Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category.

Check out: NPR’s list of “100 Favorite Comics”

NPR has just published a list of 100 Favorite Comics And Graphic Novels — and I’m thrilled that Wondermark made the list!

The list has all the usual suspects — Maus, Watchmen and the rest — but makes clear it’s a list of favorites, so there’s some variety as well:

This isn’t meant as a comprehensive list of the “best” or “most important” or “most influential” comics, of course. It’s a lot more personal and idiosyncratic than that, because we asked folks to name the comics they loved.

And they break the list down into sensible categories — graphic novels vs. comic books vs. webcomics, etc — which allows for a few favorites to be listed in each.

A lot of my friends are on the list too, which is great, because it means I have talented friends and good taste in friendships! Check out the links for plenty of new reading material.

Thanks, NPR! Sorry for making fun of you in 2006 and again, kind of, in 2012.

(But I know we cool, because I was also briefly on Morning Edition in 2010. And I did that whole thing for Sanden Totten where I impersonated Tesla.)

COMIC-CON ALERT: San-Diego Comic-Con is next week! I will be back at the TopatoCo booth as per usual, #1229!

Remember the mnemonic: Just think 1-2-3-4, and look for booth #1234! Then turn around, and I’ll be behind you!

The ‘Littlest Butt’ — set to music AGAIN!

This week’s comic features a songwriter character who’s shown up in Wondermark several times.

His preëminent work, however, is clearly the “Littlest Butt”. I have been honored to see this fine masterpiece, this literary juggernaut, be set to ACTUAL MUSIC several times.

First, by Max Martin, who even added his own extra verses:

Then, by Adam Proctor, and also, by Lusipurr (MP3 embeds in this earlier post). Quite different renditions but ALL PERFECTLY LOVELY BUTTMUSIK.

Now, it’s happened again! Here is a KINETIC TYPE rendition by Matt Francis:

Matt also writes:

I saw your comic about the songwriter and his song about wanting the littlest butt on your twitter the other day.

As a wannabe songwriter myself with a few ‘comic’ songs under my belt I felt inspired by your lyrics and put them to some music.

It’s very much a first take special — the bass timing (and the odd note) is a bit out here and there — and the vocals are not a style choice; frankly it was quite late when I recorded them so I had to keep it down a bit.

Hope you like it — and the little joke of my own with the drum part.

Any musical adaptation of any of my comics, PARTICULARLY BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE ONE ABOUT A VERY LITTLE BUTT, I will put on my website. This is a warning and also a promise.

ANIME EXPO ALERT: I will be at Anime Expo in Los Angeles this weekend! Seemed like a good idea at the time. I will be at booth 4018 (listed in the book as TopatoCo) with my pal Sam Logan!

Recipe Comic: My Dad’s Salad

Today’s comic originally ran on SAVEUR Magazine, as part of their series of “Recipe Comics”.

I’ve posted about my dad before, a few times. Here he is in a 1959 San Bernardino newspaper; here is a painting Carly did of him; here is the thing I mention most often, an essay about how and why I learned to fly airplanes.

The recipe comic is about him too. He’s on my mind a lot. It was just my first Father’s Day as a dad myself, and it colors my memories of him somewhat, changes my perspective.

ARCHIVE DIVE: Five Wondermarks Based on True Events

Over on Patreon I’ve posted a long article that takes a closer look at a handful of Wondermark strips from the past — this time, “Five Wondermarks Based on True Events”:

Patreon is a sponsorship site, but this particular post (and its predecessor in this series, “Five Wondermark Firsts”) are free to read!

Patreonauts who choose to become sponsors, however, have been known to get occasional and capricious rewards, such as downloadable goods, early access or discounts for various new releases, and of course at the Cast Card subscription level, a unique monthly commemorative plaque. Posts that I make on Patreon are irregular, but exclusive.

I plan to write more of these “Archive Dive” posts; it’s fun to try to dissect moments in time that led to specific decisions being made! And to interrogate the process. There have certainly been things, at times, that I’ve noticed about my own work only in retrospect, with the perspective of time and distance.

I’ve done some similar writeups focusing on individual Roll-a-Sketch drawings, as well — that particular series is available to patreonauts pledging $5 or more.

If you like that sort of thing, well, that’s where you can get it!! Irregularly but exclusively!

A ‘Postmortem’ about the ‘Ghost Post’

About a year ago, reader Sara Thacher (of the above tweet), who works at Disney Imagineering R&D, contacted me for help on a Haunted Mansion-themed subscription box project called the “Ghost Post”.

It was a mystery, a sort of alternate reality game that involved people getting weird things in the mail and using them, plus interactive experiences in the park, to tell a story.

Here’s one of the mystery-solvers receiving and examining his first batch of “Ghost Post” artifacts:

(There are a bunch of unboxing and walkthrough videos of all three boxes on YouTube, for the curious.)

All the artifacts in each box — such as a reflective teacup; a papercraft “radio” with a magnetic dial that interacts with an app on your phone; a music box; Haunted Mansion tarot cards; a bunch of different things each month — were exquisitely designed by Sara and her team at Imagineering R&D.

And they have now won a Thea Award (stands for the Themed Entertainment Association) for the project as a whole, honoring their outstanding achievement! Congratulations to them all.

And to…me??????

All three Ghost Post boxes included an issue of the Grim Gazette, a newspaper for spooks that chronicled the unfolding mystery and offered clues. Sara tapped Cory Doctorow to provide the text for each issue, and had me put it all together with an old-timey design aesthetic.

I did the layout for the papers and created Wondermark-style illustrations and advertisements. (In the video above, the subscriber pulls out the newspaper at around 3:35.) Here’s another subscriber’s pictures of the contents of the first, second, and third box if you want to see more of the cool stuff!

I’m honored to have offered a small contribution to the whole project. Many kudos to the team at Imagineering R&D on a fantastic job, and thanks for thinking of me to be a part of it!