Written by Shannon Wheeler
Drawn by Shannon Wheeler
TPB, 120pgs, FC, SRP: $17.99
Diamond Code: AUG110922
The smash-hit, sold-out Eisner-nominated collection from Shannon Wheeler is back, in a new gift-friendly hardcover edition! I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER features the best-of-the-best of what’s left on the cutting room floor from critically acclaimed Shannon Wheeler’s cartoon submissions to The New Yorker Magazine. Shannon has won a dedicated following through his cartoons for The New Yorker, The Onion, and his own creation, Too Much Coffee Man. Having quickly sold out previously in trade paperback, this new hardcover edition is sure to delight humor fans everywhere!
When I go to conventions, I tend to spend my time on the floor talking to publishers, writers, artists or stumbling through Artist Alley. But, there’s usually an excellent choice of panels to attend too, that I never seem to manage to attend. At Baltimore Comic Con, I decided to attend the panel hosted by BOOM!‘s Chip “Cuddles” Mosher spotlighting the talented Shannon Wheeler.
Wheeler is the creator of Too Much Coffee Man, and recently won an Eisner Award for his collection of rejected New Yorker cartoons, I Thought You Would be Funnier. Shannon also has written an opera and you might see his work in The New Yorker.
Wheeler began cartooning at an early age, taking classes from Michael T. Gilbert during the evenings. He went on to study architecture at Berkley and started to create cartoons for $10 a pop. Shannon from there began to recount stories that were beyond entertaining. In the first he recounted how he and a friend dissected cartoons and how jokes were told. This lead to a lot of discussion, but not a lot of creating. The second explaining how he had to defend his cartoons at Berkley as he was lined up with the other cartoonists and would be grilled if his comic met certain criteria in it’s depictions. The lesson he learned from there was to answer “yes.” His first major comic at Berkley was Tooth & Justice.
Around 1988 Shannon moved to Austin, Texas where he became a video store clerk and would hang out at The Daily Texan newspaper with other legendary cartoonists such as Chris Ware.
His first real hit was Too Much Coffee Man which saw over 10,000 copies sold for it’s first issue and is in it’s seventh printing. The series ran for ten issues (sort of). Wheeler explained how he skipped two issues because he wasn’t having fun creating it, thinking the readers wouldn’t have fun reading it. He really liked the ending, so decided to skip two issues. He needed to skip two so that the covers worked the way he wanted. This lead him the exclaim:
There’s nothing rarer than a non-existent comic book.
The stories flowed from there and here are the highlights, some never having been told before.
In 1993, Wheeler and his friends decided to make a bullet hole comic book gimmick. They’d shoot a comic with a bullet and work the hole into the stories (one person forgot that part). They debated if it was a good idea, Wheeler said no matter the idea, people will look for excuses not to do it. They shot the books 3 times with the last time being done in a house garage and music covering up the gun fire. A 9mm gun and a shotgun has been used and the shotgun was guaranteed “unreadable” selling fort $20. The lesson, as condition goes down, the value goes up.
Japanese bootleg shirt – this was the “big story reveal’ of the show. Wheeler wanted to do a t-shirt with Kanji writing and a picture or Too Much Coffee Man. He felt it was a bit pretentious to do. But, if the t-shirt is already selling in Japan, that’d justify the t-shirt. So began the story of the bootlegged shirt. Wheeler explained to people that a friend saw the t-shirt and that he was bootlegging and bootlegged t-shirt. The translation was even off stating, “Person who drinks coffee often” as you’d expect in a t-shirt of that nature. Ironically he was later contacted by a Japanese company, who actually licensed the t-shirt.
Wheeler was irritated he at one point had never gotten an award, so he had planned on creating a fake award for him to receive. While this was in the planning stages he then actually received one, scrapping the plan.
The stories went on and on, going over the Too Much Coffee Man opera, his work for The New Yorker and his latest book collecting rejected submissions. Wheeler throughout was honest and open recounting the good and bad.
The panel was engaging and entertaining, running over it’s hour allotment. If you head to a convention and have a chance to see him speak, absolutely take advantage, you’ll be entertained and learn a lot.
THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE Cartoonist and TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN Creator Shannon Wheeler Joins the Baltimore Comic-Con Guest List!
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – August 16, 2011 – The Baltimore Comic-Con is excited to announce the addition of THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE cartoonist and TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN creator Shannon Wheeler to the lineup of guests for this year’s show, taking place the weekend of August 20-21, 2011.
Hot off an Eisner win for his collection of rejected NEW YORKER cartoons, I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER – published by BOOM! Town, the alt-lit imprint of BOOM! Studios – Wheeler will be found at the BOOM! Studios booth for the duration of Baltimore Comic Con. I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER is currently nominated for a Harvey in the Special Award for Humor in Comics.
This past spring BOOM! Studios announced a three book deal with Shannon Wheeler ushering in three new bodies of work under the BOOM! Town imprint. This fall see the release of the all-new original graphic novel GRANDPA WON’T WAKE UP written by simon max hill, followed up this winter by a new collection of Wheeler’s signature creation with TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN: CUTIE ISLAND & OTHER STORIES, and finally next spring sees a sequel to the critically acclaimed I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER, entitled I TOLD YOU SO – an all-new collection of rejected NEW YORKER cartoons!
TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN has had a storied publishing history, first self-published in the 90’s by Shannon Wheeler himself and then during the last decade by Dark Horse Entertainment from which previous volumes can still be purchased today.
This fall Fantagraphics will be releasing Wheeler’s OIL AND WATER, written by Steve Duin about the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, and next year Top Shelf Productions will be releasing Wheeler’s GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU, a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the Bible written by Mark Russell. Full Guest ListA complete list of confirmed guests for this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con can be found here.
Third Annual Costume Contest at the Baltimore Comic-Con – UPDATED
The 3rd Annual Costume Contest will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm. With $1,000 up for grabs for the best overall costume and prizes for each of the 10 categories, this is one event all of you cosplayers don’t want to miss! For more information and a complete list of catagories, visit our website’s Costume Contest page.
Harvey Tickets Still Available
Time is running out, but there is still an opportunity to attend the party! Join our MC Scott Kurtz, nominees, presenters, Stan Lee, and other fans at the Harvey Awards Banquet! Tickets available until Wednesday at baltimorecomiccon.com/harvey-awards. Stan Lee VIP Packages Sold Out! Autographs and Photos Still Available!
Please Note: Although the Stan Lee VIP Packages are officially sold out, individual autographs and photographs are still available and can be purchased by visiting http://baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/.
Save the Date! Baltimore Comic-Con 2012!
That’s right! Mark your calendars now for next year’s Baltimore Comic-Con, which will take place the weekend of September 8-9, 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center, and we’ll see YOU in Baltimore!
Will you be tweeting this year from the show floor? Make sure you use the #BCC2011 hashtag! See what the latest news and excitement at the 2010 Baltimore Comic-Con is about by tracking #BCC2011!
Attending the Baltimore Comic-Con? Show your support online!
Simply change your social network (Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.) avatar pictures to the “See You in Baltimore!” image and let the world know you’re attending the show!
In coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found at our website, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages.
This year’s Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, August 21st.
Please use the following e-mail addresses to contact the Baltimore Comic-Con:
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 12th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.
About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry’s oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 6 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.