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Lord He’p Me, I Still Love This Photo

I just found this pic on my hard drive from a year or so ago, and laughed at it again. Forgive me for not remembering the (pictured) Sheldon reader who submitted it, but it’s probably the best use of this Sheldon shirt I’ve ever seen.

As a side note: We should have a contest at some point for the funniest/best use of a Sheldon shirt in a photo. You guys would probably be awesome in a contest like that. The intensity is what cracks me up: Totally sells the moment.

On the subject of terrible names…

Nebraska, know that today’s strip is done with love. And I don’t just say that to avoid the inevitable deluge of pro-husking e-mails. I say it because it’s true.

All of us, no matter the background, no matter the region, have a *cough* less-than-stellar *cough* team name in our life.

My High School mascot, for example? The “Dons”.


How weak-sauce is that? Basically, we were named for wealthy Spanish landowners of significance. Kind of a tough name to get pumped about: “Go, pseudo-royal-blooded-landowners, go!”

So let’s hear it: Who’s had the worst team name out there? (And University of California Santa Barbara Banana Slugs…you don’t count: You choose that name willingly.)

EDITED TO NOTE: Thanks to the kind, gentle, timid e-mails of 10,000 UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz alums, I am kindly, gently, timidly reminded that it is UCSC, not UCSB, with the “Banana Slugs” mascot.

You would think that I, having graduated from UCSD, would know that…. but alas, I am at long last revealed to be a moron. 🙂

Three Things for a Tuesday

1.) Sheldonista Jessica sent in this pic, saying “Another satisfied ninja sporting his awesome birthday shirt.” I love it, Jessica!

2.) There was a very kind write-up of DRIVE in the Syracuse Post-Standard (or, on the newspaper’s website, anyway). A doff of the cap to Jeff Kapalka for the kind article!

3.) My travel schedule, over the next 6-7 weeks, has me going to Columbus, Ohio to speak at Ohio State’s big Festival of Cartoon Art… to Savannah, to lecture and teach at SCAD’s excellent sequential art department… and to Easthampton, MA to take part in the New England Webcomics Weekend.

Because of a big film project that I’m working on (more on that, later), I don’t know how much time I’ll have for reader meet-ups and socializin’ in Columbus and Savannah, which bums me out. But I’d hate to travel all that way and not see you guys…so I’ll try to work something out as things get closer. In Savannah, at the very least, we should be able to organize a night-time meetup. Ohio might be trickier.


When I showed off her Sheldon collection a few blog posts ago, I thought Stacey was the clear winner…hands down. But Sheldon reader Melissa A. just e-mailed me with a pic of her own Sheldon collection, and daaaaang:

For those playing along at home, I see:

– All 7 Sheldon collections

– The Drive book

– The Pugs and Literature collections

– How To Make Webcomics

– My college collection, “A Well Balanced Meal” (It’s rare: There were only like 2-3,000 of those ever made…like 15 years ago.)

– A Sheldon Sunday-sized original art

– A Sheldon daily-sized original art

– A poster

– A “Lucky Duck” t-shirt

– Sheldon buttons

– Aaaand a personalized sketch, it looks like! probably from a convention, I’d imagine.

Lordy Lord, Melissa! Lordy Lord!

The World Needs More Staceys :)

Got this got note from Sheldonista Stacey M., and was kinda floored by her accompanying photo:

Hi Dave —

Wanted to send a ‘thank you’…my Artist’s Editions of “Literature” and “Drive”
arrived today to much excitement [I may or may not have been compulsively
refreshing the shipping status page once I saw it had shipped]. You should have
heard the “squee!” when I saw I had number 2 of “Literature”…thank you!!

With these two latest, I now have all 11 of your books in my collection [plus
two originals and two sketches you did for me [way-back-when at the Cartoon Art
Museum in San Francisco]. I’ve attached a picture I took for myself and for
insurance purposes…my Kellett Collection, all in one place.

Thanks, Stacey! This is pretty dang cool!

Found Documents

One of my favorite things that Victorian writers figured out was how the inclusion of scraps of letters, telegraphs, and diary entries within their larger novels could help enhance a story and fill out a world…and it’s something that we dip into from time to time on DRIVE. It helps give a fuller picture of the world they’re living in.

We’ve seen these found documents before, of course: Things like individual entries in the Enciclopedia Xenobiologica, or internal corporate memos, or private letters held in La Familia’s vaults. And as the story unfolds on, it’s undoubtedly something we’ll see again.

(Speaking of the full story: We’re putting the finishing touches on the new DRIVE site, but in the interim, you can always read the story — in order — over at the temporary site.)

Post Your Drive Questions Here

All of a sudden, I’m getting a LOT of e-mails from folks asking really good, really interesting questions about DRIVE. So! What I thought I would do was answer them all at once in a short video podcast.

If you have questions about DRIVE, the timeline & history, La Familia, the structure of the empire, the drive itself, etc. — post ’em below and I’ll try to tackle ’em all!

I’m in Bethesda, MD this weekend!

Small Press Expo! This weekend!

East coasters: I am hopping on a plane to come see you this Saturday and Sunday at SPX! Let’s totally hang out and be best friends forever!

I will have all the Sheldon/Drive books and prints, the original art from Sheldon strips at $25-off, and will be giving out free sketches LIKE THEY WERE GOIN’ OUT OF STYLE.

SPX is a great, great show…and I haven’t been able to go in 3-4 years, so I’m super excited. Come on out!

Also! If you’re coming, and want to pick up the original art from a Sheldon strip at $25 off, e-mail me with the date or description of the piece you’d like….so that I’m sure to bring it.

(SPX 2010 Commemorative High-Fives will be available to the first 100 people to ask for one. But supplies are limited.)

How big is La Familia?

For Drive readers, an interesting question for the upcoming Grand Council is, “How many members are there in La Familia?” As we saw in this past Saturday’s strip, getting them all in one place for a meeting hasn’t been done for 100 years: And with good reason. Without Familia onboard, large military ships and transports have no one to service their drives. Without Familia running the courts or trade consulates, law and business freeze up. Without Familia…the whole Empire just goes on hold for a week or so.

The last time a council was called, it was just an aging Emperor Conrado, his five middle-age kids, and a smattering of grandkids in adulthood. And in the background, an empire that consisted of Earth, the lunar and Martian colonies, and Veeta.

This time around, it’s dozens of planets, a fleet of military and trade ships, and a family numbering in the….

Well, that’s the interesting part. Thanks to the kind efforts of Drive reader Brian Huisman, you can plug in the variables yourself, to see how big the family might be after 140 years. Try it out yourself. (We assume that, for political & economic reasons, La Familia encourages an intentionally high number of children, such that each offspring averages five kids. Also: That they have them (on average) between the age of 25-30, that their (average) lifespan is 80 years old, and that males and females both count as “continuing” the family line. Add to that, we know that Conrado already had five children 140 years ago, and can assume that they were near, but not at, adulthood. We also know that, by Fernando’s time, there were “1,200” Familia servicing the drive — but that’s just a slice of the total populace, as they serve multiple roles in the Empire.)

Anyway, plug in the variables and see what you get! The number can rise and fall exponentially with tiny tweaks…so I’m still debating where *I’d* like the final tally to be. For now, I’m thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000-8,000 current members of La Familia.

Anyway, fun stuff!