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It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for our Saturday Sci-Fi Feature, “Drive”. Two things I should mention about Drive:

1.) You can read the full archives of Drive, in order, at the special sub-site

2.) Today’s installment may (may) be the last pen-and-ink Drive ever drawn. I’ve ordered the new Cintiq, and it’s apparently winging its way toward me…so who knows! Next week might be an all-digitally-drawn installment of Drive!

Quote of the Day

A lot of you kindly wrote in to tell me that a Sheldon punchline was iGoogle’s “Quote of the Day” — thanks for the heads up!

Here was the featured quote:
“The English language was carefully, carefully cobbled together by three blind dudes and a German dictionary.”

— Dave Kellett, Sheldon, 02-01-09

And here’s the original strip it came from.

Home from Calgary!

Guys, the trip to Calgary was awesome: Calgarians could not be awesomer people!

I took lots of photos with Sheldonistas at the show — e-mail me those pics, and I’ll incorporate them into this week’s write-up of the show!

Guide to Calgary Comic Expo!

Calgary! This weekend is the big Comics Expo, and I’ll be there both days in booth #502!

I’ll have books, prints, original art…and FREE sketches for any and all! But, since customs might stop me at the border, I’m only bringing 50, maybe 55 high fives. So get yours early in the show.

And on Sunday at 1PM, I’ll also be giving a talk in Room A with co-horts Kris Straub and Brad Guigar on “How to Make Webcomics”.

Come on out!

Click HERE for the full-size, printable Sheldon guide to the show!

Calgary Comic Expo: This Weekend!

Canada! It is time to high-five in person!

This weekend is my first Canadian show ever! Ever! I’ll be an invited guest at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo — for both days, Saturday and Sunday — and I could not be more jazzed.

I’ll be exhibiting with my friends and co-authors Kristofer Francisco Straub and Bradley McGillicudy Guigar.

I’ll be putting up more show info for you later in the week…but I wanted to let you know ahead of time, so you can grab a ticket and make plans to be there!

…and did I mention this is my first and only planned trip to Canada? I may get back up there…but who knows when! So come on out!

Drive Desktop

And the hits just keep on comin’ from Drive reader and uber-artist Robert Maxwell. Courtesy of his skilled hands, here’s a free Drive-themed desktop for everyone, which features the Emperor’s ship, La Invencible.

Click HERE for the 1920×1080-pixels image that can be cropped or resized to your pleasure.

And thanks again, Robert!

Turnaround of “The Machito”!

Guys, we all owe Robert Maxwell many internet high-fives. Not only did he produce that awesome flyby of the Emperor’s ship La Invencible…he went on this week to produce this wickedly cool turnaround of the Machito!

Drive – Machito from Robert Maxwell on Vimeo.

I love how he intuited that, while the ring pinches surrounding space, it’s the side nacelles that actually act as propulsion: I’m not sure I had ever explicitly said that! So extra high-fives for Robert.

I’m already gonna send him a special drawing of the Drive cast…but please, let’s all encourage him in the comments below to tackle one of the Continuum ships! I’d love to see how he renders their more dolphin-esque profile, wouldn’t you?
Robert, if you’re ever able to mock up the Continuum ships

The State of the Strip Speech

We’re just a few dozen strips shy of the THREE THOUSANDTH! Sheldon strip, and I wanted to take a moment to touch base with you all and give you a “State of the Strip” speech. Because, c’mon! We’re almost at 3,000 strips! There’s no better time to take stock of things, see what’s working and what I’d like to change up:

1.) SHELDON: As you know, Sheldon is my baby. I’m going to be creating Sheldon until my dyin’ day….and happily so. But there’s one new wrinkle that I have to make you guys aware of: Starting this week, Sheldon is moving to a Monday-through-Friday schedule. There will be no more Sheldon strips on Sunday.

There will still be color strips as warranted, and there will still be big, double-decker and unique-format daily strips like this, this, this, this, or this …but they just won’t appear on Sundays.

This is a decision I’ve debated for a long time, and I know it’s the right one. Traffic on the Sheldon site, you see, is dramatically lower on Saturday and Sunday. After five days of sitting in front of our computers, all of us step away from our screens and enjoy a bit of sun, it seems — and that’s a good thing. But when I look through the website logs, it’s pretty clear that people end up reading the weekend strips in a group on Monday….or largely don’t go back to read them at all.

But the more important reason for the change is this: I’ve been creating Sheldon daily since 1998, and plan on creating it until the day I die. It ain’t going anywhere: I love, love, love the strip, and want it to be the magnum opus of my creative life. But after 12 years, I want and need to make room for a few new creative sparks in my workweek — and this is the best solution I’ve come up with.

I understand that you might be bummed at the Sunday news, but I hope you can understand…and more importantly, be understanding in my decision. It’s not one I make lightly, but having made it, I know you’ll be supportive of it. Because you guys have never been anything but awesome in the support you’ve shown me over the years. Sheldon would not be possible without that support…so thank you.

But on to more fun news: Let’s talk about some of those new creative endeavors, shall we?

2.) DRIVE: When I started Drive, the intention was to try to tell a very different story from Sheldon: To try something totally new and different and challenging. So far, I’m loving it. And judging by the kind messages you’re sending, you are, too. It’s been great fun crafting a story four and five years out into the future, and then writing all the little stages to get us there. It’s proving much more fun than I ever thought it would. And in a nice twist, it’s actually firing up renewed creativity for Sheldon, as well….which is a great added bonus.

Over the next few months, Drive will be launching its own site, DriveComic.com, as well as a limited-print-run comic book at San Diego Comic-Con. So fun news is on the way for that strip.

3.) CINTIQ: As you probably know, every Sheldon and every Drive is hand-drawn on archival paper using archival inks. It’s a very traditional process that I love: The tactile nature of it, combined with the ability to hold up a “finished”, tangible product when it’s all done, is very rewarding. But with Drive, I’ve become aware of the limitations this style presents to a long-form, sci-fi storyline.

So I’ve decided to change tacts with Drive, and begin producing it digitally on a Cintiq. (A Cintiq, for those that don’t know, is essentially electronic paper….it’s a big screen you can draw on directly.) The hope, with the Cintiq, is that I can stretch and grow my art style in new ways, experiment with new approaches, and perhaps even be able to produce more Drive for everyone.

For someone who always fancied himself a “traditional” cartoonist, I think it’ll be a good flexing of the ol’ muscles to try out a whole new set of tools. Taking Drive digital will probably teach me a whole new bag of tricks.

And just an FYI, since Cintiqs are super pricey, and I’m super cheap: I’ll be picking up the Cintiq in the next few weeks, so if you see a great deal for one online, please pass it along. My inner penny-pincher will thank you!

4.) MYSTERY PROJECT: In addition to Sheldon and Drive, I should mention that I’ve started up a third project that I’m very excited about, but which I can’t really talk about yet. I know, I know…it’s sounds very third-grade of me to bring up a project that I can’t talk about. But here’s what I can say: I’m very excited about it, it’s my first collaborative piece since the “How to Make Webcomics” book, it both is and is not comics-related, and I think it’ll be right up your alley, when it comes time to announce it. More than that, I can’t say. But good things are a-comin’.

So that’s it! That’s the “State of the Strip”!

So thank you for helping me get to 3,000 Sheldon strips, thank you for your support in the new projects, and thank you for all the internet high fives.

Three Things for a Monday

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Three things to talk about this mornin’:

1.) As you may have noticed, there wasn’t a Sheldon Sunday strip this weekend: That was the first day in six years the site didn’t have a new strip up…I hope you’ll forgive me the day off once every six years. Next up: 2016! 🙂

2.) Next, THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER: Check out the mockup of the Emperor’s ship La Invencible that Drive reader* Robert Maxwell created. I can’t stop smiling when I watch it…he got it just perfect:

Drive – The Emporer’s Ship from Robert Maxwell on Vimeo.

3.) In typing out the above, I realize we don’t have a reader nickname for “Drive” readers…and that can not be allowed to stand! Someone long ago suggested “Sheldonistas” for Sheldon readers, and that one seemed to stick. So let’s hear it: What are your best name suggestions for Drive readers?


For those following along to our Saturday Sci-Fi series, Drive, remember that you can easily follow along with the full story archives here.

Also! Check out this amazing rendering of the Emperor’s ship that Sheldon reader Maxwell made. Click HERE for a larger version.