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It always cracks me up when I start to notice the marketing for pro-soccer-in-America heating up. Since David Beckham starts playing for the LA team in July (…sorry, the “LA Galaxy” — I literally had to look it up)…the radio, TV, and magazine spots have started to appear.

The potential in sports licensing, advertising and merchandising is what’s driving the push, of course. I doubt few, if any, markets generate as much sports-related income as the US. But boy, this is a road we’ve walked down before, isn’t it? The average American just couldn’t give a hoot about the game. I played soccer for seven years, and even I can’t seem to muster a long-term interest.

Why is that, I wonder? What is it about the American experience that makes soccer a “less-than” sport? It’s like the metric system of the sports world: no matter how good it might be, Americans are just not gonna have it. It’s right up there with Canadian Ice Curling as a sport Americans would rather not be forced to watch on TV. Yet the rest of the world goes absolutely bonkers over it.

While watching an Arsenal game in a pub one time, an English friend of mine told me that he was glad Americans weren’t into the game. He said that if we were, the World Cup would play out like the American medal count at the end of the Summer Olympics. He was much happier to see us sit it out, thank you very much. And he probably had a point.

So I say, “Watch out, Canada! The day we get interested in Ice Curling, you guys are going down!”

The Green Machine

Today’s strip features that urbanite classic, the Big Wheel.

Ah, Big Wheel…how many trees did I crash into on you? How many hills did I tempt death with on you? And how quickly did your front wheel go out of alignment from your handlebars, making you completey impossible to steer? Ah, Big Wheel…you and I had some good times.

But even better than the Big Wheel was the less-commonly-seen “Green Machine”…the ultimate in childhood awesomeness:

The Green Machine still exists on the market, I see…but they’ve added some extra safety features from the model that I owned as I kid. Which is good…because let me tell you: that baby was not particularly safe in the hands of a 10-year old boy. I bit it at least 10 times over a half-hour period, riding on my Green Machine. That thing was a recipe for skinned knees and klonked skulls.

But you know what? That thing rode like no other vehicle I’ve operated, before or since. It was awesome: sitting 3 inches off the ground, flying down hills, steering by two vertical handles like some sort of jet pilot, crashing every few minutes, getting up and doing the whole thing again…C’mon! What ten-year old wouldn’t want to ride that! I’d want to ride one now, if I could fit my Krispy Kreme-addled rump on there.

Which is why this guy is so awesome. I wish this guy lived on my street. I’d love to crash on the Green Machine one more time.

Social Bookmarking

For readers that love their StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg: today I’m adding social bookmarking links under every strip in the archive. That means if you have a specific strip that you love, love, love…you can now share it in your social web, with one easy click.

Boy! It’s a burst of new tidbits being added to the site, lately. But fear not: I’m always wary of feature-creep, so this will be the last one added for a while. I swear.

OK, wait. That’s not true. I am working on one other feature. A “Sheldon-On-Your-Site” system that allows you to put the daily strip in your website, just like the very funny Mark Anderson does with
his toons. But that’s it. No more feature-creep after that. I totally promise. Pinky swear.

Until Samsung comes out with the holographic web in 2009. Then I’m going nuts with new features. 🙂

Putting Sheldon on Your Facebook Page

I’ll be honest: I haven’t signed up for Facebook yet. So I haven’t personally tested out this method of adding Sheldon to your Facebook page. But kind Sheldonista Alistair W. has, and assures me that it works like butter:

1.) Click on http://www.facebook.com/editnotes.php?import

2) Add https://sheldoncomics.com/index.xml as the feed

3) It will ask to confirm the settings.

4) It will show the comic in the “My Notes” section of “Notes”. (Facebook’s algorithm shrinks the comic to fit the page, but a simple click shows the full-size version from the site.)

Try it out, and let me know how it goes.

(Note: I think it might also be possible for me to set up a one-click button using this URL: http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://sheldoncomics.com/index.xml

…I’ll test it out, and if it works, I’ll add that button to the list on the left.)

Contest Announcement: Do You Own the Funniest Pug?

It’s contest time! Time to find out if your pug is, in fact, the funniest pug in the world.

Here’s why: I recently told our family pug that he was the funniest pug in the world. But as I watched him chew a sock while scooting across the kitchen floor on his stomach… I thought to myself: “Is he the funniest pug? Is he really? Or did I lie to him? …is there a funnier pug out there?”

And that’s when it hit me: We need a contest. We need to find the funniest pug alive, and settle the matter once and for all.

So fire up your video cameras or start snapping photos. Cause the only way to prove that your pug is the funniest is by photo or short video.

Here’s How to Enter:

1.) Only 3 photos (or) 1 under-two-minute video per entrant. If you own 10 pugs, or have 10,000 hilarious photos to choose from, you have to narrow it down to your favorite 3 photos or your favorite <2 min. video.

2.) Both the pug, and the photos/video you submit, must be your own. (No trawling the internet for the funniest photo you can find. We’ll know if it’s not yours.)

3.) Your submission must be posted (or linked to) from HERE, in the Sheldon forum.

4.) All submissions must be posted by midnight (PST) on June 30th.

5.) I will choose the 10 funniest entries by July 2nd, and put them up for a public vote on the forums.

6.) Following a three-day public vote, the winner will be announced July 5th!

7.) The winner will walk away not only with public praise and adulation…they’ll also get an awesome, personalized, frame-able sketch of their pug, plus a free signed copy of the second Sheldon book: “The Good, The Bad & The Pugly”.

So fire up those cameras! And start sewing up that pug Klingon outfit you’ve been talking about! ‘Cause the world needs to know that your pug is the funniest!

Added RSS Goodness

Good news for folks that love their RSS feeds!

Thanks to fellow cartoonist and all-around awesome guy Tyler Martin, I’ve just added a bunch of RSS feed subscription options (scroll down, left-hand side).

Provided I set them up correctly, you should be able to add the Sheldon toon-and-blog feed to your favorite aggregator with one lil’ click. Buuuuut…you and I both know that among all those tidbits of code, I probably made a typo somewhere. So if you’re willing, please test out your preferred subscription option…and let me know if it’s not working.

And on a related sidenote: if anyone knows of a simple way folks can add the Sheldon feed to their MySpace or Facebook page, let me know! I’d love to give folks that option, if it could be made to work.


From the finest news organ in America, The Onion, a pug story that is simply awesome-sauce.

…make sure you click on the slideshow of pictures, about mid-way down the article.

The Lesson for the Day

Today I learned that I shouldn’t mention broad, almost rhetorical desires to watch an episode of a particular show…

Because 900 people will then e-mail you digital copies of said show, or links to digital copies of said show, or offer to mail you CD/DVDs with copies of said show.

My apologies.

It really, really wasn’t my intent to have everyone send me that last episode. Now that I know it’s available at the iTunes store, I think I can swing the $2 to pay for it. But the lesson I learned is, Sheldon readers are pretty darn nice…and will respond with kindness at even a slight request for help.

So thank you for that! It’s good to know that if a nerd is in need, fellow nerds will rise to the occassion.

The One Dude That Didn’t See the Season Finale of Battlestar Galactica

This is so infuriating.

About once a week, in casual conversation, a friend will bring up Battlestar Galactica. I love that show to no end, and will talk about it for an unhealthy amount of time, given the chance.

But somehow, through an accident of bad planning — and even worse Tivo management — I completely missed that season ender.

I assume that Sci-Fi ran that puppy 15 times, like they usually do…but somehow, I missed ’em all.

So every time conversation steers towards that last episode, I have to be the guy in the room that goes “LA LA LA LA…ALL IS WELL…JUST A DUDE WITH HIS HANDS OVER HIS EARS…LA LA LA…NUTHIN’ UNUSUAL HERE.” And it bums me out.

I want my nerdly life back! I want to be able to waste otherwise productive hours blathering on and on about an imaginary world! I want to see that episode, dang it!

New York Recap / Book Update

This past week was one of the happiest of my creative life.

Taking this play to the New York stage — and hanging out in NYC all week with a funny and far-more-talented-than-I group of actors — was something I’m going to hold on to for a long, long time. To put it mildly, actors are fun to hang out with. You laugh a lot, hanging out with actors. Far more so than cartoonists. Just by way of comparison: actors are extroverted to the extreme, whereas most cartoonists are so shy, they end up marrying the first person that smooches them. Which, in some cases, means their mail carrier.

In any case, the play was absolutely exhilirating, and I was stoked to have so many Sheldon readers come out to see the show — including a pair who flew all the way from Washington, DC! Thankfully, everyone had glowing praise about the show — which is something you don’t take for granted in the capital of US theater. So a huge thank you to the Sheldonistas for comin’ out!

….and one final tidbit of news from New York trip:

The final tweaks were maade to the next Sheldon book, which means it’s zooming off to the printers sometime in the next few days. The book is looking really good, and will include the Coffee Cup Lid Challenge, an expanded version of the Flaco-to-Space Saturday Storyline, every single strip drawn since the last book…and will even include some strips we couldn’t fit in the last book. It’s gonna be awesome.

(Look for more news on the book in the next Sheldon newsletter!)