Archive for the ‘Featured Projects’ Category.

Ryan North and I are having a BOOKWAR

It started here. In the words of Ryan North:

You probably read about my amazing friend Chip’s amazing relationship with an amazing Applebee’s. If not, do so. It is amazing; that is the word that I think applies to it, if I had to choose one.

Last week my friends and I were talking about this incredibly-awful “how to go viral” article someone wrote about the story (first line: “Going Viral is the number one aspiration of everyone and their next door neighbor”). “This is how the world ends,” I said.
Around the same time I got an email from a friend, Andrew Pickles, who wanted to take some photos of me as a new subject, rather than the ones he normally uses. I said sure! One of the photos we took was this one:

I made it my Facebook profile picture and David Malki (comics creator, FORMER FRIEND) somehow got ahold of it and turned it into this:

That first shot was fired (by me, I admit) about a week ago and OH MY, we DID NOT REALIZE what we were unleashing.

The war is currently raging on my Tumblr and Ryan’s Tumblr, and we have collected all the volleys to date — with nice big pictures of everything — at: BOOKWAR.TUMBLR.COM

Calendars have shipped!

The 2014 Wondermark Calendars are all printed and shipped! 250 of you lovely people will be receiving them very soon. Thanks very much!

If you ordered the Horrid Little Stories book with the calendar, that book will be following in a separate mailing — see your emailed shipping confirmation for details.

Any new orders (of cards or whatever else) made through the Goodsery will ship in January. I’m heading up to check out our Machine of Death games at the shipping warehouse today!

I think the calendars turned out really great:

That’s Max Shepard, the talented dude who contributed all the lovely colors! He came over to sign the calendars the other night.

If you have a calendar coming to you, you can also check your shipping confirmation email for a downloadable holiday card you can print out just in case Christmas arrives before the calendar does.

Enjoy the calendars!! They are fun to make — or rather, to have made. They are a thing we have made, and I am glad we did.

New cards + the 2014 Wondermark Calendar.

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:

“Mad Night”

“Antlers”

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!

The 2014 Wondermark Calendar

Is available now for pre-order! UPDATE: It is sold out. 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!

New For This Year

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.)

THE 2014 WONDERMARK CALENDAR: AVAILABLE NOW. UPDATE: SOLD OUT!

Enliven your life in 2014 with 27 fortnights of Wondermark and Roll-a-Sketch!!

BEHIND THE SCENES of the Real True Actual Stories

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Real True Actual Stories of America videos! I wrote that introductory sentence and then realized it was NEARLY IDENTICAL to the one I wrote LAST POST but I’m just gonna leave it there because THE SENTIMENT STANDS.

I wrote a blog post for Audible that goes BEHIND THE SCENES of how we made them a little:

To bring characters from Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America 1927 to life in a series of six videos, we merged traditional hand puppetry with motion-capture techniques to create a unique form of animation. Wait -— did we create it? Or did we independently invent a technique that smarter people than us have perfected years ago and are now yawning about? I don’t know and thankfully I don’t care.

BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO:

The ‘Real True Actual Stories’ videos are animated, but it only ends up as animation via the long way round. The original performance for every character is performed by an actor, using a clothespins-and-rubber-bands-controlled hand puppet with a face drawn on it. I first made a bunch of these very simple puppets a few years ago, for a series of video experiments that were basically just an excuse to talk in funny voices all day long.

The more complex the videos became, the more we began to butt up against the physical limitations of building puppets, props, and sets. We wanted to spend time performing, not laboriously cutting out paper. So I decided to turn to my film editing expertise (from my prior career, before I started making comics), and came up with a way to merge the worlds of live performance with digital design…

The full post is here!

LAST TWO: Real True Actual Stories of America

Here are Episodes Five and Six of my animated series ‘Real True Actual Stories of America’, sponsored by Audible.co.uk and Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America 1927.

Episode Five features volatile newspaper magnate and obscure cult leader Bernarr Macfadden! WARNING: Might be saucy; viewer discretion is advised.

Episode Six features America’s most memorable hero of all time, Gutzon Borglum!

VOICES: Jeff Feazell as Bernarr Macfadden! Nikki Rice Malki as his nanny! Narrated by Matt Hopper! And Gutzon Borglum was played by himself.

PREVIOUS EPISODES: ONE AND TWO / THREE AND FOUR