We are Zach and Kelly Weinersmith – cartoonist, parasitologist, and authors of the new book “Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll...

You may know Zach from his comic, [SMBC](http://smbc-comics.com/). You may have heard of Kelly from media about [this super-creepy parasite](https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/01/crypt-keeper-wasps-parasites-new-species/) she co-discovered.

Together, we wrote a book called “[Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything](http://smbc-comics.com/soonish/).” It’s a big nerd-out about a bunch of future tech, along with weird stories and fun facts. An NPR review said it “feels like a slightly drunken lecture by a couple of enthusiastic professors.”

Ask us about the book, parasites, cartooning, or this one research project where they found that students will obey robots that come bearing cookies.

Zach will be answering as /u/MrWeiner.
Kelly will be answering as /u/sciencegal.

Proof: https://www.reddit.com/user/MrWeiner/

View Reddit by MrWeinerView Source


  • Will there ever be a revival of SMBC Theater?

    Also, you’re awesome!

  • Kelly, that wasp is horrifying. How was it discovered and how many undiscovered nightmares do you think are still our there?

  • Kelly, do you think Zach’s portrayal of your family in the secret panels in his comics are an accurate depiction of your relationship?

  • Your comics steadily evolved from one panel single cell organisms into huge, monstrous megafauna. Now I feel like there’s a great deal of genetic diversity in your comic ecosystem, though the megafauna of yesteryear is much less common. What personal thoughts do you have about your comic length? When did you decide to move from single panels to multipanel comics and how has your planning/layout process changed since then?

  • I’m a regular sized person but a *huge* fan of your comic. It’s given me many laughs and had gotten me thinking about all manner of human things.

    My questions are these:

    Excluding your own work, what comic series or graphic novels do you enjoy most?

    What is your favorite comfort snack? For me it’s is Mac and Cheese Eggrolls© and almonds.

  • SMBC is the most consistently good comic I’ve read, so thanks for making procrastinating so much easier!
    What is your favorite scientific field to make fun of, or which is the easiest?

    Also side note, will we ever see pharmacology as a field show up in a comic?

    Thanks you!!

  • Hey Zach, what do you think you’d be doing if SMBC hadn’t taken off?

  • Hey Zach, I love your comics.

    Was it tough growing up with that last name though?

  • Kelly, what is the most unexpected sideaffect of being married to someone who is Internet Famous?

  • Was the “red button” always a feature in the smbc website? If not, when did it start?

  • So how nihilistic/cynical are you in real life? Or is it all just theoretical?

  • Does studying parasites make you better prepared for zombie attacks?

    Does having a sense of humor help in any way to combat zombies?

  • Zach, I’ve been reading SMBC for years and years now so I appreciate all the laughs. How do you stay productive when feeling unmotivated?

  • How much wiener would a wienersmith smith if a wienersmith could smith wiener?

  • Hi XKCD guy! How do you come up with all those ideas?


    (but seriously. With both of you publishing science/humor crossovers, I sense there’s more similarity between the two of you than just your 4 letter-names)

  • Do you still see Screech regularly?

  • Which technology from Soonish are you most excited about? Is it true that the two of you fight crime under the names Mr. Weiner and ScienceGal?

  • The philosophy in your comic seems pretty broad and insightful to my cretin mind. What do you read/watch/smell/eat for inspiration?

  • I tried making some puerco pibil for my family and it didn’t turn out well. The meat was very tender but it was way too sour

    Could you please cheer me up? I’m sad

  • How is your daughter handling her last name?

  • Given how long SMBC has been going, do you ever accidentally get an idea for a comic that you’ve already done? Do you have to go back and check your previous comics to make sure you don’t repeat? Or are you just clever/insane enough that no joke enters your brain twice?

  • Do you maintain a buffer of comics that are ready but unpublished in case shit happens and you can’t finish on time? How many days could you update without actually making any new comics, if you had to?

  • Your comic has one of the most diverse casts of characters within it. Was this a conscious decision of yours to do?

  • Hi Kelly! What is your favorite parasite?

  • If you could genetically modify your offspring, what changes would you make to them?

  • My pre-ordered-from-April Soonish copy arrived to my neighbor and I nearly had a stroke. Is there a medical condition for anxiety from misdirected internet orders of geeky books or do we have to wait for ICD-11/DSM 6 for that?

    Second question: typing Soonish into my Amazon app I get Spanish book recommendations. What will your next book misdirect to?

  • Lots of your longer comics (like the one about the moon colony populated by prize winners) take a hypothetical scientific advancement or political decision and explores the consequences for humour. Have you ever considered fleshing out a comic idea into a longer-form comic book? I’d totally buy something like that if you made it.

  • Hey Zach, I’m a really big fan of your work and can’t wait to read Soonish. Now that you’ve finished Soonish, what’s your next Big Project?

  • You’re the XKCD guy right?

  • Hi Zach! Have you ever considered compiling a book of all the hate mail you get? Like a “best of” kind of thing. It would only make sense, considering how much you openly invite the stuff.

  • Will there be a [Starpocalypse](http://starpocalypse.vhx.tv/) Season Two?
    — Somebody who bought Starpocalypse Season One, and wants to buy Starpocalypse Season Two.

  • Whats your favorite weiner to smith?

  • What is the likelihood that standard, automotive battery packs will be developed so that service stations can just swap out depleted units?

  • Why haven’t you updated [your website](http://smbc.com) since the late 90s?

  • Would you be willing to do a strip (or series of strips) with Randall Munroe of XKCD fame? If so, what kind of format would they have? i.e. he writes, you draw/you write, he draws/you tell one story but each stick to your normal format /something else entirely..?

  • Do you get mistaken for Randall Munroe (aka that xkcd guy) a lot? If so, how does it make you feel?

  • Really enjoying the comics but there is one fatal flaw on the website and that is the navigation. Its basically impossible to watch old comics that are not the oldest without skipping through 100 pages. Maybe having a 6 month interval-led counter could help. Without the random function its a bell curve of inaccessibility basically where the oldest and newest are accessible but the rest isnt. Could this be changed?

  • (Zach) How do you have comic ideas every friggin day for over a decade now?

    (Kelly) Is Parasite X from *Metroid* plausible?

  • How do you feel knowing you’ve taken so much money from me? I have monocles, Augie, Sciences and bibles, now soonish, at least one choose your own adventure in physical format plus the rest in digital???
    I hope awesome, cause I enjoyed it all and hope to continue enjoying it! Thanks for everything!

  • Hi Zach,

    I don’t think I really have a question, but your comic with the guy dressed in Victorian garb being banned from the Ren Faire still makes me laugh. I have it up in my office.

    So, question…. Uh…. Make more history jokes?

  • Hey! Just wanted to say I’m a huge fan. Loved the earlier comics in all their geekery but I have to wonder if you’ve given much thought to smaller social structures like polyamorous relationships and such.

    But the real question: how much of the earlier strips dealing with raising kids do you find yourselves seriously tempted to do?

  • What is your inspiration to make comics about the more obscure subjects?

  • I heard you guys on Marketplace this week. Great interview! Is Kai as charming in person as I imagine?

  • Will rated:
    “Not as in depth as I would have liked. And the jokes are weak.”

    What would you say to Will? (*I am not Will)

  • Do you get made fun of a lot over the name “Weiner”? Big fan btw, loved Religion and SMBC in general.

  • I’ve always wondered, why is God in SMBC represented as a golden disk/pizza?

  • What saith you to the very likely, and all but proven, accusation that you are, in actual fact, a robot? The world needs to know.

  • If there was a Zachy-treat (or Kellyy-treat), like a small piece of food one could use to teach you tricks, what would it be?

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