April 13th, 2010
Thanks to everyone who’s pre-ordered a copy of the 2014 Wondermark Calendar! As of this writing, less than fifty copies remain.
Above are some of the characters from this year’s calendar; below, an in-progress shot of me working on the text. I like to hand-write stuff like this; I carry tattered scraps of paper around with me for weeks, scribbling on corners while in line somewhere, or knocking out a couple paragraphs at the diner while having lunch. Filling up the pages with handwriting really makes me feel productive, too.
Here’s a little peek at the finished calendar pages.
The calendars are at the printer right now, and I expect them to start shipping out to you later this week. If you’d like a copy but you haven’t secured one yet, now’s the time!
Tomorrow, December 18, will be the last day for any orders from store.wondermark.com (which includes greeting cards as well). Orders received after Wednesday will ship in the new year.
This year we’re doing something new, and that is offering the new calendar bundled with a piece of original art from last year’s calendar, The Gaxian Almanac. The Almanac was made of 29 paintings of famous figures in Gaxian history, and we’re matting each original watercolor painting with a translucent overlay bearing the caption from that particular card in the calendar.
The paintings (signed by both me, the penciler, and Max, the painter) are available in the Art Collector Pack option (which includes the new calendar and new book as well).
I’ve had a lot of fun writing this year’s new calendar. I got to imagine not just backstories for the bizarre Roll-a-Sketch characters that it portrays, but also the temperaments and habits and environments and lives and loves of these strange little beasts. Where did each one come from? In its own world, did it occur naturally in its strange form? Was it somehow bred? Constructed? I discovered that the answer differs in every case.
Here are two examples of 2014 calendar pages (click for bigger)!
I’m very grateful to those of you who indulge these strange flights of fancy of mine, and I hope you enjoy having these delightful artifacts of a ridiculous world as a part of your life throughout the year.
Roll-a-Sketch Yearbook: 2014 Graduating Class.
Produced in limited edition. Less than fifty copies remain.
Here are a couple Roll-a-Sketch drawings I did in Austin at Webcomics Rampage last weekend!
RHINO + PARROT + CHICKEN + ROCKET:
RHINO + TURTLE + FROG + ACCORDION:
CROCODILE + TURTLE + SAILOR + VICTORIAN:
RHINO + WHALE + ZOMBIE + LAMP:
In case you’re not familiar with Roll-a-Sketch, here’s the gist, in the form of a sign that sits on my convention tables:
The columns are in pencil so I can erase and rewrite the options when I get bored. Someday when I have the time I’m going to make a fancy dry-erase version.
Then I draw! Sometimes I add commentary too.
The 2014 Wondermark Calendar features a Roll-a-Sketch drawing on each page, along with a bit of historical or biographical information about each made-up creature! And the watercolor treatment on each one (being created by Max Loren Shepard) really brings them to life:
As of this writing, there are only about 80 of the limited run of calendars still available, including only 13 of the Art Collector options (original paintings from last year’s calendar).
These sell out every year — which, of course, I’m super-pleased about! I work really hard to make them a lovely piece of entertainment that you’ll be thrilled to keep nearby all year long. Yes, I assert that you will be THRILLED.
Of course, if you’ve already ordered a calendar, or if it’s not your thing, OR EVEN IF NEITHER IS TRUE, I’ll also quite happily point out that the story collection I co-edited this year, THIS IS HOW YOU DIE, was just declared one of the AV Club’s Favorite Books of 2013!
Tasha Robinson writes:
…There’s an impressive amount of color and genre range in these stories, but also a touching amount of humanity: The theme keeps pushing the individual authors back toward the idea of understanding and accepting their mortality. Some of the stories are funny, some are odd, and some are brilliant, but they’re all deceptively smart about exploring all the ways individuals come to terms with death.
I just posted a sample of the audiobook (one full story that you can download for free) right here on the MOD blog!
I have some new holiday cards for you! The line of Wondermark greeting cards — Monocle Poppers™ — are always popular around this time of year, and I’m pleased to share these 2014 DEBUT DESIGNS:
The design above is by the wonderfully talented Emily Partridge! Emily gave me this design last year and told me I could do what I wanted with it, and what I want to do is pay her a royalty on these cards. Because they’re super great and I like ‘em!
These and dozens of other card designs are available for you to order right now, if you like!
Is available now for pre-order! Its title is:
Roll-A-Sketch Yearbook: 2014 Graduating Class
A Record; A Reminiscence; A Catalog; A Chronicle; An Indictment; A Regret; A Cautionary Tale For All Time of The Grand Experiment & Mistake.
LIKE EVERY YEAR SINCE 2008 — it is available in strictly limited edition only, each piece individually signed and numbered.
LIKE EVERY YEAR SINCE 2009 — you can get the calendar with display apparatus included, or just the cards themselves, if you want to reuse the stand from last year.
LIKE LAST YEAR — this is a biweekly progressive calendar, meaning rather than being broken into months, it’s broken into 14-day chunks, and no matter what day of the month it is, you can always see at least two weeks ahead. (More on the unique design in these posts from last year: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3)
LIKE LAST YEAR — The art is created by me, and beautifully watercolored by my friend Max Loren Shepard!
The art on the calendar is Roll-a-Sketch drawings, with added biographical information about each strange creature! The art is all mine, and the color is by Max.
Last year, we ordered wooden backboards cut to size and then had to spend a bunch of time sanding and drilling holes in every single board. This year, however, I’ve made the acquaintance of a man with a laser cutter! (Seen here working on the deluxe editions of the Machine of Death game.)
The backboards available this year are custom laser-cut wood, with integrated easel legs, manufactured to order by my new best friend, Jason Lioi of Dapper Devil. The separate metal easel is no longer required; this backboard comes in three pieces and can stand on its own once assembled (which takes all of two seconds).
Of course, the cards themselves are fully backwards compatible with last year’s stands.
In addition, I am offering — as an exclusive bonus with the calendars — a brand new book, called Horrid Little Stories:
Horrid Little Stories collects all the calendar content (art and text both — not the grids, though, because who cares) from the 2008-2012 Wondermark calendars. Sixty grim little tales in all! (Max painted the cover to this one too.)
The book is available as an option with the calendar, if you like! All copies of the book that ship with the calendar will be signed by me. For the moment, this particular book is only available here, now, with the calendar.
OH YES AND THIS IS ALSO IMPORTANT
I still have all of last year’s original paintings from the Gaxian Almanac. They look like this:
They’re super wonderful pieces of art — my halfway-okay pencil drawings were really enlivened by Max’s beautiful paintings!
So this year, I’m offering the ultra-limited ART COLLECTOR BUNDLE, which gets you the new 2014 calendar, the Horrid Little Stories book, and one of these pieces of original art, matted with that card’s text from last year’s calendar, and signed by me and Max.
The overall matted pieces are 8×10″. Only 29 Art Collector Bundles are available! And only 250 calendars overall are available!
This is a PRE-ORDER. The calendars, books, and original art will ship by December 18.
(If you order greeting cards and a calendar both, unless you specify otherwise I will ship you the cards right away, then follow up with the calendar later in a separate shipment.)
Enliven your life in 2014 with 27 fortnights of Wondermark and Roll-a-Sketch!!
In case you missed it last year, I wrote a comic in which a character posits the existence of the “Hanukkah duck,” (or here on Tumblr), who quacks you a puzzle, as a way of filling out the canon of Hanukkah traditions relative to Christmas.
I feel it is my civic duty to remind you that soon after that comic was posted, readers Keith Ammann and Cantor Yakov Hadash wrote and performed a Yiddish song about said Hanukkah Duck.
this is why my job is the best job
ALSO: Holiday cards are now on sale. Two new designs will be revealed later this week. 2014 Calendars will be announced later this week as well.
ALSO ALSO: I will be in Austin, Texas this coming weekend!
Reader McKenna M. sent me these pictures of the lamp she made out of printed-out Wondermark comic strips!
She writes, “I have enjoyed your comics for years, and a few years ago when I was outfitting my college apartment, I picked some of my favorite comics and turned them into a lamp…So I just wanted to let you know that I’ve always found your work very illuminating ”
This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen! What a…BRIGHT IDEA