Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category.

Check out: Kate Beaton’s holiday comics

Kate Beaton’s comics are super great, and if you don’t follow her on Twitter you may have missed her holiday comics — little vignettes of quiet, funny moments spent with her family in Nova Scotia. She’s posted the whole run on her Tumblr:

Kate Beaton’s Holiday Comics 2013

I made some family comics too this Christmas, but Kate’s are the best, sweet and relatable and good-natured like a nice cup of wintertime cocoa. Check ’em out!

Holiday Comics from Years Past

Happy holidays! Whether you observe Christmas, Epiphany, the Reaving, the Festival of Mist, Sunreturn, the Great Earthburst, the Terror of King Absolution, Darknight Fortnight, or even something fake, I hope you spend the season happy, warm, and in the company of those you love.

Here are some of my favorite Wondermark holiday comics from years past:

#779; The Breakthrough
#897; In which it’s Too Late
#474; In which you better Watch Out
#582; In which George gets a Lute
#683; In which a Line of Questioning is halted
#476; In which Suffering was a Waste
#686; The Taylors leave a Shadow
#466; In which Everyone loves the Freak
#687; In which Santa appears at last
#363; In which Joy is mandated
#093; In which a Fortress is breached
#357; In which Mall Parking sucks
#141; In which the Son of God stands in queue
#081; In which a Confrontation occurs
#260; In which a Plan ends poorly
#069; In which the Canucks get a Pretty Good Idea
#475; In which Trouble is both avoided, and provoked

True Stuff: The Internet According to 1995

One of my recurring fascinations is reading pearl-clutching editorials over the menacing march of technological advance (such as the telephone, the printing press, or writing itself). So I loved this 1995 column from Newsweek by astronomer and Klein-bottler Clifford Stoll:

After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works…

“Why the Web won’t be Nirvana” — Newsweek, February 26, 1995

Stoll is the author of the 1995 book Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway, in which he was wrong about basically everything the Internet turned out to be. To his credit, he seems to have come around in the years that followed…And I wonder how many of those early curmudgeons eventually came around to the telephone, and how many of them railed against the infernal motor-car! to their dying day.

In a way, it seems Stoll’s pessimism wasn’t from a lack of understanding of the technology — he was an early adopter of Usenet and from what I can tell, was born on a BBS via 200 baud modem, or something.

It’s that he was too close — he only saw the structure as it was, and as he knew it; he couldn’t imagine what someone else, without that depth of understanding, could reimagine for it. (Or even if he could imagine great changes, didn’t think them possible, or likely to occur.)

But they did. It’s amazing what one can accomplish if one doesn’t know that what one is attempting is impossible.

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.

Last day for calendars is December 18!

Thanks to everyone who’s pre-ordered a copy of the 2014 Wondermark Calendar! As of this writing, less than fifty copies remain. UPDATE: They’re sold out!

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. ALL GONE