Posts Tagged ‘blog: stuff I made’.

Gentleman’s Single-Use Monocles

Recently I was asked by fellow cartoonist Zach Weinersmith to help on a project!

He has created the Gentleman’s Single-Use Un-Lubricated Monocle:


I did the package design (the wrapper, above, and the box, below):

a full supply for a busy evening

And I also directed the Kickstarter promo video!

We made a silent film about a gentleman’s pressing need for monocular protection, with the assistance of 5 Second Films’ Ben Gigli, SMBC Theater’s James Ashby, and my own The Audience team member Rachel Parker. I’m super happy with it!

I've got my eye on you

You can get your own monocles on Kickstarter now. But hurry: the campaign ends on Monday Wednesday!

A Free, Printable Progressive Calendar for 2015

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

Those of you who’ve picked up copies of the Wondermark Calendar in any of the last three 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 this:


It’s an entire 2015 calendar that fits on six sheets of regular typing paper. In the picture, you can see I’ve trimmed the pages so they line up in columns of 2 pages each; you could arrange it a different way, if you prefer.

I tried to make it very simple and very clear, with no wasted space or ornament. We all basically know which holidays happen when, so holidays and other observances are marked with just an abbreviation.

The “businesses-are-closed” holidays (where I live, anyway) are further indicated with a shaded circle. The letters “DS” mark the Daylight Saving changeover dates. Some other possibly confusing ones are “CNY” (Chinese New Year), “RAM” (Ramadan), and “CHAN” (Chanukah).

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.

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


EDIT: Jason McDermott has created a version featuring the significant Australian dates!

João Paulo Bernardes has created a Brazilian version as well!

I’ve also updated my version to correct the March 8 date for Daylight Saving Time.

Let’s Make ‘Hierarchy of Beards’ and ‘Zoological Times Table’ Jigsaw Puzzles!

I’m turning some of my Victorian-style charts and diagrams into giant jigsaw puzzles! Update: The campaign is over now!


Check out this pitch video for more details!

I’m really excited about this project. The Hierarchy of Beards poster, and the Beards of our Forefathers book that birthed it, have led very exciting lives.


Pat Race (the photographer, not the subject, of the picture above) took a copy of the book around the World Beard & Mustache Championships in Alaska!


Reader Jonathan N. shared that his personal copy of the Beards poster had an uncredited cameo in an unrelated story about an unassociated legal dispute!


One of the made-up beard styles that I invented was adopted by a folk band in Winnipeg!

And I conducted a lengthy interview with the world’s foremost beard expert!

It’s amazing what one can accomplish in just a few years with a laserlike focus on beards. And I fully expect the Zoological Times Table to take its place in this amazing pantheon, in time.

Puzzles are to posters as ice cream is to milk.

Both are great. Both can be satisfying. But only one is typically enjoyed via a process — spooning, licking, sprinkling, coning, piecing, assembling, dipping in chocolate. Sure, milk can have a process too (I like a latte as much as anyone), but puzzles are process. And like ice cream, puzzles can be pretty cool!

While I wait for the Nobel committee to award me a Metaphor Prize for the preceding paragraph, I will say that I have always been very proud that Wondermark readers are intelligent and charming people with the most discerning taste. I have sold many hundreds of these posters over the years, always to nice people with good-smelling hands.

So you deserve more.

In my new campaign, I’m offering those same posters and books (at cheaper than my typical retail prices) — a great bargain for anyone.

But then you also get this new thing. A puzzle is something to do, not just something to see. A puzzle is a group activity; a puzzle is an art piece; a puzzle is a game that can be shared across generations.

Now, there is a place for super puzzle-maniac difficult puzzles; I don’t think these are they. These are really pretty puzzles that are totally normal puzzles like you would find in the store.

If my lovely Victorian-style joke-puzzles sound like something that would be at home in your life, or the life of someone you care enough about to give a gift to — I hope you’ll reserve your copy (or copies) now!

There are three designs available: The Hierarchy of Beards, the Zoological Times Table, and Sponsored Messages, chock-full of all the labyrinthine, intricate faux-Victorian classified advertisements I’ve been polluting my books with for years.

The Machine of Death game was a very complicated Kickstarter, but it is done now.

(You can buy the game now! You can also download the entire game for free.)

I learned a lot doing the MOD game! It was a giant Kickstarter that involved lots of complications — ultimately satisfying, but it took so very long to get settled! So following that, a thing I wanted to try, just to see if I could, was a project that would be deliberately simple.

Hence, the puzzles! In the campaign, you can also get books and/or posters, but that’s it. I will also be making videos along the way, if you’d like to check in on the updates.

So this is a bit of an experiment for me as much as it’s a product for you. Here it is! Puzzles! Grab ’em while they’re puzzly!

A special advisory for early backers: the first few batches out of the puzzle-fryer will still be chewy on the inside — I guarantee it. 

You can wait, and get a puzzle later, and that’s fine…But it won’t have that flaky puzzle crust you’ve come to love. That’s not how I want my puzzles. Get ’em fresh. They’re better for you before all the nutrients get blanched out.

Wondermark’s Jigsaw Puzzles of Fictional Victorian Charts

BOOKWAR continues

i am the night

Just 2 things, Ryan…

1. You don’t have to say “fiction novel.” The fiction part is implied by the word “novel”.

2. Why is this book in the Port Authority bathroom

UPDATE: I have learned that it is in every Port Authority bathroom, so I suppose that answers #2, while also raising new questions

I keep finding terrible book after terrible book that Ryan North wrote! And he, incensed, keeps making up completely untrue Photoshopped lies about me!!

oh no


Wondermark #1000 – Made with the help of the British Library

As I mentioned a while ago, the British Library has released a Flickr set of some ninety gazillion images from their collection of public domain books! There’s a ton of great stuff in there.

For Wondermark strip #1000, “A Terror Far Greater”, I thought it’d be fun to trawl the library’s set of images and make the comic entirely from stuff I found there. The scans (or perhaps they are photos) are of a decent resolution, although quite a bit smaller than what I normally work at — when it comes time to put this one in a book, we’ll see how crisp it turns out, but it works fine for the web. Using Photoshop, I am also able to firm up some of the softer lines.

(Click any image for bigger)

Here are the images I used for the first panel — the man’s body, the side of the house, the background garden, and the gun. (The Piranhamoose is already well-known to us.) The man’s face is from a different image (below)…

Both of the faces are from different sources, as is the cart. The original faces in the environment shot were just too wacky-looking to use without modification.

The man’s “hammering” pose comes from a different shot, as does the woman. In 19th-century European magazines, there are not a lot of dignified portrayals of individuals of color, so one that’s not overtly racist or caricatured is a nice find. The wall he’s working on comes from here, and in the picture above you can also see a different background (from here) that I didn’t end up using, in favor of keeping it consistent from Panel 1.

The rest of the panels are made from images of a stone tower, of the Pyramids (for the close-up in the panel with the hand), of a sunset, and of course of a bird.

I went through 100 pages of the Flickr set and found lots of great stuff but no sharks, so he had to come from my regular archive. The hammer was also an addition from a non-Flickr source (it came instead from the 1902 Sears-Roebuck catalog) (and even still, it ended up being more of a mallet).

Still, thanks to the British Library for this amazing resource! There’s probably a shark in there SOMEWHERE on pages 101 through 10200. I’ll find it eventually!!

When I first started throwing these comics together on a lark 11 years ago, I think I labeled them “01”, “02”, “03”, etc. When I put the first 20 or so on a very rudimentary website, I optimistically renumbered them “001”, “002”, etc. Well, NOW WE’VE BROKEN THAT FORMAT.

The last 11 years have been wonderful and I’m so grateful to be able to do what I do for a living; it’s the best job in the world and anyone else who says THEY have the best job in the world is CLEARLY MISTAKEN.

Thank you for all the support, the kind notes, and the moments when you think “You know what would be cool? If I shared my favorite strip with a friend who might like it!” This is a very easy thing to do that makes YOU look cool and makes ME look AMAZING because you probably won’t share one of the clunkers rattling around deep in the bottom of the archives, but rather a sort of MODERN CLASSIC, such as this one or this one or this one.

Now I guess there’s nothing more to do except start counting back down to 001! See you all in 2025 when we can start going back up again!!