Posts Tagged ‘blog: musings’.

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 perjorative 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

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.

Internet Archive Releases Millions of Public Domain Images; I Personally Benefit

14598402907_6071288090_z

Thanks to the many people who’ve sent this bit of info my way! In a move that mirrors the British Library’s similar endeavor from a few months ago, the Internet Archive has placed images from 500 years’ worth of public domain books on Flickr, millions and millions of pictures and emblems and logos and marginalia from digitized books.

Here’s Flickr’s official statement.

And, in a move unlike the British Library’s, in this case they’re attempting to use contextual clues from the OCR’d text preceding and following the image to determine ways to thematically tag the images. It’s not…perfect? (The image at the top of this post is tagged “Historical buildings”.) But it’s a pretty cool effort nonetheless!

You can also browse by year, decade, or century, which is super cool if you want to narrow down the type of art style you’re looking for (as I tend to want to do).

I browsed a few dozen pages of the Flickr set and found some cool images that I used in today’s comic! Here are some of my sources:

The men in the foreground
The browsing man in Panel 1
Some of the vases on the tables
An object on a table in the far background

The other elements in the strip today came from my existing collection.

I love things like this, obviously! Hooray for culture! Hooray for old stuff, it’s a souvenir of the world we weren’t around for, and a reminder of where we have been as humans before.

Fascinating Artifacts From My Mom’s House

My parents moved into this house in 1972! My siblings and I grew up here, perched on a hillside backed up against the National Forest. I lived here my whole life, until I moved out to go to college.

devore-house

But now my mom is moving, and it’s time to clean everything out from a million dusty corners and cabinets and stacks of old boxes! You don’t live someplace for 42 years without odd items sticking around. As you either know or can readily assume, I’m super into weird old stuff, so I thought I’d share some of the unearthed artifacts that I found interesting — including some very surprising correspondence between my mom and ISAAC ASIMOV:

ANCIENT 7UP BOTTLE

DRINK IT

(Click any image for bigger)

CONVENIENTLY CHARRED MATCHBOOK

STRIKE IT

T-SHIRT MADE AT MALL KIOSK IN 1987 — this picture is of me, and it must have been made as a gift for my brother, so that he would be the one wearing the picture of his brother and asserting that he loved me. A FOOLPROOF PLAN

WEAR IT

LEBANESE BAKERY TIN

CONTAIN IT

SPICES LEFT OVER FROM MY GRANDMOTHER’S MOONSHINE — my Lebanese grandmother apparently liked to make arak, an anise-flavored fermented spirit.

We also found her still and a jar of arak that was probably 30+ years old. I wanted to try some, but I also wanted to stay alive, and the latter impulse won out.

SPICE IT

MY ATTEMPT AT MAKING MYSELF AN AIR FORCE UNIFORM AT A VERY YOUNG AGE

SALUTE IT

AMAZING FLYER FOR AN EVENT I WANT TO GO TO

PIIISMOOOOOO

THE AIRPLANE I BUILT TO KILL TIME ON MY COUSIN’S CONSTRUCTION SITE that I later attempted to sell to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, via letter extolling its virtues as an “authentic replica of a C-7 Caribou”, and demanding the highest amount of money I could think of, which was $70. I believe I was in the third grade.

The Smithsonian wrote back with a very kind letter explaining that their collections were built by donations only. No way was I going to donate my masterpiece, so I held onto it! Until yesterday, when I chucked it into a dumpster.

FLY IT

GRADE-SCHOOL-ERA HAND-DRAWN LETTERHEAD FEATURING A BADASS ATTACK HELICOPTER

WRITE IT

PENCIL BOX IN MY MOM’S DESK, STILL BEARING A PRICE TAG FROM HAVING BEEN PURCHASED BY HER IN COLLEGE (1958-1962)

PENCIL IT IN

POSSIBLY MY FIRST PUBLISHED WORK (sadly unfinished). ‘Malown Bros’ referred to me & my elementary school best friend, Aaron Brown.

The whiteout implies that perhaps it did not begin as a collaboration. Note as well the series number in the upper corner — who knows what hijinks Timmy the dog might have gotten up to, had I not abandoned the entire enterprise after a page and a half??

BOOK IT

KEEP BOOKING

BOOK FURTHER

My mom was (and remains) a prolific correspondent: she writes letters to authors, columnists, lawmakers, public figures, and the like. Before email, of course, that was all done on paper (with a brief dalliance into the heady world of the fax), in a way that can leave traces decades later.

I found the occasional response letter she received, implying various inquiries on her part, but imagine my surprise when I found this, tucked quietly in a file folder:

READ IT

A TYPED CARD FROM ISAAC ASIMOV

(The fact that he wrote ‘Mallei’ instead of ‘Malki’ implies that her original was handwritten.)

And as if ONE wasn’t enough to be amazing — the following day my sister discovered ANOTHER!!

CHERISH IT

MORAL OF THE STORY: Write letters, I guess?? And save everything that your kids might remotely find interesting decades later.

###

ALSO: Since you are a savvy and informed bunch, I thought I would ask your advice. I have been charged with dispensing of two interesting items: a TRS-80 computer (complete with external floppy drive and a few manuals and pieces of software), and a mid-50′s vintage Zenith TV/phonograph cabinet:

ZENITH IT

Neither are in mint condition and both are rather heavy and tricky to move. (Currently they are in Southern California.) I don’t know if they have any collectible value, or if the labor of maximizing said value would be worth it in the end.

If you have any clever suggestions as to what to do with these things (besides simply discard them, unless that’s the best option), please leave a comment on this post. I appreciate any assistance!

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