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Today’s Notes of Interest

1.) If you’re not reading Ugly Hill, the fantastic comic strip by Paul Southworth, then here is your chance to see some of the best artwork on the web.

2.) Regarding Friday’s strip: Have you ever noticed that people that go Lincoln…never go back? You can’t just buy one Lincoln biography, apparently. It’s like an overpowering addiction to re-read well-crafted speeches and debates…again and again and again and again. I wonder what Lincoln would make of it all, were he to see the publishing industry that’s risen up around his legacy?

“Whoa, whoa, people. Easy. Seriously. Another book about my formative years in the House of Representatives? Really? I think we need to take a chill-pill, here…maybe write about Taft for a while.”

That’s Lincoln, in my head. He says “chill-pill”.

3.) Another song recommendation for those interested in such things: “Take These Thoughts”, by Chris and Thomas. If you download this song, listen to it, and then decide you don’t like it…then you and I must fight.

Star Trek

For those of you who are digging the Star Trek strips, allow me to direct you to some of my past favorites:

1.)The Picard Clock Radio

2.) Star Trek Mashups?

3.) Anti-Matter

4.) Klingon casual-wear

5.) The Secret Klingons in Star Wars

6.) And my absolute favorite…WWAKD?, WWAKD?, part 2, and WWAKD?, part 3.

For TV sci-fi, you often see writers creating a monolithic culture just for expediency alone. So you end up with cultures defined by one or two attributes that are the key. The Borg “will assimiliate you”, the Klingons seek honor in battle, the Ferengi are always looking for profit, etc., etc. It works great in the hour format, ’cause you instantly know what you’re dealing with…and the story can move along.

But if you’re a true nerd, you start to wonder about the Klingon who’s really into accounting, or the Ferengi who wishes his parents would get off his back and let him do regional theater for a few years. And that’s where the current story arc came from: the idea of a Klingon that just wanted to stitch up a fabulous three-piece suit that accentuated the shoulders…made me laugh.

(Which of course led me to Wednesday’s brief appearance by “Torvak: Vulcan Party Planner”. I am so infinitely happy with how his facial expression came out. Look at him! That’s a Vulcan that’s ready to throw an awesome party. It makes me laugh just to look at him.)

Also! Thanks to Sheldon-guest-editor and even-larger-Star Trek-nerd Gary Tyrrell over at Fleen, who informs me that I spelled Stovorkor wrong. I found, like, 19 different spellings for it online…but Lord knows Gary probably has a compendium of Klingon theological works by his bedside to which he can refer. 🙂

Still More Items of Interest!

1.) I saw a link on Digg today which made me chuckle. It’s a global map showing the countries which have still not adopted the metric system. What an awesome group of superpower nations!

Made me think of this Sheldon toon.

2.) Those of you who get the Sheldon newsletter saw this news weeks ago, but now it’s time to share it with the world! I’m talking about the cover for the third Sheldon book, “62% More Awesome”:

[Click here for a bigger image]

The cover was designed by my buddy Katherine, and has a slightly scuffed-up 1950’s-poster theme…kinda like those “Pan Am Airlines: Flying you to tomorrow, today!” posters. Hope you like it as much as I do!

The book itself features every strip since the last book, plus some strips that we couldn’t fit into “The Good, The Bad & The Pugly”. It includes the “Coffee-Cup Lid Challenge” strips between the boys at Unshelved and I….aaaand, it features the Flaco-in-Space Saturday Storyline — in an expanded format and with material not seen online! This book really does live up to it’s name.

Copies should (fingers crossed) be available at San Diego Comic-Con, so it’s another incentive to come on down to San Diego. Online, the books will go on sale first to
newsletter subscribers in the next few weeks as “pre-sales”. This is mainly so that they get first crack at the limited edition Artit’s Editions. But there’s nothing stopping you from getting the free newsletter as well, so sign on up!

3.) I signed up for Facebook, which I’m already enjoying far more than Myspace. If you wanna be super best-buds on Facebook, drop me a friend request. (But make sure you mention Sheldon in your request, or I won’t know who you are.)

Three bits of interest

1.) A huge thank you to all those who have been e-mailin’ friends and co-workers recommending they try Sheldon. A few of you even bcc’d me this morning on e-mails you sent out — which was fun to see.

2.) Back-to-back episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” tonight and next week (CBS – Mondays 9:30) were written by my talented wife! Tune in!

Tonight’s episode is especially fun, as it involves the daytime game show “Price is Right” — a show which holds a special place in my heart. No other show so effectively taught me how to price out dish soap as a way to better my life than did “Price is Right”.

When they were filming the episode, I was workin’ at the ol’ Sheldon studio with my buddy and fellow cartoonist Kris Straub. My wife suddenly called and says, “You have to get down here to CBS — this is awesome.” So Kris and I jumped in the car and raced down to Television City, and were instantly transported into the high-color-saturated world of 1973 “Price is Right” sets.

And she was right: it was awesome. The prop pieces, the games, and the sets were all clearly put together in 1951 using WWII surplus supplies and cans of bright orange paint. We were like giddy schoolkids — who hasn’t watched 10,000 episodes of “Price is Right” at one point in their lives?

Anyway, we took a few pics of the ensuing silliness… so I thought I’d share.

3.) Also: I recognize that recommending music is like being the annoying guy at the table with a fork full of weird-smelling food saying “Try it! Try it!”, but you have got to download “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s. Just a beautiful song.

A Small Request

If you’re a Sheldonista who loves getting their Sheldon strip for free every day…here’s the best way to pay that forward:

Please, take a minute and e-mail 10 friends, family, or co-workers…asking them to try Sheldon at https://sheldoncomics.com. You’ll know immediately what people in your life to send it to: they’ll be the awesome ones.

It’s such a simple action…but sending that e-mail is the nicest thing you can do for this li’l cartoonist. And, you’ll have new Sheldon readers to talk over the strip with!

(To make it easy, here’s a basic e-mail you can modify and send. Just click here.)

Saturday-Only Storyline

And so begins the new Saturday-Only Storyline. For those new to the strip, the basic idea is to tell a separate story that runs only on Saturdays. It lets us stretch our legs a bit and go in new directions.

I’m looking forward to this one. I hope you’ll tune in.

Readers Pics

Over the years, two or three dozen readers have sent me pictures showing off Sheldon in their lives. Most of these are unintentional-but-still-kinda-neat photos:

“Hey Dave, thought you’d get a kick out of this. My wife snuck in a picture of me reading ‘Pure Ducky Goodness’ under the Eiffel Tower.”

“Hey Dave, I took this picture of my pug sleeping on top of my copy of ‘The Good, The Bad & The Pugly’…it’s pretty funny, etc., etc.”

I decided today that I’d make a place for all those photos, over at the Sheldon Store. I’m still looking through my hard drive to find all these pics, so the page will be expanding as the days go on.

But I’ll be honest: if you see that a pic you sent in previously is not up there, please resend it. These have trickled in over the years, and I haven’t done a *ahem* stellar job of *ahem* filing these as studiously as I *ahem* could have. *Ahem*.

Which basically means I’ve lost some. (Just bein’ honest!)

And if you have a funny shot but have never submitted it, by all means send me your pic now, and we’ll add it in over at the store.

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Apparently I’m not the only one…

I’ve had a half-dozen people e-mail me today saying they also confuse Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman. It’s good to see I’m not the only one!

(Oh, also: I’m trying out a new blog-specific social bookmarking link (below). If folks like it, I’ll keep it. If not, it’ll probably quietly fade away — like Paris Hilton’s omnipresence from the news headlines.)

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Four Bits o’ News

1.) Wednesday’s strip is one of my favorites in a long, long time. If it could get away with it, I would turn Sheldon into an
all-Flaco-all-the-time show
. He has really grown on me.

2.) My buddy and fellow Blank Label Comics stablemate Howard Tayler is celebrating his 7th anniversary with his excellent sci-fi strip Schlock Mercenary. Haven’t read it yet? Do yourself a favor and dive on in. And tell Howard congratulations!

3.) I have no idea why, but for some reason my mind has combined Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman as the same person. And this is not a recent thing. Anytime anyone said “Ivan Reitman is directing” in the last 15-20 years, I would always think, “Oh, it’s that nice man from Ghostbusters.” It took a 30 minute conversation with my screenwritin’ buddy Joe before he finally said to me, “You do realize those are two separate people, right?”

I clearly am the lamest person alive.

4.) A new Saturday-only storyline is startin’ up this week! Be sure to tune in. And if you missed it, make sure you catch up with the last Saturday-only storyline.