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Profiled: Zach Weiner and “Save Yourself, Mammal!”

Jason Oberholtzer, writing on, interviews Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal creator Zach Weiner regarding his comic and his first collection of comics, Save Yourself, Mammal!.

JO: What made the book so much more work?

ZW: A couple things made it harder. First off, this is a compilation, so there was a lot of selection involved. At the time, there were about 2100 SMBC strips, and we whittled it down to about 200 comics.

Second, since I apparently don’t have enough work already, I built a mini choose your own adventure into the book. The entire thing is made of simple images and text, but it still took about 2 days to make. And, since it was the first time doing it, there were tons of errors. Thanks to my wife, Kelly Weinersmith, and assistant, Michael Johnson, we got all the kinks worked out.

Lastly, formatting took a while. Fortunately, LeeAnn Suen, who also did the layout for XKCD Volume 0, took over the process. As you may know, SMBC has a basically random size. So it took a lot of cleverness for her to fit in all these variably-shaped comics in a way that was as natural as possible.

And, I should add, personality-wise I just really hate non-creative work. So, any task I had took me longer than it would probably take someone else. That said, I had a lot of people helping me, and that made the whole process much much smoother.

With stuff on the web, I just draw it and post it. I don’t have to check for errors too hard, since my twitter followers will notify me within seconds if I’ve screwed something up. With stuff in print, the error is permanent. So, we really went over the book a lot for errors, some of which were only found on the final pass.

Community Comments

#1 Tony Piro
@ 11:10 am

I’ve pre-ordered my copy, I can’t wait!

One thing that should be mentioned is that 100% of the publisher’s profits will be donated to to fund classroom projects in public schools.

#2 Zach Weiner
@ 12:38 pm

Thanks, Alan!

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