The one thing that spooked me about watching the trailers for Talladega Nights was that annoying catchphrase Will Ferrell shares with John C. Reily. I should have had more faith in them because they willingly make themselves the butt of the joke each time they exchange it. Reily’s Cal Naughton, Jr. says the titular phrase – "SHAKE AND BAKE!" – over and over again and there’s a line in the movie where Ferrell says he loves hearing it over and over. Reily admits he loves saying it. "Well, say it again, Cal!" "SHAKE AND BAKE!"

In a similar vein, the movie does an expert job of sending up the corporate sponsors of NASCAR driving teams when Ferrell’s character sells his windshield as advertising space for Fig Newtons and is "contractually obligated" to mention PowerAde while saying grace.

I looked at the one-sheet for the movie and was scratching my head over how much these real-life corporations paid the production for this level of product placement before realizing that each and every one of them was being satirized to their very core.

I have a couple of threads of unfinished business to discuss from Monday. I was going to mention two things – the people who sent in guest strips last week and the winner of the Fandango mailing-list sign up contest.

First things first. I don’t have a winner to announce in the Fandango mailing-list sign-up contest yet. I still need to enter the names of all the people who signed the mailing list at Wizard World Chicago into the database. But I’m good for it! Don’t worry! I wouldn’t dangle that carrot in front of you if I weren’t serious about it. I just want to make sure that the random draw is truly random. I’ll have a winner for you soon.

Regarding last weeks’ guest strips, I didn’t appropriately credit two of the artist who contributed over the weekend. I was in a rush to get out of the door on Sunday and was only able to get their comics into the system, sans blog.

Let me thank Will Templeton who did Saturday’s strip. Please be sure to visit his site Anarchy Soda. Second, let me thank Josh Anderson for Sunday’s strip. He has a web site that you can view at And, of course, thanks again to Carl Kloster and Daniel Pelfry for their contributions on Friday and Thursday, respectively.

I actually ended up with WAY more guest strips than I needed and unfortunately couldn’t use all of them. So right now, let me extend my thanks to Euan Mumford, Trevor Mueller, J. Mullins, Jeremy W. Kaufmann, Brad Porter, Brandon J. Carr, Jon Scrivens and Brandon Brown. I’ll tell you that Trevor was so gung-ho about the affair, he made TWO comics!

At any rate, as you can see, I had a lot to choose from and those I couldn’t use was not an indication of their quality. It was a question of availabilty. I’ve saved each of their comics so the next time life hands it to me, I’ll have something ready to go and people won’t have to scramble.

I’m sharing these names with you because I told everyone what was happening on Wendesday and all of these guest strips came in within hours. That’s awesome and I just want to say thanks.

I’m still working on sending out copies of the book. If you’ve pre-ordered, don’t worry. They’re coming soon. I’m drawing sketches for those of you who pre-ordered, so it’s taking a little extra time. But a few dozen are going out today and I’ll probably send out a couple dozen more by the end of the week. I picture that all of the pre-orders will be in the mail sometime next week, so hang tight!

I’m already getting feedback from some of the people I’ve mailed books out to and things are really positive – which is a reliefe! People are telling me that the book is much more than they expected with the commentary for each strip. That makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’ve really added something valuable to the book. If you’d like to order your copy, you can do so here. Now that I actually have the book in stock, it’s rekindled interest and they’re going fast! Get yours today!

That’s all for now. Talk to you soon!