Posts Tagged ‘blog: errata’.

2017 Errata

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Occasionally here at Wondermark, our crack team of japists are made aware of a factual error in one of our comic strips. Here is our annual attempt to set the record straight. (Previous years’ entries.)

#1299; The Ever-Watchful Eye of Everyone
The YouTube video shown in the final panel has its slider all the way almost to the end of the video, but the counter displays the current time as “0:00”. The correct time should be “2:57”.

#1321; My Dad’s Salad
This is a biggie, considering this comic originally ran in 2011 at Saveur.

The salad recipe in the comic, which has now been corrected, originally called for various ingredients including “about a cup of olive oil.” I have since realized that is way too much olive oil.

I have never actually measured how much to use! I always just drizzled it over the salad before tossing. It’s about 4–5 seconds of drizzling, which probably comes out closer to 4–5 tablespoons. Please update your handwritten index cards in their recipe box accordingly.

#1301; In which a Gänger is doppeled
Dukey actually borrowed the twenty bucks in question in 1994, not 1993. It was to buy a ticket to see D2: The Mighty Ducks at the Ferblangville Cineplace 13.

#1314; Home Among the Primitives (Part 2)
While not an error per se, it may be unclear in the final panel whether time traveler Jordal Bumpskern, when describing mailing an epithet-filled envelope to “the sun”, is referring to:

  • Sol, the star at the center of the eponymous Solar System,
  • The Sun, the British tabloid,
  • The Sun, the American literary magazine, or
  • The Sun (previously Sun-Telegram), the daily newspaper serving San Bernardino, California.

It is the first of these.

#1336; In which Much remains Unheard Of
A better punchline in the final panel would be: “Well…I listen at 2x speed, so”

#1285; In which Tax is a Team Sport
The comic posits a clever way to make federal tax collection comport with the human desire to not be forced to monetarily support policies that one opposes.

In doing so, the characters describe how their tax money is collected and then used to fund certain programs. While this is a popular conception of the role of taxation, and while it is indeed true for state and local taxes, it may be incorrect with respect to federal income tax.

As explained by economist Stephanie Kelton, “Modern Money Theory” posits that a more useful way to think of national monetary policy is that the federal government issues its sovereign currency into the economy when it spends its budget, thus creating that money by fiat, and then removes currency from the economy when it taxes citizens.

That money “collected” by taxation doesn’t exist in any real sense once the government instructs banks to deduct it from your bank account. As the issuer of the currency, the Fed is the stadium, not a player, and it simply increments the scoreboard.

And the money spent by the government does not come from a pool of taxpayer dollars; those specific dollars did not actually exist before they were spent — a government check here being the equivalent of an instruction to a bank to increment an account to the positive.

Thus the purpose of taxation is to create a demand for sovereign currency (since you have to pay taxes, you have to work to earn dollars, which are the only thing the government accepts as payment) as well as control the overall money supply to limit inflation.

Under this theory, budget “deficits” do not represent a shortage of spending money available to the government; rather, any budget deficit on the government’s part is a surplus on the part of the recipients of that spending, i.e. individuals, companies, or state and local governments.

And under this theory, the question of spending priorities thus should not be driven by deficit concerns, but rather by choices in social policy — i.e., which injections into the economy will result in greater well-being and prosperity among the citizenry.

So if that is true, then the premise posited by the comic is incorrect. Taxation does not “pay for” anything; in fact, any taxation at all begins to seem like a waste, because those dollars are just being deleted. The grudging sacrifice for the greater good the comic takes for granted is thus a misapprehension.

Taking all this as a matter of economic fact, the comic’s premise is therefore wrong (at least with respect to the federal government).

But as a behavioral economic concept, to get people to feel like they are active participants in and have a stake in the government, I think the “allocation” checkboxes are still a good idea. In fact, in the last panel the Congressman outright admits that the allocations would be simply a useful fiction.


#1288; A Real Stand-Up Friend
The rhinoceros is definitely not going to stop doing that.

Wondermark regrets the errors.

2016 Errata

It’s January, which means it’s time for our grudging and obligatory corrections post, where we revisit the comics posted in 2016 and sheepishly admit where we got it wrong.

#1190; In which Brunch is exotic
Benton neglected to heighten the bit by mentioning that his corporate Amex was, in point of fact, a “green card.”

#1203; No Time like the Present
Rather than falling onto “a boat that then sank,” investigators later determined that the boat had already been in the process of sinking when Mr Whiltbang fell onto its deck, holes having previously been shot in its hull with a shotgun by Mr Whiltbang immediately prior to the fall in question.

#1207; The Hall Pass
Today, Carl Kasell’s voice is offered (by “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”) for your “voicemail,” not your “home answering machine.” With no specific mention of the fact, it would be impossible for the casual reader to know that this particular strip actually takes place in 2005, so the term used reads as an error.

#1209; Talk and Awe
The Bingus Gabberdeen Show video montage referenced here was delivered to an audience largely like-minded, but perhaps not entirely. It may have even changed the political opinions of some people, rather than no one. However, in the end it didn’t seem to have helped.

#1210; The Biscuit Burglars
It was pointed out that this fundamental joke was already done, albeit in somewhat different form, by the French cheese company Boursin in a television commercial some 26 years ago. Not sure how I could have missed that one. I have sent Boursin the requisite $10 for “stealing their joke.”

#1217; In which History comes Alive
Alexander probably pooped outside of a vase a few times, as a child, before he got the hang of balancing on the rim.

#1233; In which a Traveler is lost
Another brazen and shameless example of joke theft!! It was pointed out to me that this basic scenario has been mined in the past for comic effect on Kids in the Hall in 1991; the UK’s Big Train in 1998; and Family Guy in 1999, possibly among others. Truthfully, I probably saw that Kids sketch years ago and filed it away, deep in the ol’ subconscious. If revisiting a joke premise is so horrible, why did the latter shows copy Kids in the Hall????

#1249; One Nation, Indivisible
Dating roughly from the invention of the telegraph, this notional civic world based on agreed-upon facts ended up lasting about a century and a half.

Wondermark regrets the errors.


2015 Errata2014 Errata2013 Errata2011 Errata / 2009 Errata / 2008 Errata

2015 Errata

As we do every year around here, it’s time to look back and address any mistakes, errors, gaffes, and boners that might have snuck into our comics during the year of our Lord 2015.

#1091; A Duly Rigorous Experiment
I learned later that Charles Schulz made basically this same joke in 1965.

#1104; In which a Culture exists
The quote is original, not, as is stated by the character, from an episode of Futurama. I made the character say that it was merely for comic effect.

#1123; The Opposite of Prodigal
Deborah had not actually given the matter as much thought as she claimed, but like many of us faced with admitting an error, did not want to admit it once challenged.

#1141; Prime Time Drama
When the character references a “Skilsaw”, or circular saw, he is mentally picturing a “Sawzall”, or reciprocating saw. The latter would be more commonly used to cut through mounted drywall or sheetrock than the former, but I suppose either could work.

#1146; In which Theft is justified
This comic strip about plagiarism seems to have inadvertently exactly copied the trademark panel and character placement from Ryan North’s “Dinosaur Comics”.

#1159; In which a Frame is askew
That picture is really too high on the wall.

#1125; In which a Bean is juiced
Jeremy is describing his favorite beverage using unusual terminology. It is obvious to most that “beet stuff” represents sugar, in his unique patois, but some have wondered about the term “cactus gravy”. While not per se accurate, in the context of this comic strip cactus gravy is meant to mean agave nectar, which is a food sweetener found in the type of grocery store that allows you to scoop up your own personalized mix of granola. “Cow water”, elsewhere in the same strip, of course refers to bull semen.

Wondermark regrets the errors.

2014 Errata2013 Errata2011 Errata / 2009 Errata / 2008 Errata

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.

2013 Errata2011 Errata / 2009 Errata / 2008 Errata

2013 Errata

Although we employ a rigorous team of fact-checkers at all times, who — in violation of most worldwide labor laws — don’t even get a break to go to the restroom, we have been informed by various busybodies that a few factual mistakes have crept into the occasional comic strip we published in 2013. Please find our corrections below.

#911; What Happens Alone, Part 2
There are, in fact, geese on Gax, but they devour any creature whose gaze brushes against their silky feathers, so it makes sense that Gax would not know about them.

#938; In which a Dog’s got a Mouth
The dog did not really think it was THAT bad of an idea; he just felt pressured into having a contrary opinion.

#967; In which a Star comes Home, Part 2
Technically, Jenny Simmons did not die when her train went off a cliff; she died when the train car she was sitting in hit the jagged rocks at the bottom of the cliff.

#975; In which Quality is assured
‘Lots’ of people is somewhat overstating the success of the East Valley junior high car wash.

#946; Talking, In a Manner of Speaking
The communication method speech is not the difficulty level that hard.

2012 Errata
Somebody forgot to do a 2012 errata.

Wondermark regrets the errors.

Previously: 2011 Errata / 2009 Errata / 2008 Errata