DANDIES.—“They are mere walking-sticks for female flirts, ornamented with brass heads, and barely touched with brass etiquette.—Brass heads did I say ? Nay, their caputs [heads] are only half-ripe musk-melons with monstrous thick rinds, and all hollow inside, containing the seeds of foolishness, swimming about with a vast quantity of sap.
"Their moral garments are a double-breasted coat of vanity, padded with pride, and lined with the silk of self-complacency ; their outer apparel is all in keeping, and imported fresh from the devil’s ready-made clothing establishment. Tinkered up with broad-cloth, finger-rings, safety-chains, soft sodder [flattery], vanity, and impudence; they are no more silver than a plated spoon is solid silver. I detest a dandy as a cat does a wet floor.
"There are some vain fools in this vain world who, after a long incubation, will hatch out from the hot-bed of pride in a sickly brood of fruzy [rotten] ideas, and then go strutting along in the path of pomposity, with all the self-importance of a speckled hen with a black chicken. I have an antipathy to such people." 
– The London Saturday Journal, 1841

DANDIES.—“They are mere walking-sticks for female flirts, ornamented with brass heads, and barely touched with brass etiquette.—Brass heads did I say ? Nay, their caputs [heads] are only half-ripe musk-melons with monstrous thick rinds, and all hollow inside, containing the seeds of foolishness, swimming about with a vast quantity of sap.

"Their moral garments are a double-breasted coat of vanity, padded with pride, and lined with the silk of self-complacency ; their outer apparel is all in keeping, and imported fresh from the devil’s ready-made clothing establishment. Tinkered up with broad-cloth, finger-rings, safety-chains, soft sodder [flattery], vanity, and impudence; they are no more silver than a plated spoon is solid silver. I detest a dandy as a cat does a wet floor.

"There are some vain fools in this vain world who, after a long incubation, will hatch out from the hot-bed of pride in a sickly brood of fruzy [rotten] ideas, and then go strutting along in the path of pomposity, with all the self-importance of a speckled hen with a black chicken. I have an antipathy to such people." 

– The London Saturday Journal, 1841

55 Classic Improv Scene Initiations Featuring Alligators

  1. “Jeremy, there’s an alligator in the kitchen, and I think you know why.”
  2. “Thanks for coming on such short notice, I know you’ve been dealing with an alligator problem.”
  3. “Well, I managed to pick up most of what was left of your alligator.”
  4. “Madam Windocker, are all these paintings of alligators?”
  5. “To be honest, no, this was my first time eating alligator.”
  6. “Gentlemen, I think you all know the esteemed Dr. Alligator.”
  7. “Alligator, alligator, alligator, crocodile, alligator…Hold on just a second!”
  8. “The crone waved her wrinkled fingers and then an alligator tail just started to…grow.”
  9. “I go to work, and clock in, and clock out, and every day I wonder if I was supposed to be an alligator instead.”
  10. “You’ve clamped down on my heart, Riley, like an alligator without a sense of personal boundaries.”
  11. “I’m afraid the alligator will have to wait outside.”
  12. “If we try to swim for it, the alligators will gorge themselves on two of us, but the rest are likely to make it.”
  13. “That alligator-skin clutch — why, that was Mom’s!”
  14. “Relax, Dennis. Be an alligator, floating in the reeds.”
  15. “You know I won’t rest until the partners of this firm make me Senior Alligator.”
  16. “Rutherford and I were just admiring your very old alligator.”
  17. “I’ve never seen a sexy alligator costume before, but you really pull it off!”
  18. “You and I are both crusty alligators in the big old swamp of humanity.”
  19. “Before we start…my safe word will be ‘alligator.’”
  20. “You can’t hide behind that alligator forever, Julius!”
  21. “My friends, you misunderstand! The most dangerous game is, in fact, alligator.”
  22. “Four score and seven years ago, our alligators brought forth on this alligator a new alligator.”
  23. “Is that an alligator on your shirt or are you just happy to see me?”
  24. “Actually I can say that, because my grandfather was one-eighth alligator.”
  25. “Let’s go, Alligators! Eat the other team!”
  26. “I made you a birthday cake, and of course, I shaped it like an alligator.”
  27. “Alligator, honey, baby, sweetie, they’re just bullies. You’re still my precious muffin.”
  28. “Sometimes I feel like you only love me for my alligator impression.”
  29. “And for my third wish, I wish everyone else on Earth was an alligator!”
  30. “I can’t believe that alligators made it to Mars before humans. Maybe it’s time to just give up.”
  31. “The new car? It’s OK, but it’s clear that the last owner was an alligator.”
  32. “Mr. President, the alligator will see you now.”
  33. “Get inside! The plague of alligators will start any minute!”
  34. “Wow, you really did have all your teeth replaced with alligator teeth.”
  35. “If you wade through a swamp, what do you expect? The alligators just let you pass?”
  36. “How many alligators does one person need, Barbara?”
  37. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t realize you were still in here with your alligator.”
  38. “Captain, the sonar blip appears to be an alligator.”
  39. “Becky, your father and I are concerned that you don’t realize you’re dating an alligator.”
  40. “Santa brought me a magic whistle that forces any hidden alligators to reveal themselves.”
  41. “Kensington, why aren’t you dressed yet? Put on your alligator suit!”
  42. “This neighborhood was great until the alligators started moving in.”
  43. “Everything in this meal was made from various disgusting parts of a single alligator, and let me tell you, it was a chore!”
  44. “Gerard, this is the third time this week you’ve shown up handcuffed to an alligator.”
  45. “That was me! I was the voice of the cartoon alligator!”
  46. “I want some alone time with you. Without the alligator.”
  47. “Please forgive my granddad. My family has always had a superstition about alligators.”
  48. “Wowza! I’ve seen alligators with better skin.”
  49. “Oh, no, I hope that alligator outside wasn’t yours.”
  50. “No, honey, those pants don’t make you look like an alligator at all!”
  51. “I’m worried that those fools are going to make that — that alligator the next Pope.”
  52. “Everything I have to say in this arbitration will be delivered via my alligator.”
  53. “Here’s your problem. You’ve got most of an alligator crammed in there!”
  54. “We don’t use polygraphs in this precinct. Bring in the alligator.”
  55. “Alligator Kaszmierski, private eye. I’ve been watching you from a half-submerged position.”

Ha ha hooray!! A RESPONSE

I’m pretty good at marketing, everyone

(Source: rollasketch, via davidmalki)

Happy to help if I can!

(Source: rollasketch)

for halloween avatar this year I will be MALKenstein (no, not Malkenstein’s monster. The cruel and ruthless Dr. Malkenstein was the REAL monster)

last year I was Count MALKula !

the year before, I was that film that forms on your windows in the dark, dark night

let me in

let me in

Here’s something I found in a stack of old mail!

I printed (“published” would be too strong a word) my first collection of Wondermark comics in the fall of 2004. I made an initial run of about 100 copies and solicited them office-to-office at the ad agency where I worked at the time. Almost everyone good-naturedly bought a copy (with the exception of the unpleasant producer who asked if this was “more of that Trader Joe’s stuff”).

Around the same time, I decided it would be a good idea to send copies of the book to anyone slightly famous that I could dredge up any remote personal connection to. As I can recall, I gave copies to:

  • The actor and director Garry Marshall, whose movie Chicken Little (and whose son’s movie The Princess Diaries 2) I was working on trailers for at the time;
  • The radio host Garrison Keillor; I was a listener to Prairie Home Companion and my art teacher had played taped episodes of The Writer’s Almanac for us weekly for many years;
  • The director Alexander Payne, because I happened to attend a Q&A screening of his movie Sideways;
  • The voice actor Rino Romano, with whom I’d worked many times, engineering his voiceover sessions;
  • Comics professionals I was a fan of, such as Frank Cho, Robert Kirkman, Larry Young, and Gary Groth;
  • Dave Sim, whom I didn’t know much about besides the fact that he drew Cerebus (which I didn’t read) and that he had a strange bet at the time with Neil Gaiman about whether or not people would send him mail;

As well as Brad Bird (as seen above), and I’m sure other people I don’t remember.

I heard back from Garrison Keillor’s people, who sent a card saying “your submission for The Writer’s Almanac will be duly considered”;

I heard back from Dave Sim, who was actually quite complimentary, and provided a blurb for a later edition of the same book, which I felt very strange about once I learned more about his politics; 

And I heard back from Pixar, above, on behalf of Brad Bird. I felt sheepish that they thought I was trying to send in unsolicited material for a movie pitch, rather than a gift of a book I hoped would be entertaining, but of course I understand now why they’d have to take that stance. (In fact, when I gave Alexander Payne a copy of the book, someone with him said “You can’t read that, you can’t accept it!” to which he said “It’s just comic strips, it’s okay!” Mr. Payne, if you read this, I don’t care if you went on to throw the book in the trash, it was very heartening to hear you say, while within earshot of me, that you wanted to keep it.)

I look back on those mailings, ten years ago now, and they feel very naïve of me. But why? I didn’t hurt anyone, I didn’t get into trouble. That same year, I sent a completely unsolicited press kit to the office of the AV Club, and it landed on Tasha Robinson’s desk, and a year later she wrote me out of the blue and asked if they could print Wondermark in the newspaper edition of the Onion, where it ran for several years, and then had an afterlife in the online AV Club for several years after that. That worked out okay.

Sending out those books without any real purpose or plan didn’t benefit me, really, so these days it seems like a silly thing to do. But I am reminded by finding this letter to do more things that are likely to fail but have very low stakes — maybe not ill-considered things like send unsolicited manuscripts to movie studios, but write letters, be bold, be unafraid. Chalk up more and more failures, so that failure is not a scary thing.

Mr. Bird, if you read this, your people also enclosed a signed 8x10 of Mr. Incredible, which I gave to a good friend and lifelong Disney fanatic, and he enjoyed it very much. 

Excerpts from Life magazine, 1927, and The Onion, 2013

I’m very excited to announce some EXCELLENT STRETCH GOALS for the Wondermark Fictional Victorian Jigsaw Puzzles project!!

The backing window closes on October 9

kickstarter:

Project of the Day—Wondermark’s Jigsaw Puzzles of Fictional Victorian Charts is exactly what it sounds like. Creator David Malki made these with a sort of alternate history in mind: “What if the Victorian era had more jokes AND was more diagram-based AND was made of jigsaw puzzles?? WONDER…NO MORE” he writes. We have officially stopped wondering.

Our puzzles have OFFICIALLY FUNDED as of today!  Thanks very much to Kickstarter (who named the puzzles today’s Project of the Day, hooray!!) and to the backers who’ve pledged so far!
If you’d like to pledge to get a puzzle, or any Wondermark books or posters, or even a custom wooden puzzle hand-made by Chris Yates — there’s plenty of time left.
Does that mean you should dally?
IT DOES NOT

kickstarter:

Project of the Day—Wondermark’s Jigsaw Puzzles of Fictional Victorian Charts is exactly what it sounds like. Creator David Malki made these with a sort of alternate history in mind: “What if the Victorian era had more jokes AND was more diagram-based AND was made of jigsaw puzzles?? WONDER…NO MORE” he writes. We have officially stopped wondering.

Our puzzles have OFFICIALLY FUNDED as of today!  Thanks very much to Kickstarter (who named the puzzles today’s Project of the Day, hooray!!) and to the backers who’ve pledged so far!

If you’d like to pledge to get a puzzle, or any Wondermark books or posters, or even a custom wooden puzzle hand-made by Chris Yates — there’s plenty of time left.

Does that mean you should dally?

IT DOES NOT

ryannorth:

I was going through my email archives to try to figure out how I ended up here when I came across this old ebook file I’d forgotten about!  I’d never noticed it before, but it turns out David Malki emailed it to me years ago with the following message:

"From one ‘follower’ to another…. this one’s on the house, Ryan!!!  PS: you owe me now.  DM me sometime!!!!"
- “DM” (like “direct message” but instead it’s “David Malki”!!!!!) 

David, even though it is years late, I have several comments about this book and your follow-up messages about it (and again, sorry for not reading them until now):
you don’t need to capitalize “.com”.  
putting # and @ in front of words does not make them ‘high-technology words’
no you do not need to repaint that plane every time you get a new follower
no I do not know a good place to get a deal on bulk plane paint
no I do not know whether or not the “plane police” have authority to chase you away from the airport parking lot since it’s not in the sky but I’m guessing yes, yes they do
and finally, your other ebook, “Are You There God?  Please RT” is actually a wonderful coming-of-age story about a young girl struggling with boys, bras, periods, AND religion while simultaneously trying to grow her social media reach with high-clickability viral content, and I would be more than happy to provide a quote for that one
[bookwar]

Wow Ryan it sounds like you really think this ebook is pretty dumb!
BUT HMMM WHAT DID SOME PROPS DEPARTMENT PRINT OUT AND GIVE YOU TO HOLD IN THIS STOCK PHOTO SHOOT FOR “WEALTHY SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESSMAN” IMAGES ?????

check and MATE

ryannorth:

I was going through my email archives to try to figure out how I ended up here when I came across this old ebook file I’d forgotten about!  I’d never noticed it before, but it turns out David Malki emailed it to me years ago with the following message:

"From one ‘follower’ to another…. this one’s on the house, Ryan!!!  PS: you owe me now.  DM me sometime!!!!"

- “DM” (like “direct message” but instead it’s “David Malki”!!!!!) 

David, even though it is years late, I have several comments about this book and your follow-up messages about it (and again, sorry for not reading them until now):

  • you don’t need to capitalize “.com”.  
  • putting # and @ in front of words does not make them ‘high-technology words’
  • no you do not need to repaint that plane every time you get a new follower
  • no I do not know a good place to get a deal on bulk plane paint
  • no I do not know whether or not the “plane police” have authority to chase you away from the airport parking lot since it’s not in the sky but I’m guessing yes, yes they do
  • and finally, your other ebook, “Are You There God?  Please RT” is actually a wonderful coming-of-age story about a young girl struggling with boys, bras, periods, AND religion while simultaneously trying to grow her social media reach with high-clickability viral content, and I would be more than happy to provide a quote for that one

[bookwar]

Wow Ryan it sounds like you really think this ebook is pretty dumb!

BUT HMMM WHAT DID SOME PROPS DEPARTMENT PRINT OUT AND GIVE YOU TO HOLD IN THIS STOCK PHOTO SHOOT FOR “WEALTHY SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESSMAN” IMAGES ?????

check and MATE