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Happy New Year!

Hope you had/will have/are having/will have come to have a great New Year’s. I’m still not sure what I’m doing to ring in the new year. My wife and I are realizing we’re getting older and more content when “tea” sounds like a great option.

My 21-year old self would probably punch me in the teeth for even typing that.

As for Sheldon…good things are coming for the strip in the new year. A third (and possibly fourth) Sheldon book will be coming out…I’ll be adding some fun new stuff to the site…and there may even be a new “companion” strip added to the lineup. But more news on all that in the weeks and months ahead.

For now, I’ll leave you with this challenge: what interesting word possibilities did Arthur miss in jumbling up “resolution”? I’d be curious to see what folks can come up with.

Muppets: “Can you picture that?”

Since I started sharing poetry the other day with Robbie Burns, I’ll give you a peek into the “poetry” that runs through my mind on a daily basis. This morning, it was the best line ever uttered in the English language.

Specifically, by the Muppet character Janice (of Dr. Teeth’s band), in “The Muppet Movie”, as the band sings “Can You Picture That”:


All of us are winnin, pickin and a-grinnin, Lordy but I love to jam


Jelly-belly gigglin, dancin and a-wigglin, honey that’s the way I am!

Dr. Teeth:

Lost my heart in Texas, Northern lights affect us, I keep it underneath my
Aurora Borealis, shinin down on Dallas! Can you picture that?
Can you picture that?


Janice: you are, and shall always remain, my secret favorite Muppet character.

“Money” Magazine

I realized something interesting about “Money” magazine today…and I’m not sure what it says about the magazine’s editorial, promotional, and sales strategy.

First, I should mention that I really, really enjoy “Money”. Since they retooled the editorial (hipper) and demographic focus (25-55 year olds) of the magazine, it’s improved leaps and bounds. I happily subscribe to it, and have enjoyed reading it cover-to-cover.

But it’s in reading it cover-to-cover that I noticed something interesting. Or, at least, something interesting to me, a cartoonist who just moved his entire archives to a free site: Every story from the print version of “Money” is repeated, for free, at money.cnn.com. All of ’em. For free.

Granted, not all at once. They dribble them out over the course of the month. But if you’re a savvy reader, and check the site at least once a week, you’ll get all of the articles that appear in the magazine.

This seems like an ineffective “loss leader” for print subscriptions, so…I’m at a bit of a loss as to their strategy, here. Keep in mind that, while their demographic is lusted after, there’s not a huge amount of targeted advertising on the site itself, so that can’t be paying the bills.

Could it be that CNN is paying a tidy enough sum for the extra content? Or is there something I’m missing here?

I’d love to hear your thoughts over at the Sheldon forum. I’m a bit flummoxed.

Sold Out

I should’ve mentioned it when it happened, but all copies of “A Well Balanced Meal” are now sold out. My apologies if you weren’t able to get yourself a copy…I tried to give fair warning.

On that note: copies are still available for “The Good, The Bad & The Pugly” and “Pure Ducky Goodness”, over at the store.

Today’s Poetry Corner

Forgive today’s strip, if you would. It’s a pretty random poetry reference to Robert Burns….I know.

But I’ve always found it funny how, when you put the words “Scottish” and “poetry” together, it’s pretty much just Robbie Burns and….well, Robbie Burns.

Apparently, the Scots live by “The Highlander” credo of “There Can Be Only One”. Because outside of Burns, there are no other poets. Or, at least, none that spring to mind. You’re pretty much left with the two guys that wrote that song “I Would Walk 500 Miles”.

But I do secretly dig Robert Burns. And because I feel guilty for besmirching the name of the great Scottish nation, today I’ll share with you my favorite Burns poem, “To A Mouse”. He wrote it when he ploughed through a field mouse’s nest, and startled the little creature:

(Note: It reads a little tricky at first, until you assume the “Scottish poetry position”, which I just invented. Crouch forward ever-so-slightly, and stick an elbow out. You’ll find Scottish English much easier to read.)

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie,
O what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickerin’ brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
Wi’ murd’rin’ pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve:
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin’ wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin’;
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin’,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin’ fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell—
Till, crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, och! I backward cast my e’e
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see
I guess an’ fear!

(My favorite part? He rhymed “BEASTIE” with “BREASTIE”. Ahh, Scotland.)

Just 37 Copies Left

After three printings of the book “A Well Balanced Meal”, I’m surprised to report that there are just 37 copies left. Which is significant, because after three print-runs of this book, these are the last of the last. This book will never again be reprinted.

The book collection is the “best of” my college strip “Four Food Groups of the Apocalypse”, and features the first appearance of Sheldon as a ten-year old genius.

In any case, I thought it would be best to announce the limited quantities, in case you were interested in picking one up.

Christmas Gifts with Neighbors

This never used to happen in my old neighborhood…but when my wife and I moved house about three years ago, we unknowingly moved into the KINDEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE WORLD.

And now, every Christmas, we are deluged with home-baked snacks and Christmas pies. To an unbelievable degree, though: it’s like they’re busing in people from other neighborhoods, miles away, just to give us Christmas sugar cookies. I don’t know where they all come from.

And after a while, our pre-prepared plates of goodies are gone, and I’m left with this sample dialogue:

Suzette (a “neighbor” from ten blocks down): HI! Just wanted to give you a little something and say Merry Christmas!

Me: Wow. That looks amazing. What is that?

Suzette: Well, there are some cookies on there, some rum cakes, and a pan-seared Bolivian Christmas souffle made with ostrich eggs.

Me: Um, wow. Have we even met before?

Suzette: Not that I’m aware. Merry Christmas!

Me: Hold on….let me…um…get your gift.

[Uncomfortably long rustling behind a half-closed door]

Me: Here you go! Nutter-Butters! Now they’re, um, made with real peanut butter! Apparently.

Suzette (not mad at all): Wow! Merry Christmas!

…so to Suzette, and the 47 other neighbors I disappointed today, let me say a genuine “Merry Christmas”!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Bolivian souffle to eat.

E-mail Signups

If you’ve signed up for the e-mail delivery of Sheldon, and the system still isn’t sending you the daily strip, please drop me a line and I can get things workin’ for ya. There seems to be somewhere between a few dozen and a few hundred folks who are still having troubles…but the good news is, I can fix it lickety split.

Just drop me a line.

Support Good Comics

You may have heard me talk about my friend Brad Guigar’s strip, “Evil, Inc.” I’m a big fan of the strip, and love Brad’s hilarious take on the superhero/supervillain genre.

Well good news has come to the strip: Diamond will begin offering the Evil, Inc. books to comics book stores in the US and around the world.

Evil Inc Annual Report, Vol 1 is the first offering, appearing in the January issue of Previews, which hits comic shops and bookstores this Friday, Dec. 22. It’s right there on page 281, item code: JAN073651.

But here’s the thing: since the comic book business (like the comic strip business) has taken such a beating in recent years, Diamond now needs to see immediate and sustained success from a new offering, in order to keep carrying it.

So the next time you’re in your comic shop or bookstore, please ask for the Evil Inc Annual Report, Vol 1 by name, and ask that they carry it. You’d be doing a talented cartoonist, and a hilarious strip, a good turn…and you’d be picking up a great read that I highly recommend.


Christmas-y Stuff

If you haven’t read it, last year’s Christmas storyline was one of my favorites. So if you’re new to the strip, I might humbly suggest you
give it a try.

Also: now that the rush of Christmas orders has passed, I’d like to say “thank you” to everyone who voted with their wallets and got Sheldon books and original art for themselves or their loved ones. You’re directly supporting the strip you enjoy — and that support means a lot to me.

I’ve received so many cool e-mails from folks who are enjoying their just-arrived stuff, and let me tell you, there is no greater feeling as a cartoonist. Orders came in from Japan, Sweden, France, Austria, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Spain, 10,000 people in Sussex, England, and a heapin’ helpin’ of Canucks and Americans. All of these different folks from around the world have ensured that Sheldon can continue it’s new life online.

It’s a gift that I don’t take lightly…and I thank you for it.