|Current status / schedule||Monday through Friday|
|Launch date||Some time in fall of 1998  (Limited link to early archives)|
Sheldon is a daily webcomic created by Dave Kellett. The comedic strip centers on the odd family unit of 10-year old software billionaire Sheldon, his grandfather guardian and his talking duck, Arthur.
Kellett's other webcomic, Drive, previously appeared on the Sheldon site each Saturday, but has since been moved to a site of its own.
The strip centres on the unconventional family unit of Sheldon, Gramp and Arthur. Much humour is character-based, often joking at traits such as Sheldon's geekiness, Gramp's old age or Arthur's over inflated ego.
Sheldon: is a ten-year-old kid who earned billions with his own software company: Sheldonsoft. Though his huge riches occasionally tempt him into buying something frivolous like, say, Panama, Sheldon remains pretty much a normal kid. A running joke in the strip is the boy genius often forgets about his company, preferring to concern himself with more everyday affairs. Despite his wealth and intelligence, Sheldon is generally depicted as an ordinary (if extremely nerdy) ten-year old boy.
Gramp: Sheldon is raised by his grandfather, Gramp, a warm-hearted guy who's not quite sure what to make of his grandson's billions. Now retired, Gramp tries to keep up with the modern world, only to find that the main challenge of his golden years is fitting into his slacks. Gramp also struggles with a coffee addiction. His real first name (revealed in the October 29th, 2012 strip) is Seamus.
Arthur: the Duck learned to talk when Sheldon downloaded an encyclopedia and some speech-recognition software into his head and has been part of the family unit ever since. Sarcastic and cocky, Arthur is constantly getting into trouble at home and at the Sheldonsoft offices. Unlike Sheldon, he's captivated with the Sheldonsoft billions, and constantly has visions of shopping sprees at The Sharper Image. Some of Arthur's alter-egos include "The Duck", a superhero, and "Rex Chestington", a pug-riding cowboy. In daily life, Arthur is often found sitting on lampshades for no other reason than to keep his ducky behind warm. It is known throughout the strip that Arthur, for some reason, has a deep hatred for chickens, and a strong desire for pancakes, Shakira, Jessica Simpson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The strip also features a small collection of supporting characters, the principal four which are:
Flaco: Thinking he was hatching an abandoned duck egg, Arthur became father to Flaco, a common North American lizard. Most storylines have him playing second-fiddle to his duck "father", but in one extended plotline, he became a Hollywood producer for CSI. He has also won the Pentathlon in the Olympics, earned a Mexican pilot's license, gone to space as a cosmonaut from Baikonur, and dated Betty White in São Paulo. Flaco speaks in a characteristic "squee" sound, which only Arthur can understand (other characters have described Flaco's voice as "...a series of high-pitched helium balloons").
Oso: is Sheldon's pet pug, a whirlwind of energy. Oso was given to Sheldon as a Christmas present in 2005. Oso is mostly shown running around in circles, constantly barking (or, as it is termed in the strip, "hyping"), and acting as "Rex Chestington's" horse.
Dante: is one of Sheldon's human friends, an aspiring artist. Seen extensively in the earlier days of the strip, Dante now only makes occasional appearances. Enjoys hanging out with Sheldon and doing regular-10 year-old-kid stuff. (as much as that's possible when your best friend is one of the biggest, most successful nerds on the planet) The two have done everything from making sandcastles to playing superheroes and villains to re-enacting the British battle with the Spanish Armada. In one comic, it is shown that he is lactose intolerant.
Emily: is Sheldon's newest friend, moving into their neighborhood during 2011. She is obsessed with theater and often quotes the works of Shakespeare throughout several appearances. Though she enjoys stage acting Emily reluctantly admits that stage work is "the worst kind of job to endure." Her pet cat, Li'l Butter, appears in several other comics- frequently in danger due to his sheer stupidity.
Characters and persons from popular culture and real life also feature. Strips will occasionally feature Kellett himself and his real-world exploits as opposed to the fictional Sheldon universe.
Sheldon is generally a light-hearted humour comic, with much of the humour character-based. Pop-culture references are frequent. The comic consists of a mixture of short story arcs and stand-alone strips which, although most typically are four-panel strips, vary in size and format. The strip employs breaking of the fourth wall on occasion with characters speaking "to camera". A narrative voice, delivered through captions and other text, is also frequent.
Books / Book reviews
- Cartoon compilations published to date
- Still Got It: The Seventh Sheldon Collection ISBN 978-0-9655060-9-0
- Living Dangerously With Saturated Fats: The Sixth Sheldon Collection ISBN 978-0-9655060-8-3
- Nerds On Parade: The Fifth Sheldon Collection ISBN 978-0-9655060-7-6
- Pugs: God's Little Weirdos ISBN 978-0-9655060-6-9
- A Blizzard of Lizards: The Fourth Sheldon Collection ISBN 978-0-9655060-5-2
- 62% More Awesome: The Third Sheldon Collection
- The Good, The Bad & The Pugly: The Second Sheldon Collection ISBN 978-0-9655060-3-8
- Pure Ducky Goodness: The First Sheldon Collection ISBN 0-9655060-1-0
- A Well Balanced Meal: The Very Best of: Four Food Groups of the Apocalypse ISBN 0-9655060-0-2
- Book reviews
- Articles / interviews
- London Daily Telegraph
- Houston Chronicle
- Fleen, part 1, part 2, and part 3.
- The Costco Connection
- UCSD Guardian
- Phi Kappa Phi Forum
The character Sheldon first appeared in a minor role in Kellett's comic strip Four Food Groups of the Apocalypse, which ran in the University of Notre Dame's student newspaper The Observer from 1993 to 1996. Kellett later gave Sheldon his own strip in 1998 as a webcomic, which ran on djk3.ac.uk first, then davekellett.com, and then moved to the Keenspot-hosted sheldoncomics.com in 2000. In 2001, United Features Syndicate picked the strip up for online syndication and the strip moved to comics.com on December 17, 2001. Since this move meant having all-new readers, the strip was retconned with revised versions of Keenspot comics.
The strip originally ran Monday through Friday. After the move from Keenspot to comics.com, the strip ran Monday to Saturday, until late 2004, when a Sunday feature was added.
On June 22, 2005, Sheldon also joined Blank Label Comics, an online co-op of nine cartoonists.
On November 6, 2006, Kellett moved the strip from comics.com to the independently hosted sheldoncomics.com where it ran seven days a week. According to blog entry from Nov. 11, 2006, the new site logged 2.5 million pageviews in the first five days of operation.
On November 1, 2007, Kellett left Blank Label Comics and joined with Scott Kurtz of PvP, Kris Straub of Starslip Crisis, and Brad Guigar of Evil Inc. to form a new webcomics collective, Halfpixel.com.
In 2009 Kellett started a new, sci-fi motivated comic titled 'Drive' (updated on Thursdays) and since approximately the same time reduced the update schedule of Sheldon to five comics a week, Monday through Friday.
- Blog post: Followup: When did Sheldon go online?