Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category.

Machine of Death Game Is Done & Available!

Here is a video I made with Kris Straub! Kris, of course, has been my collaborator in the Machine of Death card game.

In this video, Kris and I are working on one of the promised stretch goals in the MOD Kickstarter: creating an audiobook version of the game.

I’m pleased to say we succeeded! Here’s an excerpt…

DEATH CARDS (19 min)

If you are so inclined, you can download the entire album (54 minutes of Kris’ sonorous voice) for two bucks right here. Or, stream it for free on the Machine of Death site!

I don’t know of another card game that has an audiobook. I’m quite pleased with this! But not only that

The Machine of Death Game is Out Now

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m pleased to say the full game is available for purchase to the public! If you missed out on the Kickstarter, YOUR TIME HAS COME.

Machine of Death game

I wrote a huge post about it here!

You have proven to be the right people for a guy like me to trust with a year and a half of his life. I don’t have another job! This dumb stuff is all I do. And it’s been so great to be on the receiving end of the confidence, faith, and kindness of you all. WE ARE DOING GOOD THINGS, HERE.

I’m only able to do these kinds of things because of your support. We’ve come really far, and I hope you are enjoying your game, and everything I’ve shared with you along the way (with more things to come still)!

So…

Now is when I ask you to TELL EVERYONE TO BUY THIS GAME.

You can download the manuals or the entire game at our site — it’s licensed under Creative Commons. Check out a few files to get a look at it, or print out your own full copy of the game.

If you want a factory-made copy, you can buy it from Amazon, ThinkGeek, or TopatoCo.

In Canada, get it from Snakes & Lattes.

More distribution options are coming later in the year.

It’s been a very long journey but I’m pleased to say it’s done!! If you’ve been waiting, fervent with anticipation, well, WAIT NO LONGER.

Meanwhile our puzzles are doing pretty dang great! It is a good day for nonsense products by this guy, that is for sure.

True Stuff: ‘Women Are Funny That Way’, According to 1927

Perhaps you saw this Onion article from about a year ago: “Area Man’s Intelligence Probably Just Too Intimidating For Most Women”

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It’s hilarious and terrible and I’ve seen it passed around a lot in the last few weeks. Dudes who know everything about everything are of course valuable contributors to society and thank heaven there are so many of them.

In my regular trawling of old-timey nonsense (of which I post a lot to Twitter), I happened across a brief humor column in an issue of Life magazine, 1927.

Somewhere north of 75% of the jokes in 1927 Life magazine are incredibly sexist, including one on the very same page as this piece, so the fact that this one — besides very clearly poking fun at advertising — seems to deflate the suitor’s balloon a bit is notable for the time.

And of course, “the more things change”, etc.

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Women Are Funny That Way

The sign in the barber shop said: “Present a neat appearance. You can win HER by having your hair cut regularly.” Well, it kept me pretty nearly broke, but I visited that barber shop every day.

Then I thought perhaps the trouble lay in my social defects and that I was one of these stupids who never say a word all evening. So I learned French, Spanish, Greek, Crow and Old Crow, Choctaw, Coptic, Cuneiform and Hunt & Pick. I got so cultured up that nobody could pass a wisecrack without my hurling a fast one right back at him.

I drank Listerosis by the gallon, because the advertisement said not to ruin my chances with HER by neglecting it.

You should have seen me delve into Elbert Haldeman-Julius’s Scrapbook. I knew Aristotle as well as Babe Ruth knows his batting average. You have to get next to the best minds of history to be able to knock HER for a loop. I found that out in the magazines.

I became an expert on more musical instruments than Paul Whiteman ever heard of. People used to stand entranced outside my window, under the impression that I was the Street Cleaning Department Band and that Lindbergh had just landed again, or something. You can’t win HER without Art.

I joined all these clubs that prescribe the best book of the month to you. In that way I got four different books every day. A thorough grounding in current literature always goes great with HER. If you don’t believe it I’ll show you the clipping that says so.

That wasn’t the half of what I did to gain HER love.

And still she regards me as something even the cat wouldn’t bring in.

Doesn’t SHE know the rules of the game? What’s the matter with the girl, anyway?

– Tip Bliss.

BONUS ITEM

Here is a comic strip from the same year (1927, a few months later) that I quite enjoyed. Click for a closer look!

calledback

I love that they’ve given over a whole page to this gag!

Previously:

Jigsaw Puzzles are Fully Funded!

I’m very pleased to announce that our Wondermark jigsaw puzzles are now fully funded!

The campaign is still open to backers through October 9, however, so I consulted with my closest adviser to brainstorm some stretch goals, and we thought of a couple.

These Readers Made a Piranhamoose Demolition Derby Car

A few months ago, I got the kind of email that you want to get, when you are in the position I am in.

It began like so:

David,

I am putting together a demo derby car for my wife to run here at the end of August. I was wondering if you would be willing to grant me permission to paint Piranhamoose on it.

My response was:

I’m dismayed that you have not already completed said car so I can see it. This sounds like the best idea I have ever heard of.

The writer was Wondermark reader Justin R., Esq. And a heap of pictures arrived soon thereafter! Justin described the Piranhamoosification thusly:

I started with a 1991 Cadillac Brougham. A steel monster of a Cadillac that began life as the top-of-the-line model that year. The height of luxury.

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We installed a small block Chevy V8 with headers out the hood, an inboard mounted fuel cell, and a semi-truck battery. Couple of safety features, then it was time for the paint.

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I began by taking my favorite two images of the Emperor of the Food Chain. The hood is adapted from the picture on the T-shirt, and the trunk from Captain Pike’s Final Wish.

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I first drew a simple version of your original on drafting paper, before expanding the drawings onto poster board. Then, from the poster board, I razored out stencils and used them to spray paint the outlines.

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Once I layered the colors I wanted, I finished the detail with paint pens. Then I added the “gwarrhh” just for the fun of it.

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The woman in some of the shots is my lovely wife and avid Piranhamoose fan. She is also the driver of this majestic beast.

That was all. Then, in the far-off distance, a sound… Was that a shrieking of metal? A bestial howl to the brackish Yukon moon? The simultaneous roar of a thousand slavering, oil-thirsty mudthusiasts, bearing witness to the ferocity of the beast that put the car back in carnage?

The pictures that followed told the whole grisly tale…

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As promised, here are some “after” photos of the car. It performed in the spirit of the Piranhamoose, devouring many cars before ultimately being brought down. My wife placed sixth in a field of 22.

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Thanks again. Next time it will be Sharkhawk!

Justin, please pass on congratulations to your wife for a fine performance on the field of battle, and congratulations as well to all of us, who have won a prize of sorts just by getting to see this happen. Well done, all.

Previously: Piranhamoose in brass / Piranhamoose in pumpkin / Piranhamoose in lights / Piranhamoose on your body that GLOWS IN THE DARK


Obligatory Puzzle Update: With just under three weeks remaining in the Kickstarter campaign for my Victorian jigsaw puzzles, I am doing a bit of “Viral Marketing”.

Let’s Make ‘Hierarchy of Beards’ and ‘Zoological Times Table’ Jigsaw Puzzles!

I’m turning some of my Victorian-style charts and diagrams into giant jigsaw puzzles!

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Check out this pitch video for more details!

I’m really excited about this project. The Hierarchy of Beards poster, and the Beards of our Forefathers book that birthed it, have led very exciting lives.

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Pat Race (the photographer, not the subject, of the picture above) took a copy of the book around the World Beard & Mustache Championships in Alaska!

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Reader Jonathan N. shared that his personal copy of the Beards poster had an uncredited cameo in an unrelated story about an unassociated legal dispute!

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One of the made-up beard styles that I invented was adopted by a folk band in Winnipeg!

And I conducted a lengthy interview with the world’s foremost beard expert!

It’s amazing what one can accomplish in just a few years with a laserlike focus on beards. And I fully expect the Zoological Times Table to take its place in this amazing pantheon, in time.

Puzzles are to posters as ice cream is to milk.

Both are great. Both can be satisfying. But only one is typically enjoyed via a process — spooning, licking, sprinkling, coning, piecing, assembling, dipping in chocolate. Sure, milk can have a process too (I like a latte as much as anyone), but puzzles are process. And like ice cream, puzzles can be pretty cool!

While I wait for the Nobel committee to award me a Metaphor Prize for the preceding paragraph, I will say that I have always been very proud that Wondermark readers are intelligent and charming people with the most discerning taste. I have sold many hundreds of these posters over the years, always to nice people with good-smelling hands.

So you deserve more.

In my new campaign, I’m offering those same posters and books (at cheaper than my typical retail prices) — a great bargain for anyone.

But then you also get this new thing. A puzzle is something to do, not just something to see. A puzzle is a group activity; a puzzle is an art piece; a puzzle is a game that can be shared across generations.

Now, there is a place for super puzzle-maniac difficult puzzles; I don’t think these are they. These are really pretty puzzles that are totally normal puzzles like you would find in the store.

If my lovely Victorian-style joke-puzzles sound like something that would be at home in your life, or the life of someone you care enough about to give a gift to — I hope you’ll reserve your copy (or copies) now!

There are three designs available: The Hierarchy of Beards, the Zoological Times Table, and Sponsored Messages, chock-full of all the labrynthine, intricate faux-Victorian classified advertisements I’ve been polluting my books with for years.


The Machine of Death game was a very complicated Kickstarter, but it is done now.

(You can buy the game now! You can also download the entire game for free.)

I learned a lot doing the MOD game! It was a giant Kickstarter that involved lots of complications — ultimately satisfying, but it took so very long to get settled! So following that, a thing I wanted to try, just to see if I could, was a project that would be deliberately simple.

Hence, the puzzles! In the campaign, you can also get books and/or posters, but that’s it. I will also be making videos along the way, if you’d like to check in on the updates.

So this is a bit of an experiment for me as much as it’s a product for you. Here it is! Puzzles! Grab ‘em while they’re puzzly!

A special advisory for early backers: the first few batches out of the puzzle-fryer will still be chewy on the inside — I guarantee it. 

You can wait, and get a puzzle later, and that’s fine…But it won’t have that flaky puzzle crust you’ve come to love. That’s not how I want my puzzles. Get ‘em fresh. They’re better for you before all the nutrients get blanched out.

Wondermark’s Jigsaw Puzzles of Fictional Victorian Charts