Posts Tagged ‘blog: interviews’.

My Interview With the Inventor of the Coloring Book

actual photo

As is well known, I both (a) have an interest in things that are old, and (b) am currently promoting a Kickstarter, active right now, for my Roll-a-Sketch coloring book.

Thus, I thought it would be enlightening to speak with Col. (Ret.) Mirithus F. Coloring (b.1851), inventor of the coloring book.

Our interview took place at the Colonel’s residence.

MALKI: Colonel, you have been called both “the father of crayon-art” and also, by some, “an abomination; a scourge on the house-hold and a fiend from the Pit.” Why such a dramatic response?

COL. COLORING: Well, first I should make quite clear that any moniker regarding “crayon-art” has been fiercely opposed by Professor Crayola and his band of toughs. I have never, and certainly do not now, proscribe any implement in particular for use in my books, or recommend one over any other.

It’s just that children most often turn to crayons to fill your books.

Such has been alleged, but I have never marketed a single pamphlet as a “crayon-book.” Adults tend to use tinted pencils, I should add, and there are many more adults in the world than children.

What about the more vitriolic opinions of your work?

You must realize that when my books first began to circulate, it was a different time. Most books in the home were farming ledgers or family Bibles. The prospect of a book with no useful information in it — much less one most often perused by children, already the most useless members of the family? Mothers claimed it encouraged idleness and fancy, and fathers charged it was merely a scheme to sell penny chromo-chalks and watercolours.

Which did sell quite well, I should add.

You shouldn’t add any such thing. I never saw a nickel from the sale of any chromo-chalk; that was all my brother’s doing, capitalising on our distinctive family name. Besides, all courts have cleared me of any liability for any lung ailments they may have caused, and my brother, as you know, was lost at sea.

Last seen on a wax-freighter bound for Crete, I recall?

Yes. Ask Professor Crayola where that boat wound up.

I’d be afraid for my safety if I did. But back to the books: eventually the vitriol faded. What changed?

The old generation died off! Children who’d grown up with my books recalled them fondly when they had children of their own, and of course those who had suffered any ill effects from the chalk or anything else never survived to the age of reproduction! It was a win-win scenario.

Did you ever fear that your books were, indeed, a bad influence on children?

Pish-tosh and bubble-gum! Everything is a bad influence on children: dogs fouling in the road, or the banker’s heavy hand on the door, or the Congressional Record. My books contained nothing worse than anything a child would see in ten minutes at a rodeo.

Some would say that the generations that have grown up since the introduction of the Coloring-Book have forgotten how to respect their elders.

Any child in history that ever respected an elder is a child that ought to be reported to the authorities as a fraud.

You know, I presume, that I have a (duly licensed) coloring book project of my own, currently available. Any advice for a new entrant in the field?

Get out while you still can.


Wondermark thanks Col. Coloring for his candid answers.

Also available in the Kickstarter: Paintings from the Roll-a-Sketch Yearbook! There are six days left in the campaign!!

ROLL IT UP (don't actually do this)

Interview at The Setup: The Stuff I Use

it's-a me

I was interviewed by the site The Setup! It was pretty fun. The premise of the site is asking people “what do you use?” Hardware, software, processes, etc.

I’ll also list mental processes under “software”. All the apps and tricks in the world are just cargo cult trappings if you can’t control the way you think. This is really hard for me! And it’s an ongoing learning process as I struggle to navigate the canyons that streams of habit have carved into the workings of my mind. But the few things I’ve found that work really well (when I can stick to them) are…

Read the whole interview at The Setup!

This weekend! San Francisco!

I am positively glommuxed to be visiting San Francisco this weekend! I’ll be at the Bazaar Bizarre craft fair, held at Fort Mason, this coming Saturday & Sunday.

I’ve been to a BazBiz event once before, at Maker Faire earlier this spring, and I was absolutely glommuxed by the wonderful crowd and the kind response to my wares. I’ll be bringing Monocle Poppers holiday cards, as well as the usual complement of books, shirts, posters &c., so be sure to stop by and say hello!

Also here is a brief interview I gave to the BazBizBlog:

…My list of things to do grows faster than my list of things done, which someday will be a problem and I will be crushed by teetering, top-heavy stack of projects full of pointy ideas and deadly ambitions.

If I don’t see you there I will become fiercely and violently glommuxed

Abe Lincoln is sad

Because his shirt is closing out. The current print run of this one will be its last! The last shirt I closed out — Ninja on a Unicycle — sold out of its common sizes very quickly, so if you’ve had your eye on ol’ Honest Laser-Vision Abe, now’s your chance. Also don’t forget to read his backstory: Part 1 / Part 2

OTHER NEWS! Here’s a video interview with me conducted by rgbfilter, shot at the Toronto Comic Art Festival this year:

I talk about beards. I talk about matter transportation. I talk about my hoard of old books. Beyond that it’s a little hazy.

MOVING ON. Here’s an interview with me in Quail Bell Magazine, which is “a magazine dedicated to fantasy, fairytales, and magical realism, as well as related fields in Medieval and Victorian studies.” They asked me about fairy tales! I never knew I had a position on fairy tales, until I was asked:

I’m trying to think of some way that I can retroactively recontextualize the entirety of Wondermark as one enormously elaborate interweaving fairy tale. I could probably do it if it wasn’t for that 40-strip run in which I methodically and exhaustively disclaimed the existence of pixies in the Wondermark universe. I guess we all have to learn to live with our mistakes.

Speaking of ink (were we?) — here’s some tattoos some people have gotten of Wondermark characters. Daniel’s reads “How Much More Art Can U Take?”

…Based, of course, on the protagonist of Comic #013 and the Russian Elephant shirt. And Denis, a photographer, offers this version, “The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized”:

…Based, of course, on Hobart from my The Revolution Will Not Be Telegraphed shirt. You know, in my travels this year, I have had probably a dozen people come up and tell me that the Revolution shirt is the most comfortable garment they own. It’s 50/50 cotton/polyester and it’s super-duper soft. You will want to snuggle it.

REVIEW! Cory at Boing Boing really loved my latest book, Dapper Caps & Pedal-Copters:

…Apart from being a doubtless royal pain in the ass to typeset, Dapper Caps is just plain wonderful. Malki adds a bunch of original prose to accompany the strips, some of it screamingly funny (I literally snarfed water out my nose at the stuff on p.17). It’s just the perfect thing to settle down with on a summer Sunday and point out to your slightly puzzled loved ones.

Such a kind review! Thanks very much, Cory. Slightly-puzzled loved ones the world over thank you as well.

Thanks as well for your thoughtful votes and responses to this week’s query. I think I know what I will be doing, but I have to mull it over a bit yet. Here’s the kind of thing you might see in a hypothetical collection of Malki miscellany — a detail view of Comic #634:

Because I like looking at things big.

Some Links For You

LINK ROUNDUP for a lazy weekend:

Here is an interview with me at Comic Book Resources! Representative quote: “Wondermark is officially, canonically, an allegory about bears in America.”

Sesame Street Fighter is exactly what it sounds like.

From Timothy R., some crazy pictures of a “Victorian computer command center organ cockpit desk thingy.” If anyone ever asks you what “steampunk” means, there are worse places to start your explanation than with these pictures.

And from Kirk B., a video of a workplace beard contest prize-bestowment ceremony, with a very familiar prize presented to the champeen…

Kirk annotates the video thusly:

A while back I bought your Hierarchy of Beards poster because I thought it was awesome but I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. I had it sitting on the mantel in my living room and it ended up being a great conversation-starter when I had people over. My father has had a beard since he was in college and I have only seen him clean-shaven twice in my life. Unfortunately for me, my facial-hair-growing prowess has been a disappointment to my family. I originally bought the poster in hopes that it would inspire my facial-hair follicles to work harder.

So, at the beginning of February, several of my coworkers embarked on a beard contest which lasted five weeks. I decided to donate the poster as the prize. Unfortunately I did not win the beard contest; I
didn’t even place. But it was fun and I feel like we did our part in raising beard awareness.

You hear that? Be more aware of beards. Kirk demands it.