Posts Tagged ‘blog: stuff I made’.

Downloadable Wondermark 2021 calendar!

Downloadable Wondermark 2021 calendar!

I don’t have an all-new 2021 calendar, this year. Time was short, and also, shipping is such a mess this year that I didn’t make a big merchandise push.

If you’ve ordered something from me recently, rest assured that it’s on its way…but packages in the hands of the post office have been taking very unpredictable paths to their destinations lately. We can only cross our fingers and do our best.

That said — I do have a new calendar, of a sort!

I have just posted A Forlorn Collection of Whimsical Tales as a downloadable-and-printable PDF.

It was originally released as a 2010 calendar. But guess what — 2010 and 2021 have the same dates!

So it was clear to me that once again, its time to shine has come. No updating was required for it to be pressed into service.

(Although this calendar, being one of my older ones, features weeks that are arrayed to start on Monday. I left that in, for true vintage flavor.)

I have also updated my four other downloadable calendars to feature 2021 dates. They’re all ready for you now. Those all have weeks that start on Sunday, if you prefer that.

(Also, psst: Folks who’re subscribed to Patreon just got all five downloads for free.)

The 2010 calendar was originally a hand-printed product, featuring 12 individual cards in an easel, as pictured above.

I looked back at my posts from the time and I’m still charmed by this multi-part blog series about the making of the 2010 edition! It talks about the writing, design, and production that went into that style of handmade, 12-page calendar, which I created in small batches for five years (2008–2012).

I ended up scanning around 60 different images and playing around with them in various configurations, combining and re-combining them in different ways, trying to see what scenarios and stories they suggested.

The way I work is different from many artists, and certainly many cartoonists. While I do often compose the comic’s images to match a previously-written script, I also have great fun at times simply building scenes like a puzzle, not knowing what’s going on until the very end of the process — and sometimes, in the case of the comics, occasionally not knowing what’s going on until I’ve actually written most of the dialogue! I like seeing where it goes and the directions that it takes by itself, and it’s almost more like sculpting with clay, adding pieces and taking them away, than drawing or painting… [Continued]

In 2013, I switched to making biweekly “progressive” calendars, which involved more writing and design work, but less physical production. This is the first time I’ve reissued one of the early editions as a printable.


Nonetheless, if you prefer your calendars pre-printed, may I refer you to these fine models from my good friends in Alaska?

Pat from the Alaska Robotics gallery in Juneau makes a good pitch, I think:

I endorse these bears! And whales! There are whales, too. If you don’t believe me, take Lucy’s word for it.

[ BEAR AND WHALE CALENDARS FROM ALASKA ]

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 ]