Alas, poor Shakespeare. I drew him…

Dork Tower - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 23:01

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.06.33 AM

Munhckin Shakespeare is DONE!

At least my part.

Final tally: about 250 cards, bookmarks, covers, etc.

It was, without question, the largest single Munchkin project I’ve ever tackled at one sitting.

Well, several sittings, really. Over about a two-month period.

The final sitting was the best, though. In London at the time, I wandered around Southwark – Shake-dawg’s stomping grounds – and chose the bar at Shakespeare’s Globe to finish the last few drawings.

It was a delightful day to be sitting along the Thames. I even broke my “No Drinking During Schoolnights” rule to have a couple of celebratory Globe Ales. They were delicious.

I might have been looking to channel the ghost of the Bard himself. I probably ended up channeling the sprint of Sam Wanameker, founder of this incarnation of the Globe. Regardless, it was a good place to finish up this massive project.

Anyway, 250 pieces of art later, this is what “Relief” looks like (or possibly it’s the two pints of Globe Ale):

Munchkin Shakespeare was a hugely fun project – but it was also hugely huge, thanks to you monsters and all the stretch-goals you hit.

Would more time have been helpful? Yes. But then, that’s always the case. Point being, Munchkin Shakespeare is going to look fantastic. Most of that is due to the Steve Jackson Games Art Department, which always manages to make my silly little scribblings look great. Those folks are amazing.

Also? The cards are hilarious. I mean, truly madcap, green-eyed, bloodstained tremendous. Thanks to Steve Jackson, Andrew Hackard, and many contributors who threw in crazy ideas during a crowdsourcing braintrust info-dump that launched this too, too silly project.

Here are some first-looks at a few of the cards (Insert usual “Art Not Final” etc. things I’m supposed to say here)!

CUCKOLD HORNS – BEWARE THE CUCKOLD HORNS! I’m not sure, but these can’t possibly be good.


CURSE: Forget Your Lines – “Alas poor…um…”


GLOBEShakespeare’s Globe, probably…she’s just borrowing it.


GUILDENSTERN – Or is it Rosenkrantz? Anyway, these guys made my tickets to “Rosenkrantz and Guioldenstern Are Dead” last Tuesday tax-deductible, I’m sure.


ROSENKRANZ – Or possibly Guildenstern… “Heads. Heads. Heads again…”


TOGA – I come not to bury Caesar…or to praise him…those are two other cards…


Finally, here’s one of my very favorite cards (which was also one of the very first I drew for Munchkin Shakespeare):




(By the way, here’s a link to the Munchkin Shakespeare Pre-order Backerkit, which is open until April 17).

But anyway – yeah. Verily. Done.

As always, working with the Steve Jackson Games crew was a joy, and I may well have the best job in the world.

Now exit, pursued by a Bard.


PS: Munchkin Shakespeare kind of took over my life for a few months, there. Some things got pushed to the back-burner: Dork Tower and Insane Charity Bike Ride updates, for a start. More on those later this week.

Categories: Comics

Sweet 16

XKCD - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:00
Every year I make out my bracket at the season, and every year it's busted before the first game when I find out which teams are playing.
Categories: Comics

Rayleigh Scattering

XKCD - Thu, 03/30/2017 - 22:00
If you ask "why are leaves green?" the usual answer is "because they're full of chlorophyll, and chlorophyll is green," even though "why does chlorophyll scatter green light?" is a great question too.
Categories: Comics

Incognito Mode

XKCD - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 22:00
They're really the worst tech support team. And their solutions are always the same. "This OS X update broke something." "LET'S INFILTRATE APPLE BY MORPHING APPLES!"
Categories: Comics


XKCD - Sun, 03/26/2017 - 22:00
I pronounce epitome "EPPY-tome", but EpiPen "uh-PIE-pen".
Categories: Comics


XKCD - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 22:00
There's a compromise bill to keep the notification bar but at least charge the battery.
Categories: Comics

Color Pattern

XKCD - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 22:00
♫ When the spacing is tight / And the difference is slight / That's a moiré ♫
Categories: Comics

Vomiting Emoji

XKCD - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 22:00
My favorite might be U+1F609 U+1F93F WINKING FACE VOMITING.
Categories: Comics


XKCD - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 22:00
'So we just have a steady flow of metal piling up in our server room? Isn't that a problem?' 'Yeah, you should bring that up at our next bismuth meeting.'
Categories: Comics

Best-Tasting Colors

XKCD - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 22:00
I recognize that chocolate is its own thing on which reasonable people may differ. Everything else here is objective fact.
Categories: Comics

Chat Systems

XKCD - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 22:00
I'm one of the few Instagram users who connects solely through the Unix 'talk' gateway.
Categories: Comics

xkcd Phone 5

XKCD - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 22:00
The phone will be collected by the toll operators and mailed back to you within 4-6 weeks.
Categories: Comics


XKCD - Tue, 03/07/2017 - 22:00
The dump also contains a list of millions of prime factors, a 0-day Tamagotchi exploit, and a technique for getting gcc and bash to execute arbitrary code.
Categories: Comics


XKCD - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 22:00
Sure, you could just ask, but this also takes care of the host gift thing.
Categories: Comics

Borrow Your Laptop

XKCD - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 22:00
If used with software that could keep up, a scroll wheel mapped to send a stream of 'undo' and 'redo' events could be kind of cool.
Categories: Comics

On the Road Again

Dork Tower - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 09:52

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.06.33 AM

Hey, gang – I’m working through my schedule for 2017, and finally updates the Appearances page here at the mothership.

There may be some small cons added, here and there. There are definitely some big shows in late 2017 I can’t talk about yet – at least one in Canada that’s not been announced, and a couple of other overseas visits that are being finalized.

“Why don’t you ever come to XXXX?” some folks invariably ask. The short answer is: I haven’t been invited. It’;s up to the shops themselves, who they bring in. But there are many places I’d love to see – so if you want your local show to bring me to your neck of the woods, bug them! The Appearances page has all the info they need!

For the most part, I’m trying to travel a bit less, and get work done here at home. But for right now, if you’re looking for me in 2017, here are some off the places I’ll be:

(Trade show -Industry only)
March 13 – 17, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

April 28-30 2017
Poznań International Fairgrounds
Poznań, Poland

(Distributor Open House – Industry only)
May 6 – 8, 2017
Madison WI

UK Games Expo
June 2-4, 2017
National Exhibition Center,
Birmingham, England

August 17 – 20, 2017
Indianapolis, IN

November 2-5, 2017
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
Madison, WI

Sometimes you walk away from a strip that’s not quire right.

And sometimes you fiddle with it throughout the day.

I fiddled with yesterday’s cartoon throughout the afternoon.

Here’s how a cartoonist overthinking a gag looks, at odd intervals:

FIRST TRY: 9:30 am, Tuesday morning


SECOND TRY: 1:30 pm Tuesday afternoon


FIRST TRY: 3:30 pm, Tuesday afternoon


It never got quite where I wanted it to, but at least the third shot seems closer to what I was trying to get across than the others.

Categories: Comics

Unpublished Discoveries

XKCD - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 22:00
If you must know, I'm currently researching how to save this emailed tax form as a regular PDF so I can print and sign it. Our work isn't a lock for the Nobel, but we're in the running.
Categories: Comics

Giving 110% – DORK TOWER 02.28.17

Dork Tower - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 23:01

Categories: Comics

“Blow blow, thou Stretch-Goals” – MUNCHKIN SHAKESPEARE art notes

Dork Tower - Sun, 02/26/2017 - 23:01

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.06.33 AM

Munchkin Shakespeare Art Notes … told by an idiot, full of ink and furry monsters, signifying an aching wrist….

Usually, when I get around to typing up the dreaded Art Notes for a Muchkin project, said project has been finished for months.

Typically, I need to go back: to revisit the gig, to re-familiarize myself with my own drawings as, in the intervening period, I’ve started and completed at least one (and often multiple) Munchkin projects since then.

NAY, not so for Munchkin Shakespeare.

Ohhhhh, nay, indeed.

King Leer. LEER! Sorry not sorry. (Not final art)


If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook (or, those times I actually I remember, Tumblr), you’ll know I’ve been having a ton of fun with this, the latest bit of Munchkin madness from Steve Jackson Games.

Part of the fun’s been the sharing of new art, as I complete it, with you guys. A poor thing, perhaps, but my own, if I might quote a certain someone out of context…

Every other Munchkin project? I need to keep them secret: most aren’t even announced to the public until the game’s at press, well after my last drawings are done.

As Munchkin Shakespeare’s being Kickstarted, though, getting the word out is critical – as is me keeping track of how many new cards I need to draw, every time a Stretch Goal is pummeled (Kicked down? Stabbed? Unnaturally axed?)

Part of the fun comes with drawing characters I’ve deeply loved, over the years. As I mentioned in this Geek and Sundry interview, and last week’s live chat on Steve Jackson Games’ YouTube channel, I’m a huge Shakespeare nerd.

Witches Three. Plus cat. (Not final art).

I’ve grown comfortable sketching out my own take on classic characters, probably since Munchkin Oz. Since then, of course, there’s also been Munchkin Grimm Tales, and Munchkin Wonderland.

But, good grief, you know when I get excited about Drawing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, that I’ve found my happy place.

At rough count, I’m probably 100-plus cards into the project, with about 100 more to go. Not counting more stretch-goals. (And definitely not counting the Dungeon cards, which take significantly more time). But right now, I’m ridiculously happy with how it’s going. (“WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH JOHN?” a hundred people who know me now scream in unison).

Part of the joy – yes, joy – of this project comes with first glimpses of what Steve and Andrew have wrought, on the cards. “Two Gentlemen of Bologna”? Yes. Yes, please. “The Scary Wives of Windsor”? Absolutely! “Aides of March” I see what you did there, Andrew Hackard!


Lady Macbeth – plus damn spots to get out…USE TIDE for all those uncomfortable stains! (Not…wait for it…final art.)

It’s also been delightful watching Steve Jackson Games’ amazing art department bring these sketches to life. Colorists who know their craft go a long, long way into helping the rest of us look a lot better than we actually are! Lady Macbeth’s hands! LADY MACBETH’S BLOOD-STAINED HANDS!

As I type this, the Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter is poised to break $200,000 – and that means (yes) more cards. So I’d better get back to drawing.

Exit, pursued by a deadline!



PS – you may have noticed Munchkin Shakespeare has been playing havoc (and unleashing the dogs of war) on Dork Tower, these last couple of weeks. I hope to be back to the normal Tuesday-Thursday schedule starting tomorrow. Stay tuned!


Categories: Comics

Video Content

XKCD - Sun, 02/26/2017 - 22:00
"So, like, sexy news videos?" "No, people have tried that--it's still just video content. We need to actually inform people THROUGH making out. I would call it 'Mouth Content,' but I think that's already the title of a Neil Cicierega album."
Categories: Comics


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