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Electronic Signatures

Gramp’s problems with electronic signatures is not the first time this has come up for the poor guy.

His hatred for electronic signatures prompted this funny response from Sheldonista Mary J:

A checker at Trader Joe’s showed me that one can draw images on the signature pad, and they will be accepted as well. Since then, I include a small sketch in all my TJ’s signatures.

That’s hilarious. I’m “signing” with an Arthur from now on.

Beta-Testin’ the new Sheldon Forum!

On Tuesday, the good folks at Dumbrella Hosting started to bring the new Sheldon Forum live for Beta-testing.

The new forum features two (Two!) ways to comment:

1.) Like the old forum, you can start any discusion you’d like at the forum hub, here.

2.) Aaaaand, you will now be able to post directly to the blog posts, right down there. See it? That blue bit?

The two different methods are tied into the same forum system, which is kinda neat. I’m hopeful that “post-to-the-blog” feature will be a fun one for Sheldonistas to chime in on and read (…as I very often get e-mails that would be more fun to share with the world.)

The new forum is up on it’s feet and running well so far in Beta-testing, but there is one kink in the signup process that I should mention. Right now, the system assumes you’re signing up for the daily “Sheldon-by-Email” deliveries — so for the next few days it involves one additional signup step:

1.) Sign up here.

2.) The system will send you a confirmation e-mail to make sure you’re a human being and not a spambot.

3.) Once you’re confirmed, just go
here to make sure you’re not also signed up for Sheldon-by-Email deliveries (…this step is the kink that needs to be fixed).

Worth noting: If you’re a current user of Sheldon-by-Email deliveries, you can start posting to the forum right away using your current user login.

Also worth noting: We’ll keep the old forum up for a few months, as a “read-only” type thing. Thanks to Bookworm Computing and Blank Label Comics for hosting the old one in this interim time — very kind of them both!

Welcome, University of West Florida!

Today we’re adding the University of West Florida to the schools running Sheldon. Welcome!

It’s turning out to be a popular week for Sheldon on college campuses! And remember: If you want Sheldon in your college paper, it’s amazingly easy. Just read over the info page, then e-mail me to get started! You can be running Sheldon toons in tomorrow’s edition!

Wired Magazine

You may not have noticed the headline in panel two, but it’s one of those small details that makes me chuckle.

First, a preface: I’m a “Wired” reader through-and-through. As a magazine, it appeals to all the best parts of my core nerdiness. But when I imagine the vast spectra of Wired readers, I always chuckle when I compare the real Wired headlines to the ones I imagine Wired readers would be most interested in, such as:

“Kissing: What’s It Like?”

“Girls: Why Are They So Scary to Talk to in the Cafeteria at my Programming Job?”

“Robots: When Will it be Possible to Marry Them?”


My Doctor: Oo, looks like you’re due for a tetanus shot.

Me: OK.

My Doctor: Any preference for what arm I give you the shot in?

Me: Nah, I’m good. Either one is fine.


My Useless Drawing Arm, The Rest of the Day: Curse you, Dave! Curse you a thousand, ancient curses!

Welcome, New Colleges!

We’ve got two new colleges adding Sheldon to their school papers as of this weekend, which is rad.

I’m particularly excited that one of those schools is the University of California Irvine — as that’s just down the road! (Well, 40 miles down the road, but still!)

Want Sheldon in your college paper? It’s amazingly easy. Just read over the info page, then e-mail me to get started! You can be running Sheldon toons in tomorrow’s edition!

Sunday Colorin’

I experimented with two different techniques in coloring Sunday’s strip. For a long time, I’ve admired the coloring technique of my talented friend Paul Southworth over at Ugly Hill. Paul takes his black linework in Photoshop and replaces it with a very dark brown. It softens the overall palette, and creates a really interesting look where the colors aren’t contrasted against a full black.

Additionally, my compadre Scott Kurtz of PvP taught me another nice Photoshop technique on our “Webcomics Weekly” podcast this week: Essentially, it’s a low-level, single-color transparency layer that gives the whole strip a cohesive feel. It’s as though you’re looking at a full-color photo, but viewed through a soft-yellow plastic transparency sheet.

A doff of the cap to both cartoonists for the techniques: It’ll be fun to experiment with both in the weeks ahead. Hope you liked ’em!

Librarians: A Note on Sheldon Books

I love the idea of Sheldon books in libraries. As a kid, cartoon books were a huge part of my learning-to-read process. So paying it forward to the next generation with my own cartoons is an idea that appeals to me.

A lot of librarians have written me to say that they’d love to carry “Sheldon” books in their branch, but that their district’s purchasing rules only allow for book buys through approved distributors like Baker & Taylor, etc. So I’ve decided to put all four books into major distribution channels for just those situations. (It should take me a month or so to finish the paperwork — I’ll give you the heads up when they’re available.)

In a similar vein, I got this note from librarian and Sheldonista Melanie at the Indian Valley Public Library:

“I saw your comment today about getting the Sheldon books into libraries. I purchase comics for our library and bought all of your books. Let me tell you, they’ve been really popular! They haven’t been in since we put the books on the shelves.”

THAT’S the kind of note that makes a cartoonist smile! Thanks, Melanie!

Sheldon Appearances Added

I’ve updated the appearance list on the left, there, to include two recent additions.

The first, in late June, is the American Library Association Conference in Anaheim. I’m curious and very excited to exhibit at a librarian conference, as this year I’m really going to make a push to get Sheldon books into more libraries. Plus, librarians are secretly awesome to hang out with. Hopefully, I’ll be able to exhibit with my buddies Bill and Gene of the comic strip, Unshelved, as that would make it a laughter-filled show.

The second one added to the list is the Baltimore Comic-Con in September, where I’ll be attending with my fellow cartoonists from Halfpixel. I’m really looking forward to this one, since our jointly-authored book should be out in a month or so, and a combined appearance will be especially fun.

Hope you can come out!

The Coolest Coffee Shop

Since I left Mattel and starting working in my studio, there are many days when I find myself alone for long, long stretches of time. Which, after a bustling, creative corporate center, is weird.

Recently, I discovered the coolest little coffee shop in the nearby town of El Segundo. And for some odd reason, my productivity shoots up there. Being around people again, hearing the pitter-patter of conversations around you… it’s amazing what a difference that can make. I can crank out a Sheldon strip in just over two hours, which is great! The 48 coffees I buy probably help.

So today, I added a silly little button to the site (down a bit, on the left). If, a few months from now, a toon particularly makes you laugh, you can throw a nickel in the “Buy A Caffeine-Addicted Cartoonist a Coffee” Fund. It contributes to the next day’s strip, aaaaand to a cartoonist’s caffeine-induced sweating! 🙂