Login with Patreon
Login with Patreon

Three Quick Things…

1.) Group high-five to Sheldon intern Cari! Cari did the excellent colors on the Sunday strip, and I think the second panel particularly benefited from her efforts.

2.) Sheldonista Jim W. writes in with a funny line: “Loved the Medieval theme this past week. With a nod to Monty Python, I sense a book in the future: “The Knights Who Say Squeee.”

3.) I’ll be a special guest at the upcoming Long Beach Comic-Con, Oct. 2-4th at the waterfront Long Beach Convention Center. More info later in the week, but wanted to plant that date in your schedule in the meantime.

Secret within a Secret

I am dying, Pablito, so let your grandfather tell you a secret… and then a secret within a secret.

First, the secret you must take to your grave: The empire can never know the origin of the drive. The drive is the foundation of our power, the center from which all authority flows. If we lose control of the drive, we lose the empire, and we slide back to the starving days that haunted humanity.

Second, the secret within the secret. And Pablo, it is something I have never even told your father. But you have a wisdom about you that he lacks. An insight. And I think this bit of knowledge will serve you well when it comes time for you to rule:

Pablo, I do not know how it works.

Oh, of course, I could reverse engineer it. I could scale it up and scale it down. I could even vary the materials and sometimes get results. But as to how it works, I do not know. I have stared at it for 58 years, and I feel I understand it less and less. It is beyond me.

But with the hope that it won’t remain beyond you, let me give you my best guess. Or, at least, my best imagery.

Take a coin, and slide it across a long tablecloth at a low velocity. It would take hours to make it across the table. Now, take the tablecloth and pinch it up in the middle. The coin maintains the same low velocity, but makes much further ground across the cloth. That, I believe, is how the drive works, Pablo. We skirt across the crests of pinched space.

– Emperor Conrado I, in a letter to his oldest grandson. (Unpublished. Held in the Biblioteca Privada de La Familia.)

Artist Edition #300 Up For Grabs!

We’re coming up on the last of the Artist Editions for “Living Dangerously (with Saturated Fats)”, and I wanted to say two quick things about that.

One, I want to thank everyone who’s supported Sheldon by picking up the new book. All the Sheldon archives, RSS feeds, daily e-mail deliveries are free…and the one thing that keeps all that going is your support when you pick up a book. So thank you for that! Especially now, when times are tight all over the world…you have no idea what that support means to one lil’ cartoonist.

Two, I wanted to remind you that whoever’s lucky enough to order the LAST Artist Edition will get this special drawing inside their book, featuring the whole cast:

(Click HERE for a larger pic.)

Like all the Artist Edition books, it’s drawn in archival, lightfast ink…so it’ll last and last.

There are three ways to grab an Artist Edition of the book:

1.) If you’ve already started your collection, you can grab just the book.

2.) If you want to pick up all six Sheldon collections, including this Artist Edition, you can do that, too!

3.) And if you want all 6 collections, including this Artist Edition, plus the pug collection, that’s found here.

Thank you, everyone! You guys keep Sheldon going!

Harvey Awards Voting Ends Friday

If you’re a comics pro, just a reminder that the voting for the Harvey Awards ends this Friday. I, for one, did not even know the voting was open*, which shows how busy I’ve been. But c’mon, party people! Let’s head on over now and vote.

*Thankfully, Brad Guigar was paying attention. I believe his fancy life-management tool is referred to as “a calendar”.

A Note on the Saturday Sci-fi Story

– Every time we encounter a new species, we’ll also have an accompanying entry from the imperial Enciclopedia Xenobiología (see adjacent blog entry). When and if we reach a book-length story in a few years, those entries will be included as well.

– (I’m just noticing, though, that my blogging engine is having trouble with Spanish characters…so hopefully they’re showing up all right for you as you read this.)

– Our true “story-story” should begin in about two weeks, after we’re done with this prologue.

The Continuum of Makers

Enciclopedia Xenobiología: The Continuum of Makers

Species: The Continuum of Makers

Homeworld: Unknown

Size: Average 2.10 m tall, 135 kg

Color & Markings: Though comments regarding physical differences have been witnessed in the presence of Makers and pre-Makers, the human eye has immense trouble discerning them. There is, however, a noted tendency towards highly individualized dress, presumably as it is “Spirit-like”.

Reproduction & Development: The Continuum reproduces asexually, budding over a two-day term within a semi-buried, silica-based cocoon. (See attached holograph.) Offspring emerge with a surprisingly large racial memory that includes basic language, mathematics, and physical abilities. After division, offspring in the Continuum go through two developmental and sociological stages: Adolescent “pre-Maker” stage, and the adult “Maker” stage. It is theorized that new offspring in the Continuum undergo a roughly 300-to-400 year developmental period before their coming-of-age to “Maker” status. Lack of genetic diversity within the Continuum is considered to be the root cause for their complex animistic religion, which expresses individuality, right-of-passage, and socio-religious heirarchy through one’s technological inventiveness: Literally, what machinations (“spirits”) you have brought into the world. (See Mackey, Robert L. “Makers and their Spirits”, Imprimátur del Imperio, 2388.)

Diet: Unknown.

Lifespan: Unknown. Presumably in the 500-to-600 year range, based on autopsies performed at the Centro Imperial de la Xenobiología.

Language: Highly complex. Translation A.I.’s have postulated that up to 30% of text translated from the Continuum may be incorrect or lack key subtleties.

Social Structure: Hierarchy within the Continuum is based solely on the Spirits one has “birthed.” Manual labor, grunt warfare, and menial tasks are left to pre-Makers; while administration and command are left to Makers. References to a third, ruling class known as the “Colegium” (presumably, upper-level Makers) have been recorded on two occassions. However, no member of the Colegium has ever been witnessed by a human being.

Intelligence Rating: Untested. Presumed in the Kilo-Lima range for pre-Makers, and possibly as high as the Victor-Whiskey range for Makers.

Interaction with Humans: With two key exceptions, every interaction with the Continuum has been hostile to the point of violence.

Historical note: (Claims to “Spirit-theft”) —— — ——- — ——— — — —- —— — ——- — —— — ——- — ——— — — ————- — — —- —— — ——- — ——— — — —- —— — ——- — ——— — — —- —— — ——- — ——— — — —- —— — ——- — — — —- —— — ——- — ——— — — —- (Redacted: Imperial Censor MJK:29 [Clase “La Familia”])

Ad Homonym Attacks

We’ve learned something today, friends. We’ve learned that Dave can get his homonyms mixed up with this homophones and his homographs and his heteronyms and his hemoglobins.

I’m editing the original strip to reflect the correct usage of “homophones”, with a doff of the cap to my various professors who e-mailed me. (It’s like I’m back in grad school! They keep pulling me back in!)

Here’s where my mind went astray. For some reason, I thought that “homonym” was the umbrella or catch-all term encapsulating both homophones and homographs. The Greek suffix “-nym” being “name” I *thought* put it as a classification encapsulating “-phone” (“sound”) and “-graph” (“writing”). But alas, my supposition would earn me no supper tonight. Turns out I’m just a moron.

So! To my former professors, a kind thank you…and you shall get no more language classification jokes from me for a while. 🙂

Where in the world is Captain Kirk?

Sheldon summer intern Cari wanted to add a bit of extra awesomeness when coloring Sunday’s strip: See if you can spot Cap’n Kirk in the background there.

And now for something completely different…

Writing and drawing “Sheldon” is one of the great joys of my life. It’s a strip I will create until my dyin’ days. But for a while now, I’ve had an idea for a second strip that I’d like to do, and it’s something very different: A long-form, long-in-the-telling, sci-fi strip. And if you’ll indulge me, today will be the first dip of a toe into that world.

It’s a bit of a long yarn, and I frankly don’t know where I’ll find the time to tell it. But as I often tell young cartoonists, sometimes you have to just start. So much is lost in life due to an inability to start. To take that first, molasses-like step into a new project. And so even though I have no time for it, and even though I have no website for it, and even though I don’t have a proper title for it, and even though I’m not sure when/where/if it will have the chance to appear…by God I’m starting it.

We’ll flit on Conradito’s life for a bit here in the prologue, then be off a few hundred years further in the future for the duration. This first page in the prologue makes it seem a tad serious, but pay that no mind. It’ll primarily be a comedy.

My plan, such as it is, will be to create installments on Saturdays when and where I can find the time. We might have several Saturdays in a row where we dive into this strip, or we might have several months where it doesn’t appear at all. But a start is good enough for Present-Day Dave. Tomorrow is a problem for Future Dave to worry about.

Thanks, as always, for reading!