How to Visit the Mirror Universe


A while back I was contacted by a reader in the UK who was working with a new website that sells soccer (or football) related t-shirts. They wanted to know if I’d like to design a shirt for them. I replied that I know next to nothing about American football, and even less about FIFA. Indeed, I had only one idea for a shirt, which I told them (thinking it would demonstrate that I’m not the guy for this job). Instead they wrote back that they liked the idea. I was as surprised as anyone.

The shirt’s available for purchase now. I think this one's UK only (turnabout is fair play). If you have any ideas for a soccer related shirt, they’re all ears.





I promised a book contest, and here it is. I will ask a question. You will post an answer to said question in the comments section of this comic ("How to Visit the Mirror Universe"). The answer need not be correct. Heck, you don’t NEED to answer the question at all! Please do leave an e-mail address though. A commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of my third book, “The Curse of the Masking Tape Mummy” (which is available for sale now).

There have been several questions about the books on my bookshelf, so here’s a clear shot of them.

Now the question. Which four books on this shelf exist because of John Hodgman?

DISCUSS!! The winning comment will be chosen at random on the morning of Thursday, February 9th.

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Reader Comments (210)

So, does Mirror Scott have hair on his head, but not on his face?

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Has the guy behind Soon I Will Be Invincible done anything else worth noting? I was pretty impressed with it at the time and then totally forgot about it and never sought him out.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervandermonde

I, too, can't stop staring (in horror) at the idol to try and read the book titles! I don't remember it being so creepy looking!

I do love the face-off between your mummy and the idol though.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeeni

I have come to the conclusion that you and your readers are far more well read than I.
That does not, however, preclude me from enjoying your work!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeardo

Clearly, "More"(Information Than You Require), (That Is)"All" and The Areas of My Expertise exist because of him, his name is on them. Even if he 'wasn't involved in the production process', if he hadn't written them they wouldn't be there and if someone else had written them they would be different books.

The 4th I am going to say is The Curse of the Masking Tape Mummy, because he...inspired in some way at some point in time?

I really really hope I WIN!
I asked for one of your books for Christmas,I would have been happy with any of them(secretly I was hoping fot all of them),but didn't get any. :'(

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeshka

My answer to the question contest:

The three on the left and the one in the far middle.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

All, More, Areas, Chin

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Does it matter? Give me my free book!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteromegoku

I would say that the books that exist because of Hodgman are the 3 biographies about him, written by All, The Areas of my Expertise and More; as well as the piece of paper sticking out of All´s book, which is actually a grocery list written by Hodgman´s mother when he was a baby and, therefore, BECAUSE of him (he needed diapers).

PS: The authors you read have weird names. Are they Swedish or something?

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrazilian_guy

I'ma go with the three that he wrote (they're the ones on the left) and the one that says Bruce Campbell, since according to wikipedia they work together or somesuch

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Good choice of reading materials!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterG LAzelle

Books don't exist because of someone; they exist in spite of everyone. So, to answer your question: huh!?!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVish Desai

Trick Question! John Hodgman never learned how to read, but instead spent his days becoming a master sculptor. When Steven Spielberg was working on Raiders, he came across the artwork of a 9-yr.-old Hodgman and was so impressed that he commisioned the young talent to provide the props for his movie. So, the answer is that the golden idol is the only thing on the shelf that has anything to do with John Hodgman.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike


February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjhopkins

The third panel was the best one in my opinion. Then probably the second one... Awesome comic, as usual :-)

Regarding the question... It's a trick question, right? Because I think the answer is "all" of them, or even "more".

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlerk

I'd much rather discuss why you do not sport "Long dark teatime of the soul" in that collection. Discuss.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLittleRedHerring

gotta go with yours. Using fuzzy butterfly effect logic.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjames

Crap! I forgot to leave my email on my first post. (thanks to Harold for twigging me on that) If I win, just correlate this post with the only other Solak post and voila! or is that Voici!? Merde!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSolak

Whats a book?

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuido

There are no books. What you see is a trompe l'oeil image on the secret panel which opens a negative pressure portal to a randomly selected alternate universe. It is activated by ... reading the titles of the "books". [ Pause before engagement of device may vary.] Run while you ca -------aaaaaa! !

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

I'm glad Happy Rick lives in the alternate universe. I would fear for small animals near him if he were in my neighborhood. *ngaaahhh!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheKFV

No clever guess, just entering the contest. The statue ate them?

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine Moore

I can't answer the question without the knowledge contained in "The Curse of the Masking Tape Mummy"...

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjowbi wan

Contest: Ack! Uh, obviously the three books with his name, one he agented for? Or maybe, it's a trick question. Or perhaps he inspired The Curse of the Masking Tape Mummy! Or he could have even co-authored all the books in the world! SO MANY ANSWERS!
*head explodes*
Comic: So, we exist in the parallel universe, and you've seen the real one? A universe where Rick is, dare I say, successful?! Could Mullet Boss be kind to his employees? Is Jenkins courteous to everyday people?! What madness is this?!?! BDGAAAAAAA--
*head explodes*

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHopefully a Contest Winner

The answer need not be correct? Well, in The Mirror Universe, an incorrect answer WOULD be correct. Also, in the Mirror Universe, John Hodgman would not have written his own books, so it must be the 4 Douglas Adams books. In The Mirror Universe. Or the 'Lemon Fresh Joy cleaned my dishes so well, I can see my face in this plate!' Universe.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig L

Using my incredible ability of sight, I've deduced that two of the answers are "All" and "More" (by John Hodgman). Using my equally incredible skills of laziness, I'll also guess "Douglas Adams" (by The More Than Complete Guide to the Hitchhiker's Galaxy) and that funny gold idol-looking book.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmprovision

I like turtles!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryawetag

That's my kind of book shelf.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZatch

digitalbusker is correct.

comment entry requirement: satisfied.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEl Basuro

Actually, knowing which books exist because of Mr. Hodgman is less important than knowing where you got the Indiana Jones fertility idol figure and if it is in fact just a figure or a cunning bank as well.

Also if it is trapped.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrandi

The cat hidden in the top-right corner.

Its softness will never end!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPlotty

Those four.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTzaroceros

hmm what if it was a funhouse mirror universe..

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralex

Uh, what digitalbusker said. The compendium of world knowledge trilogy and Bruce Campbell's thingamajig.

Sweet bookcase, man.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmackofham

Areas of my expertise, More information than you require,
That is all, If chins could kill.
It really is the last chance to see if you are joining the
nerd-jock convergence by making soccer shirts. Ragnarok is

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTormodG

Ignoring the 3 obvious answers I will go for "The More than Complete Hitchikers Guide" - that should have at least 4 books, plus a little right (Yes, I'm as lazy a commenter as Scott is a drawing guy).

Also - while my comment comes after the contest close of midnight Feb 7th 2012, given Scott's poor track record of updating his copyright dates in January of each year, I'm hoping for a pass.


February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Kobayashi

But in the Mirror World, you should be switched with Rick. Those are the normal positions.

Let's see, John Hodgman books are "That is All," "More than You Require," "The Areas of My Expertise," and most likely, influenced your book.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlanna

The real question is: Why doesn't Rick have a goatee?

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

i think john hodgman is the first pseudonym adopted by scott meyer before he realized it was already taken by bruce campbell. of course bruce campbell was just a made up name by some marketing types trying to sell soup.

now, where did i leave my lunch?


February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterirrogical

Trick Question, there is no self, simply a photograph that claims to be a shelf!

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGraham
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