Posts Tagged ‘blog: stuff I made’.

Make your own 2020 calendar from past calendars! PLUS: Progressive calendar free download

Although there is no 2020 Wondermark calendar per se, observant Marksman Gary T. let me know that dedicated calendar fans can make a 2020 calendar at home with the aid of:

• January–February: The 2014 Wondermark calendar
• March–December: Either the 2009 or 2015 Wondermark calendar

It’s Leap Day this year that throws things off.

SO, although I do not have 29 calendar pages for you, I DID manage to scrounge up ONE page – the sole remaining fragment of the otherwise-lost 2020 calendar:

Make your own 2020 calendar from past calendars! PLUS: Progressive calendar free download

It’s a patch for the end of February. Hopefully it makes sense out of context.

Here’s the link to download the patch page.

Of course, some of the holidays will be wrong if you do this, so calendronaut beware.


Each year I also make a progressive (gapless) calendar for folks to download!

Make your own 2020 calendar from past calendars! PLUS: Progressive calendar free download

And I have done so this year as well!

I found this blog post interesting – written by someone who likes the gapless calendar, but who didn’t like the weekends being grouped together at the end.

The weekends at the end can be useful for someone like me, whose schedule is sometimes built around all-weekend events.

But I do agree that if you’re used to reading Sunday-first calendars, it can be a bit disorienting.

So this year I’ve made two versions:

The blog post in question also contains a few other criticisms: the author didn’t like the shading, and thought the numbers took up too much room.

All of that is perfectly valid critique, but I’d already finished this one. Maybe next year!

Download: A Free Progressive Calendar for 2019!

Download: A Free Progressive Calendar for 2019!

I made a simple, printable wall calendar for my office! You can have it too — here’s a PDF file you can print yourself.

As you well know, I make high-end desk calendars (there are twelve copies left), but I also like having a calendar I can write on.

Those of you who’ve picked up copies of the Wondermark Calendar in any of the last seven years know about my interest in progressive calendars.

By that, I mean a calendar that doesn’t have any breaks between months. I think I invented the term? By that, I mean “nobody else has ever used this term.”

Back in 2012 I wrote all about it. The special Wondermark branded calendars, of course, address the matter with their modular card design.

But this year, I also wanted a big work calendar I could mount on the wall and write on. I like being able to see the coming weeks and months at a glance.

So I made the calendar you see here!

It’s an entire 2019 calendar (through most of February 2020, actually) that fits on six sheets of regular typing paper:

Download: A Free Progressive Calendar for 2019!

I’ve trimmed the pages so I could make columns of 3 pages each; you could arrange it a different way, if you prefer.


Download: A Free Progressive Calendar for 2019!

I tried to make it very simple and very clear, with no wasted space or ornament – so holidays and other observances are not marked.

I figure the relevant holidays will vary depending on where you live (and maybe what you do for work), so if you want to take a pass through at the outset and mark all the relevant ones to you, that will help you internalize them.

Since I also do a lot of weekend travel, I decided to group the weekend days together on the right, and start each week with Monday on the left.

Download: A Free Progressive Calendar for 2019!

I thought this might be useful to you as well, so here you go! Please feel free to print out your own! 

If it proves valuable for you, feel free to kick over a buck or two via PayPal, but no obligation as far as that goes — I hope you find it useful, and would rather you have it for free than insist on any payment!

Longtime readers know I did this once before, in 2015, and I’ve missed having one every year since.

And there will actually be one FURTHER calendar-related offering coming soon… So if the premium Wondermark desk calendar is too rich for your blood, and this is too simple and too plain, I will have a nice compromise for you, coming very shortly.


A SECRET about the last dozen comics

A high-flying commission

Recently, reader Julie M. contacted me to ask if I could make a commissioned portrait as a gift for her husband’s birthday.

I rarely attempt portraits — and I’d never tried to make an actual likeness in the Wondermark collage style, where one is limited to the source material one can unearth — but in this case, I happened to get lucky in my search, and was able to create something approaching a resemblance from chunks of about five different source images and judicious use of the Photoshop warp tool.

Plus, Julie’s husband is a pilot, and there are few things that can get me more excited about a commission than the prospect of making a weird Victorian airplane collage.

I think it turned out quite well! (Click the plane for a closer look.)

A high-flying commission

A high-flying commission

All that is well and good, and I would have been happy to leave it there and chalk it all up to a lovely experience.

BUT HISTORY HAD TO SHOW ME UP.

The other day I saw this tweet from the fascinating account @SovietVisuals:

A vintage postcard, reading “Greetings from Leningrad” on the tailplane; “Country of Soviets” betwixt the wings.

Everything old is new again, it seems.

My favorite part is how it appears that the pilot is sticking his head and arm through a canvas, upon which the airplane and landscape have been painted as a backdrop.

Julie, perhaps consider this technique for his next birthday. Everyone at the party can take a turn!

Now showing on Patreon: “2 Minutes to Wondermark”

I’ve just started a new series on my Patreon page, where I provide commentary over a 2-minute timelapse of the process of creating a Wondermark comic!

The first two installments are up now, exploring the making of comics #1368 and #1369, which is the point at which I decided I would start recording my work.

Now showing on Patreon: "2 Minutes to Wondermark"

In those posts, I have also written “novelizations” of both those comics! In case you want to learn more about the rich inner lives of the characters who say the quippy things.

I don’t know if I’ll do that every time, but I have done two so far and will probably do a few more in the next few installments.

If you’re not familiar, Patreon is a website where you can subscribe to premium content from artists like me — in this case, a contribution of $2 per month (which works out to $24 a year) makes you a patron of Wondermark and gets you access to all special posts I have, or will, write.

It doesn’t sound like much, but a bunch of people contributing small amounts like $2 can really add up and make a big difference.

If you enjoy what I do here, or would like to read the bonus content, I’m grateful for your very kind support! (Of course, the comics here on the website will always be free!)

If you’re interested, you can become a patron at the link below, and get access to the 2 Minutes to Wondermark posts as well as past essays, such as the Archive Dive series and two journeys through the Roll-a-Sketch Vault.

I’ll be adding more installments to those series over time, as well! Not on any strict schedule, just as I have the time. Meanwhile, the third installment of the 2 Minutes to Wondermark series goes up tomorrow!!

[ Malki on Patreon ]

Wondermark in PREVIEWS, and a note on books!

Wondermark in PREVIEWS, and a note on books!

I stopped by the ol’ comic shop last week and flipped through PREVIEWS, the Diamond Distributors catalog where most comic shops get most of their comics and related merchandise.

And I was surprised to see my very own face staring back at me from page 24:

Wondermark in PREVIEWS, and a note on books!

It is apparently a promotional effort for webcomics-turned-print-collections:

Wondermark in PREVIEWS, and a note on books!

Which is great! But still a bit surprising, considering that the specific Wondermark book being promoted there on page 24, Dapper Caps & Pedal-Copters, was released by Dark Horse Comics nearly eight years ago, everyone I know who worked there has since left the company, and I did not know they had copies left of the hardcover edition (I subsequently issued a paperback under my own imprint).

But apparently they do, and if you work at a comic shop, I encourage you to order Diamond item number DEC090040 and fill your shelves with Wondermark books and pitch them to everyone who enters your store!

This is a good excuse to talk about books more generally. As longtime readers know, after self-publishing an early Wondermark collection in 2005, I put out three volumes with Dark Horse, in 2008–2010 (Dapper Caps was the third; it went on to win the PubWest Gold Award for design excellence, and I have a lovely medal to show for it). They are handsome books that seemed to perform okay for Dark Horse.

But they are a comics publisher, and a decade ago especially, comic strip collections (usually sold in bookstores in the humor section) being sold through a distributor that catered primarily to superhero-book stores did not find the largest audience. These days comics distribution reaches into more mainstream stores, and many comic shops stock all kinds of stuff, but a decade ago it was a bit tougher.

So when Dark Horse decided they would do no more hardcovers, and let the editions they had done go out of print, the rights reverted to me and I issued my own editions in paperback:

Wondermark in PREVIEWS, and a note on books!

I also went on to do a fourth hardcover, this time with TopatoCo: Emperor of the Food Chain, which was never distributed through Diamond, but which I believe is now newly available to bookstores and other retailers through the Consortium catalog (ISBN-13: 978-1-936561-93-3).

Wondermark in PREVIEWS, and a note on books!

People often ask me, “What’s the best way to get your books?” And sometimes they mean in terms of availability and ease (in which case, Google will direct you to several different vendors from which you can choose), but other times they mean “Which method helps you the most?”

This is a very kind thing to ask, because it acknowledges that making and selling books can be a tough road, and if the person is going to spend basically the same amount of money no matter what, they might as well put that money where it will do the most good for the person they are trying to support!

The answer, however, is complicated, and the answer may be different for every different author, or for authors who have different relationships with the book trade. Some authors are vigorous vendors of their own work; others prefer to leave the filthy lucre-mongery to the pros and concentrate on the writing part.

From the perspective of being a small publisher, I mostly want you to order directly from me, because all your money comes to me, and then I personally put the book in an envelope and mail it to you (or hand it over the table at a convention).

However, you could also get it from my TopatoCo store, which is almost like getting it from me in that Jeffrey and the folks at TopatoCo only keep a small fee from the sale, plus while you’re there you might see other things you want to buy (from me or other artists on the site) — plus I don’t have to do anything, and can spend my time doing other useful things instead of putting a book into an envelope. That is a very acceptable choice.

Or, you could patronize a local bookstore (or comic book store), if they happen to carry the volume you want, because that money goes to your local community and supports that business, and some of it gets back to me eventually. Supporting bookstores means supporting the places that are, ideally, in the aggregate, able to sell many more copies of a given book than I myself as one dude driving you to my website will ever be able to do. So buying a book from them props up that ecosystem.

Or, you could order from Amazon, not because you have any particular need to support Amazon but because it will arrive quickly and cheaply and you can also get watch batteries and deodorant in the same order. It may help you enjoy the book more if you ended up saving a few bucks on the transaction. And keeping you solvent is good for me in the long run as well!

Of course, if frugality is your main concern, you can also look on eBay or Abebooks for used copies. Sales of used copies don’t result in me getting any money, but it keeps the books circulating (rather than moldering away in a box or on a shelf or in a landfill somewhere) and also makes you feel like a TREASURE HUNTER.

From my perspective as an author, I am happy if you get a book and enjoy it no matter where you get it from. Giving me your money directly is great, but supporting the institutions that support me and other authors is also a virtue.

Of course, stocking 100 copies in your store and upselling every customer you serve would be best of all.

Even moreso if you don’t work in a bookstore. I bet Dapper Caps would sell exceptionally well in a haberdashery.