Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category.

2014 Errata

Sometimes, you write and publish a comic strip, and sometimes, you find out later that you got something wrong. Since files on the internet are impervious to change, please find instead, below, a comprehensive list of our errors, omissions, and misstatements of fact in 2014.

#1023; The Counsel of the Expert (Part 3)
Clearly, Darren also benefited from networking.

#1034; A Masterpiece in every Router
Craig does actually have a choice in the matter; he is just choosing to ignore it for dramatic effect.

#1053; The Star So Softly Said Hello
Later reports indicate that the star was probably billions and billions and billions of miles away, rather than simply hundreds of millions. Whether the bird knew this at the time the strip occurred is unclear.

#1074; Le Roman à Crybaby
This strip originally used the word “twats”, which I have since learned is more offensive in some places than I had realized. It has been corrected to “twits”, which still basically gets the bloody point across.

#1062; The Terrible Sea Lion
It has been suggested that the couple in this comic, and the woman in particular, are bigots for making a pejorative statement about a species of animal, and then refusing to justify their statements. It has been further suggested that they be read as overly privileged, because they are dressed fancily, have a house, a motor-car, etc. This is, I suppose, a valid read of the comic, if taken as written.

But often, in satire such as this, elements are employed to stand in for other, different objects or concepts. Using animals for this purpose has the effect of allowing the point (which usually is about behavior) to stand unencumbered by the connotations that might be suggested if a person is portrayed in that role — because all people are members of some social group or other, even if said group identity is not germane to the point being made.

Such is the case with this comic. The sea lion character is not meant to represent actual sea lions, or any actual animal. It is meant as a metaphorical stand-in for human beings that display certain behaviors. Since behaviors are the result of choice, I would assert that the woman’s objection to sea lions — which, if the metaphor is understood, is read as actually an objection to human beings who exhibit certain behaviors — is not analogous to a prejudice based on race, species, or other immutable characteristics.

My apologies if the use of a metaphorical sea lion in this strip, rather than a human being making conscious choices about their own behavior, was in any way confusing.

As for their attire: everyone in Wondermark dresses like that.

#993; In which a Party is supposed
It actually was a pretty good party.

Wondermark regrets the errors.

Previously:
2013 Errata2011 Errata / 2009 Errata / 2008 Errata

Reader-Made Bibliophibian Hats & Tiger-Homicide Tats

Here are some cool reader-made things that hit my inbox recently!

First — Marksman William R. writes:

I have been a regular reader of your Wondermark strip since 2009. I’ve also recently reached the age where some of my friends are now getting married and having children.

I mention this because one such child, born this past weekend to close friends of mine who are both avid book lovers and both completed English degrees in college (one is now in law school, the other is a substitute teacher), would be a perfect model for some clothing emblazoned with the word “bibliophibian.”

However, now having occasion to purchase the onesie that I once saw advertised by your comic, I was distraught to learn that it is now out of print and unavailable for sale at TopatoCo. (A quick search of eBay also turns up no results, though I’m not yet sure how I feel about the prospect of a garment-used-by-strangers-as-belated-baby-shower-gift.)

In addition to my engineering degrees I have also developed some skill in knitting over the past several years, and the thought crossed my mind that if I could not buy a suitable garment, perhaps I could knit something, maybe a hat at least. However, I would still owe (and indeed, feel) a debt to you for gracing our world with the amusing concept of an amateur librarian’s darling little monster.

In short, may I have your blessing to fabricate a “bibliophibian”-proclaiming garment for my friends’ infant son?

To which I answered, of course, “OF COURSE.” (Hint: this will almost always be my answer.)

And the results! (Click for bigger)

WEAR IT

Will adds: “I’m satisfied that the text is legible even if it looks like pixel type, though I may switch to embroidery whenever the next kid comes around. The white on the back is intended to be a scribbled paragraph, and I’m starting to think it would have been more recognizable as one if I’d not ‘justified’ the ‘text’ and left it ragged-right. Oh well!”

READ IT

I think it looks great, Will! Thanks very much for the pictures. I hope this baby’s head is warmed forevermore by the magic of reading.

It is true that the ‘Bibliophibian’ shirts and onesies are out of print for the moment… But I have just worked out a deal with a new venture to bring some of my older T-shirt designs back. Hopefully we’ll learn more about that in the coming weeks.

I also received this email from Mario B.:

One of the tattoos I’m looking at getting in the near future, is the tiger-soldier-chasing what appears to be a paper boy, from the Mysterious Homicides piece you made. I’m just writing to ask if it’s okay to get that needled into my back, or will I have to stab a small “copyright Dave” next to it?

Mario is referring to this poster that I made for a Law & Order-themed art show a while ago!

It is not my place to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t get tattooed on their body. So, sure! I was happy to go along with the idea.

GOOD THING I DID:

SLASH IT

INK IT

BECAUSE IT LOOKS FRIGGIN INCREDIBLE

I thought I posted some other reader tattoos a while back, but I can’t find the post, so here they are again, or possibly for the first time!

From Denis C.: “I am a photographer, and this is my tribute to the world of film. When nuclear winter arrives, and EMP has destroyed all the robots and electronics in the world, I will be standing on top of the hill with my trusty Nikkormat 35mm in hand, capturing it all. Thank you for supporting the emulsified revolution, even if you didn’t do it intentionally.”

(Based on this design of mine)

CLICK IT

From David H.: “So, I’ve always been partial to a spot of Wondermark and, years ago, when thinking about what to get as my first tattoo, you posted the comic that inspired the t-shirt that inspired this very tattoo! I’ve have had it on my back for years, and the other day, it occurred to me that you might get some enjoyment out of it, so… well, enjoy!”

RIDE IT

I’m going to go ahead and assume that’s his shoulder blade. Still: Neat!

Also, from Daniel B., submitted without comment:

ART IT

Both are from the elephant found here and on the also-out-of-print Where Is My Elephant shirt.

Finally, I have heard a few threats to attempt this best-of-all-possible tattoos, but SO FAR:

BUPKIS

THE CHALLENGE HAS BEEN LAID

Favorite Wondermark Holiday Comics

rooooad triiiiip

The year is winding down! All of our calendars have sold (thanks very much to the folks who snapped those up — they’ve all been shipped)!

I have left town for the holidays. My wife and I took a li’l ROAD TRIP from Los Angeles to Seattle, through some fairly dramatic landscapes (I took the picture above on Saturday, driving through central California).

We’ll be driving back down in a week. I wonder if the drought will be over by then! I’ll expect the lake to be full by next Sunday. GET ON THAT

Hope you have a lovely week, either in the presence of those you love, or doing whatever you are doing! Here are some of my favorite holiday-themed Wondermark 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

And of course: THE HANNUKAH DUCK

Oh! And our friend Kate Beaton is posting some holidays-with-family comics right now, definitely don’t miss those.

Check out: Design inspiration from Aaron Draplin

I really like this. Aaron Draplin, founder of Draplin Design Company in Portland and designer behind the Field Notes brand of notebooks, designs a logo from scratch in about ten minutes.

The resulting video is an explanation of the process a thoughtful designer goes through, and a demonstration of the power that experience and deep understanding brings to any sort of craftsmanship.

I find this sort of thing super inspiring! And Draplin has an easygoing, chummy enthusiasm that’s fun to listen to, too.

Here he is again, describing the workflow for creating a laurel element in Illustrator — but far more than just a design tutorial, it’s a metaphor for a deeper and more broadly applicable lesson about craft in general.

This third video is a brief bit of portfolio advice (that, ironically, uses ugly title cards I’m sure Draplin himself would make fun of).

Recommended for inspiration!

AdWeek has collected a few more videos of Draplin’s lengthier public talks and presentations, as well.

A Preview of the 2015 Calendar

CAAAALENDAR

It is well-known that on a certain evening in Hamburg, a summer night in 18__, a concert was held which permanently afflicted all in attendance gravely and irreversibly. No one knows—or will tell—how such a collection of instruments were made to play in harmony; no one knows—or will tell—how such dumb constructs of wood, brass, and bone came to possess such powers as they had.

CALENDAAAAR

Some whisper that the Devil himself was the conductor that night; others say no, it was merely a man (Herr Manfred Fleigruben, of the Hamburg Academy, according to the programme) who somehow picked up Charon’s baton instead of his own. No person who attended the concert could ever shake the shadow of despair from their shoulders henceforth, and many became wretches from that evening till the grave.

CALENDARRRRR

In the years since the incident, no full account has been made of the particulars. Contemporaneous articles speak vaguely of the concert’s ‘effect’, or allude cryptically to its ‘consequence’. The sole surviving copy of the programme in the Royal Library has now faded into illegibility, presumably due to poor paper-storage protocols in that darkest sub-basement of the Reference Archive.

CALENNNNNDAR

It is said that all attendees of the concert died childless—even those who had already had children. The concert hall itself burned to the ground within a month; Germany was at war with France within the year.

Yet tales remain. Forensic analysis of surviving roof-beams (long since up-cycled into Frankfurt dining-tables) have revealed minute vibrational impressions left in the soft Bavarian wood. Eight years ago, a stack of copper photogravures from that night was unearthed in a Helsinki flea-market, labelled simply as ‘ihmisiä musiikilla’. And time-travelling tourists have left no end of oblique references to the event in various classified advertisements throughout the decades.

CALEEEEENDAR

Like many of the marvels from before the age of film and electronics, the concert exists as a ghostly impression upon history, an ill-remembered, fading scar on humanity’s craggy, lumpen corpus. We shall spend one year opening that wound to see what jewels it may contain.

Here, for the first and only time, is what was heard on that evening, a night black, without any stars.

CALENDAR

They’re here. They’re beautiful. Shipping now.

32 copies remain.

Our store closes for the year after Friday, December 19.