This is for Samuel

Dear Samuel:

One Christmas at a Time is BY-NC except for “Wikipedia Chanukah” which is BY-SA.


Jonathan Coulton

JoCo Cruise Crazy 4: Booking Open!

Hello fellow cruisers past present and future!

After a few hundred Scarface hours of database polishing (keep in mind each Scarface hour is worth about 250 man hours – Scarface isn’t really a MAN anymore per se), we’re finally ready to open up booking for JoCo Cruise Crazy 4 to the general public. To refresh your memory, the cruise is awesome. To refresh it a little more: February 23 – March 1, 2014 on board Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, traveling to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Labadee.

So have at, and get em while they last:

JoCo Cruise Crazy 4: Book Now!

Code Monkey Save World

About a week ago my friend Greg Pak and I announced a secret project we’ve been working on called Code Monkey Save World. It’s a graphic novel based on characters from a few JoCo songs, and we’re funding it through Kickstarter. Here’s the cover:

Greg Pak is an old friend from college, and a talented writer of many comics including “Planet Hulk,” “Batman/Superman,” and “Magneto Testament.” Artist Takeshi Miyazawa will do pencils and inks, Jessica Kholinne (“X-Treme X-Men”) will color, and Simon Bowland (“Incredible Hercules”) will letter.

Boy howdy, this internet thing moves fast! I was expecting a slow ramp up that would allow me to carefully compose a thoughtful blog post about the nature of crowd funding. Instead, we blew through our goal of $39,000 in less than a day, and we currently sit at around $125,000. We’ve already increased the page count from 60 to 80, kind of a retroactive stretch goal arbitrarily set at some number that was higher than we ever expected to get, and we’ve got other stuff planned for even more ridiculous numbers.

FOR INSTANCE: today we’ve announced that if we reach $130,000 we’ll increase the page count yet again to 96 pages, which means four covers, the back cover, 80 pages of story, and eleven pages of extras and goodies. That’s 32 more story pages than we originally planned. And as part of those 11 pages of goodies, we’ve enlisted Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, the creators of “Action Philosophers” and “Comic Book Comics,” to create a little two page story based on one of my songs (probably “Mandelbrot Set”).


Honestly, the response has blown my expectations out of the water. My sincere thanks to everyone who has already chipped in – it’s going to be an amazing thing thanks to you guys. Everyone knows this already, but it’s pretty great living here in the future.

You can check out more artwork, story details, and all the various cool stuff available to backers here at our Kickstarter project.

The Cruise Is Over; Long Live The Cruise!


It always takes me a few days to come down from the experience. I think I’m almost there, though I still catch myself thinking that Brooklyn is a dream, and being onboard a giant cruise ship is my real life.

First of all: holy BEANS that was a good time! This was the third year we’ve done JoCo Cruise Crazy, and we’ve learned a lot each year about how to run an event cruise. This was the best so far in my opinion. Everything seemed to run pretty smoothly, or else there were enough people shielding me from the bad stuff that it felt that way, and either situation is fine with me! I can’t thank Paul and Storm and Scarface enough for all their hard work, not to mention the army of volunteer helper monkeys who held the whole thing together. Scarface in particular was working his poor little hideously disfigured butt off while the rest of us were chilling with tropical beverages. He gets an extra ration of gruel (and once his gruel debt is paid off, he will be able to eat gruel again, so yay Scarface!).

The Sea Monkeys continue to own this thing. I say it every time, and it was truer than ever this year, but so much of what happens just grows naturally out of this huge group of wonderful people being together in the same place at the same time. The shadow cruise is where it’s at. It would be dishonest for me to take credit for ALL the awesomeness. Though I will say that we had a great lineup of performers, old and new, and in addition to the wonderful, funny, moving stuff they did on stage, their presence at all sorts of non-performative hangout type events really made it feel like a giant weeklong party. Such a great vibe.

A few favorite moments: the Double Clicks self-doubting Mars Rover song, the increasingly ridiculous Mike Phirman birthday gag, John Roderick’s debut of a BRAND NEW SONG, Hodgman’s cruise ship emergency government plan, his riffing on cylinders with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, Joseph Scrimshaw’s story about french kissing a bear, celebrity Artemis (one of those “I can’t believe this is my job moments”), Zoe Keating blowing everyone’s heads off and making everyone cry so that our tears became the sea and the sea was somehow INSIDE HER CELLO, Randall Munroe’s solar system physics tweaks on John Roderick’s airplane story, the incredible scene that was the Hodgman/Rees DJ Danceparty Showdown, me getting riddled with bullets during Wil Wheaton’s Robocop sitcom reading, and Storm’s apparently epic karaoke moment (which I did NOT EVEN SEE and will always regret), and most of all, my new favorite thing ever, live band karaoke with Christian and Adam and you. And that’s just the official events – it barely scratches the surface. So much stuff.

We’ve already gotten a ship for next year, and I cannot recommend strongly enough that everyone in the world book passage thereon. We’ll be on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, February 23 – March 1, 2014, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Labadee, Haiti. At the moment booking is only open to Sea Monkeys who were on JCCC3, but we’ll open it up to the general public very soon.

Thank you guys for making this trip so great. I can’t wait to see all of you again.