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Original Sheldon Art: First Book Cover

Heads up for Sheldon art lovers! I’m putting a nifty piece of Sheldon Original Art up for grabs : The cover of the first Sheldon book!

It’s drawn in lightfast, archival inks on acid-free, vellum Bristol stock. The cardstock measures 9.5 x 10.5 inches, while the drawn image is roughly 9 x 10.5 inches. There are no mistakes or corrections in the artwork itself, so it will frame up really cool.

And if you’d like, I’m happy to personalize the piece to whoever ends up snagging it. Something nice like: “To the coolest person I’ve ever met, with thanks for saving my life from sharks that one time: I totally owe you forever. All my love, Dave.” Something like that. Or maybe something totally different! Maybe you’d prefer it to say “a T-Rex” instead of “sharks”. TOTALLY YOUR CALL.

Anyway! I’m starting the bidding at one penny, as I’d rather leave it up to you to decide what it’s worth. And shipping is free within the US! So if you’re interested, head over and throw your hat into the ring!


Are you eligible to vote in this year’s Eisner Awards?

I’m giving out free PDF copies of my Eisner-nominated book, “Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953,” for your consideration in the “Best Humor” category.

Here’s why: I may not be represented by a big ol’ publisher, may not have a cadre of employees, and may not have a gigantor marketing and promotions budget, but I do have one thing: The work itself. This book is my best stuff, and I’m really proud of it. So I’m just gonna get out of the way and let the book do the talking for me.

Download your review copy (11.5 MB, PDF format) and take a look for yourself! And if you like it, please consider it for “Best Humor Publication.” Thanks!

Who is eligible to vote in the Eisner Awards?

-Comic book/graphic novel/webcomic creators (writers, artists, cartoonists, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists)
– All nominees in any category
– Comic book/graphic novel publishers and editors
– Comics historians and educators
– Graphic novel librarians
– Owners and managers of comic book specialty retail stores

Hosting for this PDF-book kindly provided by Sheldon reader and software artist Wil Shipley of “Delicious Library.” (…And to repay the kindness, check out Wil’s media cataloguing application, here!)

The Eisner Award

“Comics” are a big, weird, wonderful industry…crossing mediums and styles and themes and tones and approaches. All different, and sometimes barely overlapping. There are comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, alt-indie comics, and about 1,800 sub-genres. It can be really sprawling. I say this not only as a cartoonist, but as a dude who studied the history of comics in two different MA programs: Ain’t nuthin’ about comics that’s “monolithic”.

But in that sprawling world, one of the few things that brings ’em all together, puts all these different folks under one tent…is the annual Eisner Award. It’s the big enchilada of the cartooning world that recognizes work from all these different fields. And this year, much to my surprise, Sheldon got an Eisner nomination, for “Best Humor Publication”! Specifically, for the Literature book. And I ain’t lyin’, that’s really nice news…and very nice of the Eisner folks. My heart is grateful.

It’s also hugely surprising to me, for reasons that might surprise you: Economics.

You see, my entire cartooning career is predicated on the idea that a modern comic artist is better-served by *avoiding* publishers, distributors, retailers and Amazon…and keeping the dialogue directly between the artist and the audience. No middle-men. No ill-serving contracts. No weird supply chains with a tendency toward path dependence. It’s complete disintermediation: Just you ‘n me ’round these parts. 🙂

The thinking is that traditional distribution channels are breaking down so seriously — and were never that “great” for artists’ careers to begin with — that a cartoonist is better served by circumventing the whole process and controlling their own future. Sure, that means wearing a lot of hats that a publisher used to wear…but to have complete confidence and control of your own future is a worthwhile trade-off. (I spoke about it at length in my talk at Ohio State’s Festival of Cartoon Art, if you’re interested: 1,
4, and

Anyway! That’s why this award nomination is such a surprise to me: Because here I am, a guy running his own show, completely set apart from publishers, distributors, retailers, Amazon, et al…and yet somehow they gave me the kind nod. That’s really nice, and speaks well for all those artists, like myself, who are trying to steer their own destiny in a time of very large paradigm shifts.

This got too wordy and high-falutin’, real fast. All of this is just a long-winded way for me to say a huge “THANK YOU” to the Eisner Award folks. You have given me a great kindness, and I appreciate it.

Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953

Outta the blue last night, I got the nicest e-mail from my old college English professor, with praise for the “Literature” book. Apparently, she tracked me down just to let me know the book cracked her up. And lemme tell you: What an awesome endorsement that is. If the book can crack up a double-doctorate on Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville then THIS IS A BOOK THAT HAS DONE ITS JOB, MY FRIENDS.

Not familiar with the book? It’s the collection that brings together all the literary comics from “Sheldon” into one volume: Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953. It takes on all the greats of Western Lit: From Seuss to Shakespeare, Twain to Tolkien. And if you’re a lover of books, and haven’t tried this one out…now you have the personal endorsement of my third-year English Lit professor to give it a try. 🙂

– Dave Kellett

Edited to add: Hey, neat! …the book just got nominated for an Eisner Award, too. GUESS WHO’S TREATIN’ HIMSELF TO SOME TWO-SCOOP ICE CREAM?

Thank you, transcribers!

I just wanted to take a second and thank you all: We busted through 700 strips in the transcription queue in no time at all. YOU GUYS ROCK.

Thank you!