Posts Tagged ‘blog: reader participation’.

“Emperor” Sweepstakes RESULTS

Thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of Emperor of the Food Chain during the sweepstakes entry period! Time to award some GREAT PRIZES.

METHODOLOGY: Everyone who sent in a valid entry form, whether online or in the mail, had the chance to specify which drawing(s) to be entered into. Their entry (or entries) are entered into each drawing separately — so if someone had two entries, and chose two drawings, they got two entries in each drawing.

I then assigned each entry in each drawing a unique number, and used a random number generator from to pick the winners. So without futher ado…


The one-of-a-kind signed and framed Piranhamoose print, featuring the fearsome skeleton of the beast on display in a museum of horrors, is awarded to… (more…)

The new books are in! So I made a contest!

I’ve got so much to say that I’ll just start listing stuff! ITEM NUMBER ONE:


You can buy it right now from TopatoCo. (Click the image below for bigger)

This book is my longest yet — about 15% longer than the previous hardcover volumes. It’s full of comics, of course, but also elaborate digressions, the long-form “The Gax of Life” short story, a Piranhamoose children’s book, and tons of other fun stuff. It was so much fun to make and I’m so glad it’s here! It came out gorgeous.

For a limited time I’ll also draw in your books! I’m taking the Roll-a-Sketch idea and adapting it — you can choose up to three strange elements from a list (ideally at random), and I’ll create a drawing that combines them. This option is available on the book’s purchase page. UPDATE: This is over now, thanks everyone!

If you’ve never picked up any of my books, here’s a special treat for you! My first couple hardcovers are out of print, but we’ve saved a few just so we could offer a 5-pack of books once the new one arrived. To begin with, we’re only offering the 5-pack as sketched-in Artist Editions: UPDATE: These are also gone!

But if you’ve only got a few bucks, no sweat! Also new is this little guy, my first themed Wondermark collection and an homage to the old Fawcett comic-strip paperbacks I loved as a kid:

And I’ve lowered the prices on some of the other books too: The Annotated Wondermark is now only $8. Dispatches from Wondermark Manor, the Tweet Me Harder book, and Machine of Death are all now only $15.

September Prize Sweepstakes

If you pick up any of the Wondermark books — the new ones or any of the older ones — between now and the end of the month, you can enter a giveaway for prizes! You could get a copy of one of my personal favorite humor books, or I could make you a Zimbabwean trillionaire. Or you could win a bunch of my personal working notes for the new book, Emperor of the Food Chain. UPDATE: This is also over.

Check out the sweepstakes entry page for more details! (And if you already bought books from me at SPX last weekend, you can enter the sweepstakes too!)

A New Shirt As Well

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my new T-shirt that handily defines the notion of futurism:

Based, of course, on the stunning poster by Carly Monardo that we’ve offered for some time.

Oh Yeah and Machine of Death Too

We’re gonna have some big Machine of Death news this week. REALLY BIG. Like, hard-intel-about-the-sequel big. But for the time being let me just drop these on you…

The MOD Disposable Edition is now the cheapest way to get MOD in print, and it’s even available in bulk rates for book clubs, classes, and gift-giving bonanza time.

Only read ebooks? We’ve put the MOD ebook on a thumb drive. And we’ve thrown in the complete audiobook as a free bonus, read in many cases by the authors of the stories themselves, and in other cases by our charismatic friends from the world of webcomics. (You can also bundle the thumb drive with a print edition for a steep discount.)

Finally, we’ve added two new sets to the MOD Death Prediction Card tins. Above are some sample cards from the new “Plague & Pestilence” set of death cards, representing premodern deaths, from the caveman era to the Victorian era. There’s also a new “Deck C” expansion pack, full of more general-purpose deaths for your various prediction needs.

The Capsule Summary

• Buy the new book today, and have me sketch in it for you.
• Enter the contest to win prizes.
• Grab a T-shirt, thumb drive, or Disposable MOD while you’re shopping.

Thanks so much for your support! These new books and products are all done without the benefit of a major publisher. They’re not in bookstores or retail outlets, and we have no budget at all for promotions or publicity. You guys are the front lines and I appreciate every kind word and compliment! I have a ton of fun putting this stuff together and I can’t wait for you to see it all in person.

Hyperbolic Stickers in action!

Here are some pictures of my Hyperbolic Upgrade Stickers in action!

First, Rachel C. shares this picture of her newly upgraded laser welder:

I think you’ll agree that the welder has been much improved by the upgrade.

The next picture comes from Art M. In a clever bit of further upgrading, he has stuck the stickers to magnet paper (available at any office supply store) and thus created uber-removable versions. Nice work, Art!

Feel free to send me more pictures of your own upgrades!

Word Cloud, etc. Part 2

Here are some responses to the word cloud and corpus I released earlier…

John B. submits the above image, created from just a list of episode titles, using Tagxedo. (I used Wordle for mine.) He also points out that Tagxedo contains more customization filters and tools for creating word clouds, which is good to know. Thanks, John!

Rubrick correctly points out that “It should, I feel, be a crime to refer to ‘words that show up once and only once’ without using the awesome linguistic term for such words, hapax legomenon.

Apparently there are ~6100 such words in the corpus, and they have helpfully been extracted by Jonathan B. here. How boring a writer I am to have only used ‘breakdancing’ once in nine years!

Elytsvil accurately notes that the corpus I released is missing a lot of punctuation, which Oh No Robot uses as meta-markers. I did streamline the textfile somewhat (eliminating URLs, strings of punctuation, and the ubiquitous ‘In which’) to try and force the word cloud into something approaching relevance, but the point is duly noted. Here is a completely unredacted ONR data export.

Finally, Shmibs extracted a list of the longest words in the corpus, and some of them are pretty great:

nervousenergynervousenergynervousenergy (from the alt-text on #016)

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz — from #598

mmmellllltiiiinnnnngggggg — from #247

procrastihibernation — title of #614

radiogrammephonimat — a transcriber-added detail to #401

biepinzingerunting — from #715

biepbiepbieperzung — also from #715

telegrameutophium — a transcriber-added detail to #336

relationshaaaooww — from #588

yardeyardeyaryar — from the alt-text (which I wrote) on #199 (a guest comic)

superdorkasaurus — from the alt-text on #662

dunderschnauzen — from #515

glondxhatzoljlg — from #680

What an erudite collection of completely invented words and/or sounds!

800 Episodes Word Cloud

On the occasion of Wondermark’s eight hundredth episode, I thought I would celebrate by looking at a complete corpus of words used in Wondermark, and creating a cloud from them (similar to my existing tag cloud of subject matter):

“Huh,” I thought to myself, “I suppose it is unsurprising that the most common words used in a large sample of comics probably closely resembles a list of common words found in the language in general.”

So no great discoveries here, unfortunately. It’s further complicated by the fact that the text I’m using as a corpus is an export of my Oh No Robot database, which contains user-submitted transcriptions of all my comics, which themselves often contain transcriber-invented character names and extensive scene descriptions — both of which are great, but which somewhat muddy the dataset. The heavy incidence of the words “man” and “woman” in the cloud, for example, are probably due to transcriptions reading something like:

Man: I have started a bean farm.
Woman: We’ll be millionaires!
Man: Not if flies eat the crops first.
Woman: Time to invest heavily in pesticides.

In that sample transcription, the words “man” and “woman” both appear twice as frequently as any other word, despite not occurring in the dialogue at all.

It’d be neat to see, instead of a brute word-frequency cloud, something like a collection of statistically improbable phrases, or words that show up in Wondermark once and only once…things like that. I wonder what interesting things could be mined from the data? If you’d like to play around with the corpus yourself, dirty as the set is, here’s the text file I used. If you derive anything neat, let us know!