Weinersmith with a sketch at San Diego Comic-Con, in 2011
Zachary Alexander Weiner
March 5, 1982
|Occupation||Webcomic writer and illustrator|
|Known for||Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal|
Zachary Alexander Weinersmith (né Weiner; March 5, 1982) is an American cartoonist and writer, best known for his webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC). Outside of SMBC, he is the co-creator of four books, a sketch comedy series, a podcast, and multiple other webcomics.
Background and personal life
According to Weinersmith, his great-grandfather emigrated to the United States in 1925, and he has no family in Europe as they were killed in the Holocaust. Weinersmith describes being "raised Jewish, in an only casually religious environment".
Weinersmith has been writing and drawing comics since high school, often using the name "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" for these comics. His early webcomics usually had three or more panels, but in 2002 he switched to a single-panel format.
Weinersmith graduated from Pitzer College in California with an English degree in 2003. He then worked in the film industry for around two years, including at The Asylum, and later a talent agency. With the success of SMBC, Weinersmith returned to college at San Jose State University in Northern California in order to satisfy personal interests while also creating topics and creative ideas for his comics; initially planning on biochemistry, he opted to pursue physics. By 2007, he was able to earn a living from the comic.
While in Northern California he met Kelly Smith, then a graduate student at U.C. Davis. They married, and both took the combined surname Weinersmith. They have a daughter, Ada Marie and a son, Ben. The Weinersmiths reside in Texas, where Kelly is an adjunct professor at Rice University.
In an interview in 2009, Weinersmith described his personal philosophy is "pragmatic" and said he is "probably" agnostic, saying "though I’m probably not willing to call myself an atheist per se, I almost certainly behave like an atheist, when it comes to specific activities related to spirituality."
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Weinersmith authors Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC), a popular webcomic that is updated daily. It features few recurring characters or storylines and has no set format. Recurring themes in SMBC include religion, superheroes, romance, dating, science, research, parenting and the meaning of life.
Weinersmith's first version of SMBC was a character-based three-panel strip done while he was in college. This version of the comic focused on the romantic and academic endeavors of several college students. This version (referred to as Classic SMBC on the site's archives) ran from January 28, 2002 to September 3, 2002. Weinersmith then switched to single-panel and gag comics. The current version of the strip began on September 5, 2002.
In 2005, Weinersmith wanted to work on SMBC full-time, and around this time moved to daily updates. By 2007, he was able to earn a living from the comic. Weinersmith also returned to study around 2006 to provide inspiration for the comic, and studied physics, and considers that the rise in the geekiness of the comic happened at that time.
As of 2012, SMBC received a quarter-million visitors a day and was described as one of the most popular webcomics.
- Trial of the Clone: An Interactive Adventure! (2012) is a gamebook authored by Weinersmith and illustrated by Chris Jones.
- Augie and the Green Knight (2015) is a children's book written by Weinersmith and illustrated by Gilles Roussel (known as Boulet). The book features an adventurous and scientifically-minded female protagonist in a retelling of the medieval romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Weinersmith said it was an attempt to give his daughter a book "about little girls who are smart, and scientific, and (here's the crucial thing) risk-taking." The book was financed through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, receiving $US384,410. Some criticism has been levied as a number of project backers did not receive their promised copy of the book.
- Soonish (2017) is a collaboration between Weinersmith and his wife Kelly Weinersmith looking at upcoming technologies that could change the future. The book reached multiple New York Times Bestseller lists.
- Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration (2019) is an illustrated book about the history and potential benefits of open border policies, co-written with Bryan Caplan.
Collections of SMBC comics have also been published in physical books.
- Vince Invincible is a comic first published in 2003 with three later installments in April 2005. It follows a boy named Vince who is impervious to any form of harm.
- Baby Moloch is a short origin story for the character Moloch, who featured in several of the earlier SMBC single-panel strips.
- Chason! is a comic based on a character, Chason, from the multi-panel days of SMBC. It was written by Weinersmith, but was illustrated by a new artist from the 20th comic.
- Captain Stupendous (formerly Captain Excelsior until the name was changed for legal reasons) is a comic project written by Weinersmith and illustrated by Chris Jones. Captain Stupendous is a recently divorced superhero and the comic follows his romantic and family life. It launched in January 2007 and was completed after 95 pages in 2008. Captain Stupendous was published in book form by IDW Publishing.
- Snowflakes is a webcomic set in an orphanage. It was scripted by Weinersmith, from story and plotting by James Ashby and art by Chris Jones. It was completed in 2013.
- Laws and Sausages is a political science webcomic co-written by brothers Greg Weiner and Zach Weinersmith and drawn by Dennis Culver.
Video and audio
- The Jerry Simpiro Project is a mockumentary of a fictional webcomic creator.
- SMBC-Theater is a sketch comedy series, made by Weinersmith and others. This was normally updated once a week on Mondays with one or two short sketches and as of February 2018 the channel had about 80,000 subscribers. Sketches were mainly one-shots, though there some characters had storylines, such as James Ashby as president, J.P. Nickel's news stories, Jon Brence's dating shorts, and Weinersmith as Jesus/James Ashby as God. In August 2011, a project was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter called "SMBC Theater Goes TO SPACE!". This became Starpocalypse, a space opera webseries, which was released on 25 December 2013, then released on their Youtube channel on May 3, 2015.
- The Weekly Weinersmith is a science podcast cohosted by Zach and his wife Kelly. The first episode of the podcast was released on October 5, 2011. The series ran from 2011 to 2014, with some later additional episodes to celebrate or promote books such as Soonish.
- Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAHFest) is a festival, started in 2013, where people present humorous incorrect scientific theories before a panel of judges who award a prize to the winner. Cities that have hosted BAHFest include Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, Sydney, and San Francisco.
Awards and nominations
|2003||Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards||Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal||Outstanding Short Form Comic||Nominated|
|2006||Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards||Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal||Outstanding Single Panel Comic||Won|
|2007||Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards||Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal||Outstanding Single Panel Comic||Won|
|2008||Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards||Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal||Outstanding Single Panel Comic||Nominated|
|2005||Intermedio||Production assistant; Actor (Intermedio)||Andrew Lauer|
|Way of the Vampire||Actor (Vampire)||Sarah Nean Bruce, Eduardo Durão|
|War of the Worlds||Actor (Garysville Policeman/Townsperson)||David Michael Latt|
|2006||Girl with Gun||Set production assistant||Russ Emanuel|
|2007||Foul Shot||Production assistant||Danilo Mancinelli|
|2009-2012||SMBC Theater||Writer, Actor||Jason Axinn|
|2010-2012||SMBC Theater||Director||Directed episodes: "Orientation", "Working from Home", "The Tale of James", "Just Friendship" and "Heaven"|
|2012||The Ghastly Love of Johnny X||Production assistant||Paul Bunnell|
- Weinersmith, Zachary Alexander (January 30, 2017). "Libertas Shrugs". Medium. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
- McKeegan, Dave (July 18, 2009). "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – an interview with Zach Weiner". The Freethinker. freethinker.co.uk. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- Mason, Tom (January 18, 2009). "Q&A: Zach Weiner and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal". Gearlive.com. comics.gearlive.com. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- Shrum, Glenn (October 18, 2011). "Author and illustrator shows Penn students they aren't too old for cartoons". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Lynley, Matt (March 4, 2012). "This 29-Year-Old Entrepreneur Built A Hugely Popular Website By Reading Textbooks And Drawing Geeky Comics". Business Insider.
- Kuchment, Anna (31 October 2017). "This Texas couple predicts 10 emerging technologies, from space guns to 3D-printed organs". Dallas News.
- Silverman, Justin Rocket (June 9, 2015). "More men taking wives' last names". New York Daily News.
- Brin, David (June 7, 2011). "My Top Choices in Science-Oriented WebComics". Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. ieet.org. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Weinersmith, Zach; Jones, Chris (2012). Trial of the Clone: An Interactive Adventure!. Breadpig. ISBN 0982853726.
- Weinersmith, Zach; Boulet (2015). Augie and the Green Knight. Breadpig. ISBN 0978501691.
- Armitage, Hugh. "Boulet, Zach Weiner launch illustrated kids book Kickstarter". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Augie and the Green Knight: A Children's Adventure Book". Kickstarter. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Robinson, Tasha (October 19, 2017). "Custom-Printed Cocktails On The Moon? 'Soonish' Shows Us How". NPR.org.
- Simon, Matt (October 17, 2017). "Soonish: The Future Is Weird and Scary and Also Hilarious". WIRED.
- Weinersmith, Kelly; Weinersmith, Zach (2017). Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything. Penguin. ISBN 0399563849.
- "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - Nov. 5, 2017". The New York Times. 5 November 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
- "Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction - Best Sellers - Nov. 5, 2017". The New York Times. 5 November 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
- "Science Books - Best Sellers - Nov. 12, 2017". The New York Times. 12 November 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
- OPEN BORDERS by Bryan Caplan, Zach Weinersmith | Kirkus Reviews.
- Weiner, Zach (26 September 2003). "Vince Invincible". Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
- Weiner, Zach. "Baby Moloch". Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
- "Chason!". Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 9 September 2005. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012.
- "Chason!". Archived from the original on 20 May 2007.
- "Captain Stupendous". Archived from the original on 30 November 2010.
- Weiner, Zach; Jones, Chris (2010). Captain Stupendous. IDW Publishing. ISBN 1600107729.
- "Snowflakes". Archived from the original on 29 January 2014.
- "About Laws and Sausages". lawsandsausagescomic.com. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- The Simpiro Project Ep1, retrieved 2020-05-08
- "SMBC Theater". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
- "YouTube - SMBC Theater (archive as of February 2018)".
- "SMBC Theater Goes TO SPACE!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
- "Episode 1: Manuscripts, mushrooms, and methylation". WeeklyWeinersmith.com. October 5, 2011. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "The Weekly Weinersmith". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
- "About Bahfest". bahfest.com. BAHFest. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- Emanuel, Gabrille (April 25, 2017). "MIT Hosts Festival For Fake Science". WGBH. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- "The 2003 Cartoonist's Choice Awards". Archived from the original on 15 October 2004.
- Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards; Presenter: Josh Rosen (2006). "Outstanding Single Panel Comic by Josh Rosen of Edwitch". 2006 Ceremony. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- "The 2007 Cartoonist's Choice Awards". Archived from the original on 9 February 2008.
- "The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards - 2008 List of Winners & Finalists". Archived from the original on 31 January 2009.
- "Zach Weiner". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
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