About the most recent strip

About the most recent strip.

Over the course of the last three hundred comics, pretty much everyone has been the butt of the joke except the reader. I figured it was time to do something about that.

Actually, I labored quite a bit over this comic. I tried to maintain the joke while making the tone as gentle and self-effacing as possible. Overall I seem to have succeeded in that, but a few of the readers do seem to have gotten their feelings hurt. I’d like to clarify my position.

I HATE the fact that I make these stupid spelling and grammar errors. I’ve written before about the steps I take to try to prevent them, and I swear it seems like the harder I try to make a comic error-free, the more likely there is to be an error.

I am grateful to those who catch my mistakes and politely point them out to me. The problem, and I’m not the only person who has noticed this, is that finding my blunders has turned into a game, similar to “Where’s Waldo” or trying to find the bunny logo hidden on the cover of Playboy (hint: It’s seldom if ever on the “boobs,” so you can stop looking there). Also, some of the corrections have taken an increasingly derisive tone. Perhaps I’m just playing the over-sensitive artiste, but when you post a strip you’re proud of, then check to see people’s reaction and get fifteen variations of “prophesy is spelled with an S in this case, moron” it starts to detract from the fun. Judging from the comments, it’s beginning to bother many of the readers as well.

Again, a lot of the dogpile-like nature of the comments does stem from the fact that I moderate comments, and cannot do it in real time, so most of the correctors don’t know that they aren’t the first to give me a heads-up. This is not the corrector’s fault, but even they would probably admit that the cumulative effect is not pleasant.

So here’s the problem I have. I want to encourage the majority of you who correct me in a polite manner, while preventing the finding of my flaws from turning into some kind of drinking game. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

From now on, if you spot an error in Basic Instructions, you are encouraged to leave a comment telling me. You are doing me a favor in doing this, I just ask that you remember that I’m a real person over here, not a drawing. I will correct it as soon as possible, but I will not post your comment to the site. This way the comic gets fixed (which is all most of us want anyway) but nobody gets the credit for catching the error first, or for making the wittiest comment about the error.

Thanks for your time.

You asked for it.

You asked me to post the full-size image of the "Contamination Risk" game. If you're sure that's what you want, click on the image below. I warn you, NSFW barely does this image justice.


In other news, the paid version of the Basic Instructions Android app is now available.


Scanning the QR code to the right of this post will lead you to both the free app and the paid app.  The paid app costs $2.99 and gives you ad-free access to every Basic Instructions I've published, the ability to mark comics as your favorites, the ability to share comics via several methods, and a collection of my personal top 10 comics. 


I'm really happy with how it came out, and I owe a huge debt of thanks to my developer Adam.

Infini-Tees are back, and here's why!

So, back in January, Missy and I went to see Jonathan Coulton in concert. (You MUST go see him if you have the chance!) Often when you go to a concert, the opening act is enjoyable at best, or if you’re not lucky, a place-holder. Bear in mind, I say this as a man who used to work as an opening act, and while it often went well, there were nights that I could feel the audience willing me en-masse to get off the stage. The night I opened for Engelbert Humperdink comes to mind. (I wish I were joking.)

JoCo’s opening act, to my delight, was a duo called Paul and Storm, who were brilliant! Genuinely funny, entertaining and worth the price of admission all on their own. By blind luck I got to briefly meet Paul, Storm and Jonathan Coulton before the show.

It’s not what you’re thinking. None of them had ever heard of Basic Instructions.

Anyway, Paul commented on my shirt. I was wearing the original Infini-Tee. After the show I offered to make shirts for him and Storm. He mentioned that he had a couple of friends who he thought would really like Infini-Tees of their own, and that he’d like to buy them as gifts. A couple of days later he e-mailed me the names and photos.

Here’s a picture one of the recipients posted to his Twitter account.




Here’s a photo of the other recipient wearing his shirt at PAX East.


As a geek, I’m tremendously proud to have made these shirts, and that the recipients enjoyed them, and that someone as cool as Paul and Storm liked the shirts enough to buy them in the first place. I haven’t mentioned it before because I felt weird about jumping up to take credit for what was a gift Paul and Storm (I’ve mostly dealt with Paul, but I believe Storm was in on it) bought their friends. It felt like “bad form” somehow.

Wil Wheaton (who seems like a great guy) posted the story of his shirt to his blog today, so I feel like it’d be cool to tell the story now. So I have … just now.

I’ve started selling Infini-Tees again. They are now available.

Actual news!

Sorry it's been a while since my last blog post. In the time since I last wrote: my out of town guests left, I trained for a new job in a new location, and I experienced stomach cramps from eating too many hot wings.

My life is fascinating, is it not?

But the real news is that Basic Instructions is now able to offer our first Android App!

It's free, and gives the reader access to the ten most recent comics. It was developed by a reader and a great guy named Adam Boeglin. You might want to follow him on twitter.

I'm really excited about the app. I think it came out great! You can find it by searching the Android Marketplace for "Basic Instructions," or you can scan the QR code below. 

Don't you just love living in the future?

He's now working on a paid app that will download every Basic Instructions I have ever done onto your Android phone. I'll keep you posted.

"The gentle wisdom of children"

Posted a rerun (That’s why the copyright date is 2007. Because it’s from 2007. Sometimes I post comics that were drawn in the past. Is that clear to everyone? Can we move on?) because I’ve been occupied entertaining guests from out of town. For the first time ever, I’m experiencing Disney theme parks with an 8-year-old in the group. She is a delightful young lady who has taught me several things I did not know. Here are some examples:

Space Mountain is the worst ride ever.

Parades are awesome!

Riding It’s a Small World is a pleasant experience.

Uncrustables are bad.

Grumpy doesn’t want a hug.

It’s desperately important to get the autograph of that white cat over there, even if you don’t know her name, or what movie she was in.