Sometime tomorrow, after I shake off the New Year’s hangover and remove the noisemakers and bottle caps stuck in my beard, I will be updating this website and officially ending the BFW Holiday Bargain.
And as 2010 rears its head like Putin over Alaska and the International Date Line, I’d like to thank everyone who bought Fun Stuff or donated in 2009. Newspaper page counts were way down this year, and you all helped turn a shit sandwich into a peanut butter & jelly one. Next year, let’s aim for bumping it up all the way to roast beef!
Posting and other internet-based tomfoolery will return to their normal levels next week.
I’m finally back home and settling in. While I’m catching up on emails and RSS feeds, here’s a reminder that I can only guarantee delivery before Christmas for orders placed by the end of Monday, the 14th. It’s too late to guarantee international orders, but they might get to you in time if you’re quick. Visit the BFW store right now if you’re a shopping procrastinator like myself.
The Holiday Bargain is still going on, and will continue until the end of the month. Or more accurately, it will be in effect until I recover from my New Year’s Eve hangover and update the website sometime in the afternoon on January 1, 2010.
Just two miles away from where Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley infamously became bestest buds, Keef and I will be holding a beer summit of our own. Join us for some drinks, a slideshow, and booksigning in the heart of Davis Square.
The event is free with a cash bar. I’m trying to get a rough head count, so send me an email, leave a comment, or RSVP on Facebook if you’re attending.
I need your help promoting the event. Tell your friends! And here’s a flyer you can print out and post around town.
The Boston area Fun Stuff for Dum-Dums event will be held on Saturday, August 29th, from 4 to 7pm at The Burren in Davis Square. It’ll be in the Back Room, which, as the name implies, is behind the front room.
The event is totally free, with a cash bar. I’m planning on starting the slideshow around 5 o’clock, and signing books before and after it.
If you’ll be attending, please let me know. I need a rough count so I can plan accordingly. You can also leave a comment on this blog post or RSVP via Facebook.
If you want to help promote the event, here’s a flyer you can print out and put up at work, your laundromat, or your dorm.
In addition to drinking, slideshowing, answering your questions, and selling & signing your books, I might raffle off some original Big Fat Whale art. All proceeds would go to the “Holy Shit! Brian’s About to Turn 30!” Fund.
Would you be interested in that? Or have other suggestions? Now is the time to make this thing AWESOME.
Why now? Well, I screwed up my publishing schedule and the cartoon that plugs the shit out of this book is coming out on Friday, rather than next week as I had planned.
I’d look like a giant dummy if folks came to the site wanting to buy the book but were unable to find it.
So here it is! A week early. Of course with printing and shipping, this weekend at MoCCA (I’ll be at table 426) is still your best bet for getting one of the very first copies. Plus I’ll be there to doodle in it for you!
I’m still scrambling to get things ready for MoCCA, but as soon as I return I’ll begin planning an event/signing in the Boston area. Shoot me an email if you have any tips or suggestions.
My apologies for the following sentence, which you’re going to hear a lot around my little slice of the web: PLEASE BUY MY BOOK! With 150 cartoons, the $15.95 price works out to just over 10 cents per cartoon. And with a conservative estimate of 6 jokes per cartoon, that’s less than 2 cents per joke. Do you want to contribute to an economy where a fart joke isn’t worth at least 2 cents? I hope not.
I’ll leave the last word to The Critic‘s Jay Sherman:
Usually you are nothing but that thing I take the Tappan Zee to avoid on my adventures further south, but not June 6th and 7th! I will be emerging from my New England hermit-hole to attend this year’s MoCCA Festival. The event goes from 11am-6pm each day, with admission at $10 for one day, or $15 for both.
I’ll be debuting the long-overdue Big Fat Whale book, “Fun Stuff for Dum-Dums.”
And that’s just a tiny sliver of the exhibitors. Check the first link for a full exhibitor list, assuming they get around to posting one before the festival. If you’re a comic nerd in the area, you should come.
If you can’t make it, the book should be available here not long after I get back from NYC. But since I’m doing this one through Lulu, there won’t be too many chances to get a signed copy as cheap as at MoCCA.
My advance apologies for flogging the shit out of this book. But since the newspaper business, including the alt-weeklies, has taken a severe hit during this recession, I need to sell lots of copies of it to make up the difference. If I don’t, I’ll go from the delightfully cranky cartoonist you all know, to that asshole who spit in your order of fries in no time.
AVC: Speaking of dying media, how do you think comics like Life In Hell are going to adapt?
MG: Speaking as an alternative newsweekly cartoonist, we’re at the bottom of the food chain. We’re hoping that weekly newspapers don’t go the way of dime novels. It may be that the time has come and passed, but I don’t know. I hope not. It seems to me that if you have a publication with a strategy, with some enthusiasm, and some design sense, I think there is a way of keeping it alive.
AVC: Do you think it will become just a web phenomenon?
MG: It’s possible. I personally like the idea of newspapers. It’s a good format. You can read it in whatever order you want. You can glance at it. There is something about a single screen and scrolling through pages that just doesn’t have the same appeal. But I don’t have a Kindle yet, so maybe I’ll change my mind. [Laughs.]
Life in Hell is the reason Big Fat Whale exists. It blazed a trail for all the other alt-weekly comics that followed, and helped shape my sense of humor. It’s also the reason BFW is a giant square instead of a more marketable rectangular strip. When I started the comic, I was clumsily aping Groening’s LiH, but with a whale instead of a rabbit.
Thankfully BFW grew into its own thing, but the square format remains a constant reminder of Groening’s influence.
I was 14 when Late Night with Conan O’Brien with debuted. Now it’s over and I’m just six months away from 30. I loved it for the entire run. It probably did more to shape my sense of humor than anything else, especially considering all the great comedy writers and comedians who started there: Robert Smigel, Louis CK, Dino Stamatopoulos, Mike Sweeney, Brian McCann, Jon Glaser, Brian Stack, Andy Blitz, and many more that I can’t remember at 2 in the morning.
When I started “Big Fat Whale” in 2001, I remember telling a friend that I wanted it to be in the same tone as Conan’s Late Night comedy bits, particularly the sketches and desk pieces. The strip became more political, thanks to that shithead Bush, but I hope it retained plenty of Late Night‘s goofy, absurd spirit.
This post is too serious. Conan’s not dead. He’s just gone for 3 months. Norm MacDonald’s send-off was the best: