FC 158 - Talk About a Niche Market

So you just get into the office. Your cup of coffee is hot in your hands, you're just wiping the snow off your shoulders, and you sit down at your computer. Naturally the first thing you do is bring up Blog du Wren, since it is Friday and you need your comic fix. Well, the second thing you should do is click through to Potluck Comics and like, tweet, and comment your little heart out*. There, now doesn't that feel better, having helped me win $250 and attain my life long goal of becoming a professional comic maker guy?

Now you can go back and appreciate today's comic, esp. the detail with which the background greetings cards were made. "Wow, he drew each and everyone one of those cards. I bet that took forever," you say to yourself. Well, I told you a thousand times not to exaggerate.

Today is the last day of voting over at Potluck Comics so I won't be playing the shill any more (although if I get another comic featured, I might tastefully advertise the fact). (This whole getting others to do your advertising for you via social networking, etc. really gets my goat. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a post bubbles up out of it. If I win the big moneys, however, I might feel differently.)
Thursday January 19 2012File under: comic

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Snow Day 2012

Not more than 48 hours after I was musing about how I would really love it if we had a good snowy winter storm, the powers that be obliged, and obliged with fervor. We here in Western Washington got (and, if reports are true, will continue to get) a good dumping, and I couldn't be happier.

Day 1 took me out for a nice walk in the woods in Bellingham. I covered many miles and smiled the whole way. I made it up to Whatcom Falls where snow in the woods was displayed straight out of a Robert Frost poem*.

Day 2 was an adventure in getting from Bellingham to Anacortes on the bus when, unexpectly, Island Transit was shut down. Big props to Skagit Transit* for being there and doing a great job! When the roads are bad, people need public transportation more than ever. (The above picture is taken at Skagit Station)

We were treated to even more snow for day 3, and despite the extra work, I'm as stoked as ever. I've got no place else to go, so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow*.

(As a side note, in looking back through the archive, I'm realizing that just about every winter, I have a snow post, which must say something about my relationship with snow. Anyway, with that thought in mind, here's my archival self-portait).
Wednesday January 18 2012File under: Anacortes, misc

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FC 157 - Waste Not Want Not

In all this hubbub surround my entry over at Potluck Comics*, I've been thinking more and more about Friday Comics, my motivation, etc. Is that old adage of "if it makes just one person laugh, it's worth it" really true? What if it doesn't make anyone laugh? Or what if I never know? All these thoughts have been swirling of late. But enough about that.

In a brief glance back at my comics folder, I sure have a lot of kitchen/food related comics. Hmmm....I wonder if that means something. I do like to eat! And to cook, at least for myself. Maybe not so much for big groups, at least anymore. But enough about that.

Anyhoo, happy Friday! I hope you have a chuckle at poor Chef Bourchard*. Or maybe you'll get a little inspiration for your next salad!
Thursday January 12 2012File under: comic

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Winter In the NW

It's starting to look like I will be spending my winter here in the Northwest. It has been quite a number of years* since I've done a full winter here, and I'm looking forward to it (albeit with a little trepidation).

I look forward to taking on many projects that have been stacking up as I gallivant from here to there. Hopefully many of the projects will make for good blog fodder (to fill in for the lack of gallivanting posts).

And who knows, maybe an opportunity to escape the rainy days of the NW will present itself and I just won't be able to pass it up. You never know, which is what makes life so exciting.
Monday January 9 2012File under: misc

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FC 156 - Grammar Nazis Unite

A promise is a promise, and I like to keep my promises. And last week, I promised a new comic. So what if 11:30 rolls around and I haven't started drawing yet. Who cares if it's almost 1:30 and I still haven't clicked "submit" yet. I'm just a dedicated kind of guy.

And despite all the last minute-ness, I'm pretty stoked on the comic. I had some great help on the slogans and caption. Writing comics is so much more fun with two. Anyway, I hope you like it, the first Friday Comic of the new year!

Oh, and just because I make a comic about having proper grammar doesn't mean you have free reign to attack all my grammar mistakes. (Although I suppose I'm not opposed to a little editorial review)

Oh2. If you haven't gotten a chance to click through to my entry into Potluck Comics, I'd love it if you did so. There's big moneys on the line and every click, like, and tweet makes a difference.
Friday January 6 2012File under: comic

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Friday Comics Go Big

In lieu of this week's comic, I have a favor to ask. Well, it is a story combined with a matter of pride combined with a favor. Please bear with me.

In my seemingly never ending web wanderings, I came across a comic site that, instead of posting its own comics, features various other comics from across the web. Since this was somewhat in line with what Friday Comics were back in the day when I had all sorts of guest artists covering for my lack of artistic skill, I had to investigate further. It turns out that in addition to showcasing various comic artists' work, they have some incentive to submit: the most viewed/liked/shared comic can win big bucks!

Needless to say, I submitted one, and much too my surprise, it was accepted! Now comes the favor part: go check it out. If you feel comfortable, share it with your friends, "like" it, or even tweet it. Any traffic, reposts, or social mentions it gets before Jan 17 gets me one step closer to the big bucks i.e. becoming a professional comic artist!

And for your help, I promise you this: I will have a new comic up next week. No holiday excuses, no late posting, no "the deserted island I'm on doesn't have internet"s: there will be a new comic next week for sure...unless you don't go to Potluck Comics and check out my entry. Thanks!!
Friday December 30 2011File under: misc

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Crosswords du Wren Go Mobile

It's been a long time since I've posted about one of my crosswords*. But instead of just another "hey look at the crossword that I made" post, I'm spicing this one up.

Through some investigation and lots of dinking with my new not-a-phone apps, I've figure out how anyone can do MY crosswords on their smart phone! (I'm currently working under the assumption that no one does them because it isn't overly convenient to print up a PDF)

Step one: download Shortyz to your smart device (I know it is available for Android but probably for iOS too). Or there might be other apps that support the .puz format ("Crosswords" for the iPhone/iPad is one).

Step two: go to crossword section of the games page and look for the puz link (which currently only exists for the most recent two puzzles).

Step three: click and start doing enjoying the wonder that is a homespun crossword.

All crosswords are also available in an html format and a PDF format for printing, so no mobile device is necessary. So if you're a crossworder, dive in. And if you see something you like, let me know. The biggest thrill* of creating crosswords is knowing that people do and enjoy them.
Wednesday December 28 2011File under: games

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Twas the Night Before Christmas 2011

Disclaimer: I would say that this poem is inspired by true events rather than an actual true story. I've been spending lots of nights in a Toyota van* of late and it's been totally awesome. But the truth is, this actual night before Christmas, I'm in a bed. But the sentiment stands.

Twas the night before Christmas with just us in the van
Parked any old place just cause we can
Last night at the Cirque Lab before that the quarry
When living in a van you can write your own story
The world is your oyster with your bed close at hand
The space's a bit cramped but the view is quite grand.
Now back to the present this O Holy Night
We're parked on a street that's lit up so bright
The blue lights in bushes and white lights that twinkle
Unfortunate inflatables that make my nose wrinkle
So we draw the curtains and settled in to our nest
To make good on the proverbial "long winter's rest"
The rain hits the roof just loud enough to hear
So I close my eyes and imagine reindeer
Dasher and Dancer and Blitzen, the whole posse
With Santa yelling "onward" and being quite bossy
I don't think he'll find us but I'm not going to gripe
Plus he'd have a fat chance of fitting through the tail pipe
But I've got all I want as I scribble these words
I've got health, I've got freedom, I've got Angry Birds
My family's amazing, I've got many a friend
To count all my blessing would go on without end
So as I drift off to nodland, a smile's on my face
Of anywhere I could be, this is the place.
Matt Foley's* wrong in his motivational speech
Van living's awesome, all you need's within reach
So I reach out my arms and she snuggles in tight
I whisper Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night

Saturday December 24 2011File under: holidays, poetry

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FC 155 - The Downside of LEDs

Ho ho ho! Merry everyone! The Friday Comic is coming a little late today but since I figure of the few people that still read, and of those the few that still have desk jobs, and of those, the few that have to work today, we aren't dealing with masses that will rise up in protest when they don't find the Friday Comic up first thing. (And after all, I consider it a miracle that stuff gets posted at all anymore, what with the current blogging economy and all.)

There are about 4 other punch lines I contemplated for this comic. Hopefully you'll get a chuckle out of this one. And I hope this doesn't come across as a blasting of holiday decorating. I love seeing a well done lights display. Heck, I'm even a fan of over the top, Clark Griswald style displays. The inflatables, though, and the outlined reindeer and sleighs, etc. I could do without.

Anyway, Happy St. Presents Day to all and to all good night.
Friday December 23 2011File under: comic

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Daily Walking

There was a point in my life where I was trying to walk at least 3 miles a day. My main motivation wasn't health or non-dependence on fossil fueled vehicles* but instead down right entertainment. Walking is awesome. Walking on a daily basis is daily awesome!

Every now and again, I'm put in a place where a daily walk isn't just a hobby but a job requirement. I relish this prod to take back up the activity that I so often slip out of. With as much fun as I usually have, it reminds me that I need to make it a priority. I encourage you to do the same.

Touting the perks of a daily walk wasn't the impetus for this blog post. Instead, I got some neat pictures from my walks recently* that I thought would be fun to share. Enjoy! What a tree! and Sares Head panorama.
Tuesday December 13 2011File under: Anacortes

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