Wondermark Fall 2021 FAQ

TBH games are shipping now!

As we move into another holiday season, it’s high time for an update on how things are going here at the ol’ jape-foundry!

I’ll talk about comics, merch, and future plans.

Pretend you’re the bold text, asking me questions. I’ll then…answer those questions!

➡️ How have you been?

My family is doing better than many (we’re safe and healthy).

But as other parents of small kids will know, these last 20-odd months have presented a set of…particular challenges.

My kid isn’t old enough for a vaccine yet, and we don’t have family very close by. Our daycare closed down and we don’t have a regular babysitter. So we spend a lot of time chilling at home.

I had heard that parenting is tiring, but I didn’t realize how much of that would be from straight-up mental exertion. After all, a 4-year-old has nothing better to do than to make everything a battle of wills.

So we’re all fine here — but, like, completely brain-tired 100% of the time. This is a good foundation for the next question.

➡️ What kind of update schedule will the comic have?

As I was posting the latest comic, near the end of November, I realized that it references “Halloween.”

This is a little window into how long comics take me to make, these days, in snatches of borrowed time here and there. I think I first wrote it in mid-October.

So! That’s just the way of the world, at the moment. I’ll continue to make comics, but I can’t predict when, or on what kind of schedule, they will post.

I recommend making sure you’re on the email list!

➡️ Will there be a Wondermark calendar this year?

I wasn’t able to make a new calendar this year. Sad as I am to say it, I think the era of the Wondermark calendar may now have passed.

I will try to redo the existing designs for the coming year as downloadable versions, as I’ve done the past few years. I’ll mention them here if that does become available.

➡️ What kind of Wondermark goodies are still available?

• I’m still shipping things regularly from my store — my holiday cards, for example — and from my TopatoCo store, which sells apparel and comic prints.

• A few of the card designs are out of stock, and it looks like I won’t be able to reprint them before Christmas. So, stock on some designs is limited!

• I also just got a notification from Amazon that they’re going to start charging me extra for my inventory of books sitting in their warehouse. So please feel free to grab copies from there, if you are so inclined. It’ll help me clear them out!

➡️ What have you been up to otherwise?

A few projects are ongoing at the moment:

• Over at Dave Kellett’s sci-fi comic Drive, I wrote a 14-part guest story (beginning here) that’s currently running, alternating with the regular Drive story.

• I’m also posting my original script pages as free posts on Patreon as Dave releases each episode.

•  My party game TBH wrapped up its Kickstarter back in the spring and was delivered to backers in September/October. (If you pledged and haven’t gotten a copy yet, we probably didn’t get your address! Drop me a line if you’re still owed a copy.)

• “Friends of Malki” (people who heard about the KS early) also got some TBH bonus cards sent directly from me! If you got a TBH game, but didn’t receive the 2 bonus cards I sent separately, drop me a line. I’ve got some left.

• You can buy copies of TBH now! They ship directly from the factory, so they take a few weeks to arrive, but they are definitely shipping.

• I have another new game coming out in January! It’s called Keep it 100. Then another one in April or May. That one’s called Lineup. Then a few more after that, I think.

➡️ Wow, you’re making a lot of games.

Here’s the other big news (and big reason that comic-makin’ time has become more scarce).

A while ago, I accepted a full-time position as director of product development for Cut, the Seattle-based video company.

My mandate is to make social games based on their values of sincerity, communication, and empathy.

That sounds kind of heady, but it’s actually really fun. TBH is the first game I made following that brief.

I’ve also creative-directed six new expansions (three still forthcoming) to their Truth or Drink series. And as mentioned above, we’ve got several new games on the slate for next year.

I’ve been able to lead an amazing creative team, and I’m really proud of the stuff we’re putting out. Plus, it’s steady work, which was a cool thing to have going into the “year-plus of no conventions.”

➡️ Can we hear more about that?

I’d like to set up a newsletter or something that is exclusively about the games we’re making! Behind the scenes, things in development, and so on.

We just haven’t figured out the details of the newsletter yet. Hopefully in the new year — I’ll make an announcement when that’s live.

➡️ So what happens now?

I’ll keep making comics, and posting to Patreon, at the pace that I can! Please join the WM email list if you haven’t already to ensure you don’t miss any updates when they do happen!

➡️ I’ve got some other question!

Makes sense! I’m just making up these questions, after all. Leave a comment on this post — or this post’s mirrored version on Patreon — and I’ll answer it!

A SECRET about the last dozen comics

The last dozen comics have had a secret.

As the sick elephant saga was winding down, I thought to myself, “Surely I can’t just drop back into gag-comics-as-usual. It would feel too abrupt!”

So I decided I would write another series, one that wouldn’t feel like a series but that could still work on multiple levels.

All the comics since the elephant saga have ended have been part of this series, starting back with #1437 in November and continuing through today’s #1448.

I wasn’t sure if anyone would notice, or let me know if they did. So I mentioned on Twitter that the recent comics were all linked in some way, and asked if anyone had figured out how.

Anna had:

If you want to see what Anna’s talking about, start with comic #001 in one tab and comic #1437 in another — then read forward in both timelines, and check out where the journey leads you.

Hi there, email and feed readers!

Another brief hiccup with the RSS feed (which powers the mailing list) means you could be just now seeing (or getting a very long email containing) a bunch of posts that you may have missed from the past month.

I’m sorry about that! But in terms of big news you may have missed, the short version is, you can now order the 2019 Wondermark Calendar and/or the new sick elephant book collection, The Elephant of Surprise!

Orders placed now will ship in the first week of January!

[ Here’s the link to the store ]

Email + RSS feed errors now resolved

If you’re reading this on an RSS reader, you probably noticed a bunch of old posts pop up today! There was an error in the feed. Be sure to read the latest comics in order, oldest ones first! (Or catch up with the entire sick elephant saga, now concluded, by starting at sickelephant.com.)

If you’re reading this via email, my guess is that it’s going to be a VERY LONG EMAIL with several weeks’ worth of comics you never received. Be sure to start from the bottom of the email so you read the comics in order (or catch up on the site).

Sorry for this extra trouble! The problem should be fixed now.

If you’re reading this on the website, you are a very good person to still visit independent websites! I hope you continue to. HOWEVER, just for the record, this is a good time to refresh everyone’s memory as to the different ways to subscribe to the comic:

Get a daily emailwondermark.com/email
Twitter feed for the comictwitter.com/wondermarkfeed
Twitter feed for me personallytwitter.com/malki
Facebook page for the comicfacebook.com/wondermarkdotcom

All of those get you all the comics (although of course with social media you’re more likely to miss some, thanks to “the algorithm” and Facebook’s business model of bottlenecking).

I have a Tumblr too (irregularly updated, though I did just post a couple good ones) and of course I also post various things to Patreon.

If you have some other way you’d like to see the comics — some way of reading comics that’s popular now that I don’t know about — you can contact me via any of the above things! (Or leave a comment on this post.)

(I’ve already squatted the Instagram and will start posting there once I find some elves who can break all the old comics into individual square panels for me.)

Holiday ordering deadlines are here!

A very quick store update — the last one of the year, I promise!

• Due to high order volume, TopatoCo has pushed up their holiday ordering deadlines to ensure they get your package out the door in time. Non-U.S. guaranteed deadlines have passed; you can still order in-stock items only via USPS Priority Mail through the 16th, and Express options give you a few days after that. Wondermark books, some shirt sizes and of course all manner of delightful posters & art-prints are all in-stock at TopatoCo and shipping now.

• My own in-house store will be taking orders for Monocle Poppers greeting cards through tomorrow only before I close the operation for the holidays. We’ve shipped somewhere around 2,000 cards so far this month and I’d like to make it an even million billion in these last 48 hours!

• The 2011 Calendar is all sold out! You are the best. You will enjoy this year’s edition, I promise.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to Kathryn Renta for helping with typesetting and layout for the calendar. Kathryn was a great help both this year and last and I recommend her for any design work you may need assistance with! She can be contacted via her Facebook or Twitter.

I’d also like to acknowledge my assistants Robynne and Zach for their tireless work in all facets of the daily Wondermark Enterprises operation. And of course top marks go to my wife Nikki, who is the one actually putting the sweat into printing these calendars and occasionally threatening to murder me for taking so long perfecting their design. If your calendar, when you receive it sometime between next week and the first of the year, looks like it was well-loved and crafted with care… well, it was.