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His linework is good, but he needs to work on his shading…

This elephant is kinda awesome. If I didn’t think he was “trained” somehow to recreate this shape again and again…I’d be even more amazed.

I doubt, though, that elephants have the ability to think abstractly about themselves dancing with flowers… yes? Is that a safe assumption? I mean, I know dolphins and some monkeys have enough sense of “selfhood” to identify themselves in a mirror, but can an elephant independently abstract what “elephantness” looks like, recreate it in lineart, and give it a flower for good artistic flourish…all on his own? Surely this is just a trained set of actions.

If you’re an animal behavioralist who knows of such things, by all means, chime in below!

Regardless…pretty cool elephant. An awesome fella to have around at parties, I’d imagine. “Hey, Tumbaala, come show my friends your version of Whistler’s Mother”.

A note to Australians…

I’ve made fun of the look and feel of Australian money before…so I wanted to give all my Aussie friends a gutting comeback they can use against an uppity American cartoonist.

If I start making fun of the Australian Dollar too much, just point to any currency converter and say “Oh yeah? Well unlike the American Dollar, ours can still buy stuff.”

Zam! Topical monetary humor!


Also: I’m sure there are goofier Australian Dollar designs than the one I picked…What’s generally considered to be the goofiest Australian bill in the last 15 years?

Contest Time: Win a Sheldon Original Strip!

All right, party people…it’s patented Super Awesome Contest Time!


What Can I Win? A brand-spanking Sheldon Original Comic Strip. Any strip available in the archives!

What Do I Have to Do? Just be your awesome self.

No, C’mon Man, Be Serious For Like Two Seconds In Your Life OK, OK, so here’s the deal: We’re looking for the best possible tagline to describe “Sheldon.”

Wait. Why Don’t You Just Write One? You’re the Cartoonist? So, funny story. I was actually a Marketing copywriter for many a year at Mattel Toys. Naming toys, writing backgrounds and fake histories for toys, and coming up with taglines for toys. Lots and lots of taglines. Did it for years as a freelancer, too. But oddly enough, when it comes to “Sheldon,” I think I’m just too close to it. I can’t write one up.

Is It Also Possible That You’re Doing It This Way Because A Contest Might Be More Fun? Totally, yeah.

Is There A Limit On How Many Taglines I Can Submit? Nope. But try to edit down to your best ones.

If Someone Thinks Of A Good One, And I Have A Funnier/Better/Awesomer Revision, Can I Submit That? Um…sure. Why not. In fact, should you win with the revised version, I’ll give out two originals: To you and to the first person.

What If There’s A Revision To A Revision To A Revision? Aw Lord above, why do we have to make this difficult? We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. 🙂

So Where Do I Submit My Tagline? In the comments section, below, please. My inbox is already swamped…and public sharing of ideas tends to make the whole process more fun!

But I’m Not Registered! Go
here to sign up. (And if you’re having registration problems, just e-mail me. The signup system runs like a 1988 Chrysler LeBaron, sometimes.)

How Long Will The Contest Run? New submissions can be submitted until Friday, April 4th.

How Will You Choose The Winner? Depending on how many really good ones there are, I may pick the top 5-10 and post them for comment and feedback. Then I’ll probably pick the winner a week later.

Sounds Like The Patented Good Times I’ve Come To Expect Around Here. Oh yes, my friend. Oh yes.

Sheldon Book-Club Recommendation

One of my great friends and co-authors on the “How To Make Webcomics” book, Brad Guigar, is coming out with his third comic strip collection… and I wanted to direct your gaze thusly.

The concept of Brad’s strip, for the uninitiated, is taking everything you love about superhero comics…and make it awesomely funny. It’s set around a corporation, Evil, Inc, which is run by and for super-villains. (“Cause you can do more evil, if it’s legal!”)

Head on over to Evil Inc. to check it out. Then, after readin’ for a bit, do yourself a solid and pick up the new book!

The ol’ Japanese brushes…

The night scenes in this storyline are puttin’ my Japanese brushes through their paces! So much ink! I could restart the East India company with all this ink! Today’s strip contains 732 imperial pounds of the stuff! 🙂

Learning to Read

Sheldonista Suzanne C. sent me one of the kindest notes I think I’ve ever received. As a cartoonist, my job is ultimately to be an entertainer, to temporarily lift people’s day from the frustrations and fears we all have. But a note like this put my cartooning in a different light, and really touched me.

“… I can even work your daily strip into my lesson plans. My class LOVES Arthur, and more recently, Oso. One of my girls is a struggling reader, and has a Pug named Whuffle. The girl hates to read; labors with it. But she ALWAYS reads the pug strips, no matter how hard the words-she’ll look them all up. She prints them all out and takes them all home and puts them on her fridge. So it isn’t just the laughs. Look at what you’ve done for a girl you’ve never met. She learns more words from you than she does from me, because she wants to understand the joke. I can’t think of anything more important.”

I’m not afraid to admit that that actually made me tear up a little bit. Thanks for that note, Suzanne!

Shadowbox Framing

It’s always cool to see how Sheldonistas frame up their original art of the strips. Most choose to matte-frame the strips…but occassionally a reader does it in a different, unexpected way.

For example, Sheldonista Dianne W. sent me a cool pic of her shadowboxed-framed original, and I thought I’d share it with you. The artwork sits floating above the matte! Like some awesome floating thing!

Neat, huh?

(And hey! If you’ve framed up your Sheldon original and wanna send me a pic, please do! It’s fun to see where you have ’em in your home/office/bidness.)


Today’s strip was brought to you by the good folks at Crotchley Labs, which we haven’t seen in a while. (See three earlier strips, here:

2, and

I love the idea that, in the Sheldon universe, Crotchley Labs really did exist in the 1950’s. It’s a theme we might see more of in the strip someday.

Also! Peeps! I have yet to celebrate an Easter where *somebody* didn’t bust out these chalkboard-tasting candy. And I never learn. Ever year I try one, and every year they taste like foot.

So here’s hoping your Easter is a Peeps-free day!

Kind Words on “How To Make Webcomics”

Sheldonista Noah A. sent me in a kind little review blurb from the folks at Blue Line Pro (the company that makes all the page templates for comic books). Here’s Robert Hickey from Blue Line:

“There’s a new book out that everyone that is or wants to publish a comic or strip online needs to read and keep by their computer for reference. HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS by Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub.
I got it on Wednesday and I’m 2/3 finished and it’s amazing. I’m going back and rethinking every step of publishing on the web. The information rolls off the pages and every chapter is well planned and delivers a punch without intimidating you.”

…coming from a company that traditionally deals with comic book supplies for print, that’s kind words indeed!

Receiving faxes via Macs-es?

Here’s a quick question for Mac users out there:

Has anyone had luck with a Mac-based or web-based faxing program? I *never* use my studio fax machine, and would love to give it to charity. But there is one darn book distributor in the U.S. (*cough* Baker & Tayler *cough*) that only orders their Sheldon books via fax. And only by fax! No web-based system, no e-mail system…only faxes. Awesome. Welcome to 1988, Baker & Tayler.

So here’s what I’m hoping exists: Some system that will allow me to give Baker & Tayler a permanent fax number to send to…but which comes to me in email or PDF form. Does such a magical system exist? Surely someone else has faced this problem of having to deal with businesses stuck in the Reagan era.

If you know a good solution, please post below…and THANKS!