesterday was the Series Finale where you hoped all of your questions would be answered. So how many people will freak out as December 22, 2012 rolls around? I guess the truth is still out there... and yet to be seen.

In other alien news, Drake and his old work pals from North Carolina have a SETI group. They changed the group name to "Hackles" and all of you out there are welcome to join in as well! You may wonder, what is SETI? It's a distributed computing effort to Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. You may have heard of it in the movie Contact. It's cool to imagine that we could someday interact with beings from another world. Maybe some of you out there already do ;-)


In a way, Web Comics Awareness Day is a quite the conundrum. Promoting webcomics by writing a webcomic about webcomics? You've got to love the self-referential tomfoolery there.

So, it's not just about making people aware that webcomics exist (if you're reading this, then you already know that, right?). To me, it means much more. It's about making people aware of just how freakin' many webcomics exist.

Online cartooning is an endeavor shared by thousands of people. It's a lot of fun, but it's also hard work, and 99.99% (well, roughly) of us don't profit financially from what we do. Jen and I have no problem with that, by the way, since we're doing it purely for the fun. Geek that I am, I sort of equate it to writing code for a non-profit, Open Source software project. Except they're cartoons, not code, and well, our cartoons are not really Open Source either... hmm, I've got to work on that analogy.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that most cartoonists don't expect to make a living from posting comics to the Internet (although some do manage this). What nearly all cartoonists do want, however, is simply for people to look at their darn work. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask for, really, but there are so many web comics out there that a lot of deserving ones just don't get noticed.

If you have the time, try visiting some of the comics portals out there on the web, and see if you can find something new that you like (just don't forget to come back to us :D). And if you like what you find, why not send the cartoonist an email telling him/her so? We cartoonists can live on praise like zombies live on brains :).

In other news (although I suppose this relates to comics), we saw Spiderman on opening day. It was absolutely great! The casting was genius- Willem Dafoe makes a perfect demented goblin, I must say- and Sam Raimi did what he does best, which is to make a cool and funny as all-get-out action flick. Jen loved it too... she kept daydreaming about Spidey all day. I don't blame her though- Spiderman is extremely cool.


Hackles in German! Wow, this is great! The Legacy Project team recently offered to translate our comics into the German language. Legacy "is a german group with the purpose of preservation the 'Oldschool' and free publishing of information." Despite having only started a couple of days ago, they've already finished a bunch of comics, starting from the earliest. The plan is eventually to catch up to our regular update schedule, and offer translations as new ones come out. Jen and I have wanted to learn German for a while... maybe the best way is to read translations of our own comic! Thanks for your hard work guys :).

Vic's BSOD by Aleni Hey, what do you know? Aleni submitted another fun gift art, depicting what might happen if Hackles had built Vic with a certain OS from Redmond. Vic's expression rules, and the gorilla picture is a nice touch I must say!

OK, it's link time... Want to see something a little creepy and wrong? Check out these trailers. Of course, we're still gonna see it despite the disturbing CGI- don't get me wrong! Our Belgian pal Ronnie sends us the latest highly parallel processing technology news. That's some powerful stuff. He is also responsible for sending this insane piece of funny our way. Apparently, OS X and BSD users will all go to hell- and will God forgive me for all the times I've typed "chmod 666"? Nope, guess not. Speaking of God, if he does exist, I'm sure this is exactly how he's feeling these days...

I must give a shout-out to my brother, who sent me a GameCube for X-mas. With a gift this cool, I suppose I can forgive him for being four months late. Oh sure, there might be a slight shortage of really cool games at this time, but Nintendo always comes through in the end. Thanks, man!


Matt Trepal of Fight Cast or Evade is currently running some guest comics, and one of them is made by us! You can see our contribution posted today. FCE is a well-written cartoon following a band of animal adventurers' medieval hijinks- what more can you ask for?


fan art from aleni Drake rearranged our sidebar to include a gallery link. This area includes art that we receive, as well as cartoons that we send to others. We'd like to thank Aleni for the second addition to our fan art gallery. Take a look!

There's a new poll up today. It may be a hard choice for all you Trekkies out there. I've only watched a couple of the series, but any show with Chakotay in it gets my vote :) Some say I'm strange...

In the last poll, the penguins win the smartest animal award hands down (or flippers, paws, and hooves down in this case). Drake and I would like to update the polls more often, but sometimes a fitting question is hard to come by. So, email us if you have any burning questions or new ideas for our poll updates.

Uh oh! It looks like someone with tourrets took the time to grace our guest book with his or her loving slight of Hackles. Oh well, can't please 'em all.

Luckily, most of our feedback is positive and we thank all of you out there who fuel our fire to keep cartooning.


pig head Something exciting happened this weekend... we got our very first fan art from Tariq De Vore of Ban the Basics!. It's cool to see our characters through the ink of another artist's pen. Thanks Tariq!

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