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2010 Festival of Cartoon Art

Just a heads up: A few tickets are still available for the 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art at Ohio State. It’s the big, triennial shin-dig in the cartooning world, and I’ll be speaking at this year’s event along with a host of cartoonin’ dignitaries…like Matt Groening (Simpsons), Roz Chast (New Yorker), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Art Spiegelman (Maus), Dan Piraro (Bizarro) and more.

Head over to the registration site if you’d like to go: My talk is going to be a response to Bill Watterson’s 1989 speech “The Cheapening of the Comics”…and will be titled “The Freeing of the Comics”. Should be good!


That’s a heck of a way to go into the weekend.

Quick Word on the Books

Thank you to everyone who came out to the book launch party last night. It was awesome…and I’ll have a full write-up and pics later in the week.

Also! I should mention that the books will be going on sale Wednesday. Buuuut, first crack at the Artist’s Editions for both books will be linked to later today (Monday) on my Twitter feed and on the Sheldon Facebook page…so look for ’em there!

Drive Timeline

Over in the forums, Drive reader Bill asked a good question regarding the emperors, and the timeline around them. So let me take a second to help clarify:

Veetans live (tops) around 25 years, but begin their grand “walk-abouts” around 3 or 4. So Nosh’s grandfather has about 22 years of space travel behind him.

The current emperor, Fernando’s uncle, and the one we’ve met in the strip, has only been in power for a few months.

The previous emperor, Fernando’s grandfather, was the one the elder Veetan served under.

Book Launch Party: THIS SUNDAY!

Big reminder of the big shindig:

This Sunday, Aug. 22nd, The Crescent Lounge, Peligroso tequila and Steaz energy drinks are hosting the book launch party for the new “Literature” and “Drive” books — and you’re totally invited!

There are FREE drinks from Peligroso Tequila and Steaz, FREE sketches from yours truly, aaaaand FREE contest give-aways at 9PM. It’s gonna be pretty dang rad.

It all takes place in Beverly Hills, at the very cool Crescent Lounge (see below pic). It’s free and open to all Sheldon readers, family and friends…so come on out!

Here’s a Q&A that anticipates your every need:

1.) Wait: You’re being serious…there’ll be free drinks? YES.
2.) And free sketches? YES.
3.) Will there be free high-fives? UNDOUBTEDLY.
4.) Will the new books be available for purchase there? YES: THAT’S WHERE YOUR FREE SKETCHES GO!
5.) Will there be much awesomeness? ONLY IF YOU ATTEND. THIS CAN NOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH.
6.) I’m in! Now how do I get there?
The address for the Crescent Lounge is: 403 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Here is their site, and here’s a Google Map you can use for directions.

7.) Is there a Facebook Event page for this? SURE, WHY NOT.

Grammar Girl

Oh, “Garage Sale,” when did you become the catch-all phrase for any sale of cheap &*^%$ at the front of our house, whether it be of the lawn-, driveway-, or indeed garage-variety?

For those not familiar with the reference, Grammar Girl is Mignon Fogarty’s awesome blog on the more idiosyncratic parts of the English language. I highly recommend it: It’s a fun, interestin’ read on language ‘n learnin’ ‘n lingual luminations. <–This sentence would get me in trouble over there.

“Drive” Is One Year Old!

In fun news, Drive — our Saturday SciFi featurette — turns one this week!

I really want to thank you guys for letting me try this new experiment: The encouragement has meant a lot. When I started drawing Drive, I gave myself permission to “fail spectacularly,” as I had never done anything like this before. It was SciFi, it was long-form story-telling, it was a whole new layout and approach. But thankfully, it seems to be working so far…and the response that you’ve given it has been very encouraging. At Comic-Con, for example, the Drive book outsold all the other Sheldon books combined — which I take as a great vote of confidence!

And since we’re at the one-year mark, I thought it’d be fun to look at some Drive-related highlights from the year. Stuff like this awesome turnaround of the Machito, created by Robert Maxwell:

Drive – Machito from Robert Maxwell on Vimeo.

…orrrrr this flyby of La Invencible that Robert also created:

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

Also courtesy of Robert, a free Drive-themed desktop for your computer monitor. Click HERE for the 1920×1080-pixels image that can be cropped or resized to your pleasure.

Another amazing, amazing Drive featurette, produced by Dan Taubert, is really one of my personal highlights for the year. It just came out so slick…it gets *me* excited about Drive:

DRIVE Animation from Dan Taubert on Vimeo.

Dan also sent along this big, HD-version of the emperor’s ship, La Invencible. Check out the much bigger image by CLICKING HERE.

(And if you’d like to see Dan’s process for creating that visualization, you can check out his website here.)

A few months back, I put up a temporary Drive site so that folks could read the full archives in order. But we’re makin’ progress on the full Drive site. Here’s a sneak peek of the work-in-progress:

Help me help kids!

You know as well as I do that education — especially arts education — has taken it on the chin in this recession…but here’s your chance to help a little bit:

826LA (a non-profit writing/tutoring center) helps 6- to 18-year-olds with writing skills through community events and after-school tutoring.

My friend and fellow cartoonist Keith Knight is on the board of directors there, and when he invited myself and fellow cartoonist David Malki to participate in a fundraising event for 826LA, we said “heck yes”. But here’s the deal, guys: I’M SUPER LAME. There’s only two more days to fund-raise for the event, and I completely forgot to blog about it! So help me overcome my own forgetfulness..and help kids in their arts education: Read on and donate!

The event is called “A Spelling Bee For Cheaters”, and it takes place August 14 in Santa Monica, CA. Keith, David and myself are all on one team, battling it out in a spelling bee against other teams. We’re somewhat late-comers to the fundraising game, so we are trying to raise pledges to buy “cheats” — so we can be competitive in the event! As we are cartoonists, and not Yale literature professors with a knack for spelling!

Potential cheats include passing on a difficult word, buying immunity after spelling a word wrong, and swapping places with another team member. But! We only get cheats if we raise money! 826LA is a volunteer-based organization that helps kids in a number of remarkable and wonderful ways. Will you please help our team with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or $50?

Or heck, way, way higher! This is for kids, after all!

Books Go On Sale Aug 23rd

Just a note: The new Drive and Literature books will go on sale the day after the Aug 22nd book launch party. We’ll start with the 250 Artist Editions for both books, then have the regular edition available a few days later. Sound good?