The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage- BOOK!

This week (well, last week) marks the three-year anniversary of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

I hardly know whether it feels as though I’ve been drawing these forever, or if it’s impossible that I’ve been drawing them so long. What started as a punchline to a one-shot comic– hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if there was a comic about Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage fighting crime? –has evolved into… well, a really really long punchline. With footnotes!

Now it my great pleasure to announce that this humble comic has been elevated to the PANTHEON one might say, actually, one would definitely say, because Pantheon Books has heard your pleas (a lot more effectively than I have it seems) and we are going to do Lovelace and Babbage: The Papery Thing with Ink On!

Pantheon is the legendary publisher of Very Important Graphic Novels Maus, Persepolis, and Habibi, so, you know, NO PRESSURE. As you may imagine I’ve spent the last couple of months alternating between lurking in Gosh Comics muttering, “Do you have any idea who I am?” and hiding under the bed. Not to mention, quivering with the need to tell someone!

Fair warning: if you start queuing now outside your local bookstore bring a lot of jerky and evaporated soup as it’s going to take me a year of hard drawing to get this thing done! Now I know what you’re asking yourself: ‘What does this mean for ME, the long-suffering 2dgoggles Comics Consumer, the very incarnation of Patience on a Monument? Have I not gone without Lovelace and Babbage LONG ENOUGH??”

FEAR NOT Citizens! Mine has not been the blank, barren silence of the indolent layabout, but rather the expectant, the pregnant silence of Feverish Labour behind the scenes!

USER EXPERIENCE, my bells-and-whistles experimental extravaganza has endured some delay, as I was in the throes of negotiating with Pantheon. As it turns out they are awesome and totally cool with me putting it up here for your enjoyment. As a great deal of it is drawn already expect a sudden sharp shocking increase in the usual pace of things around here. So stand by for that!

Poor Vampire Poets, of which I am so very very fond, continues to be under a Mysterious Curse and will have to endure another several months in the coffin, I’m afraid.


I would like to thank all you wonderful readers for being so supportive of this odd comic-shaped pocket universe. I was not setting out to do a graphic novel; as far as I can recall, I don’t think I was setting out to do anything but enjoy myself, advance my craft, and avoid working on the stuff I was supposed to be working on. It has cost me much labour and not a little stress but your kind comments, enthusiasm, and patience have kept me doodling away. Lovelace and Babbage have not only been excellent company themselves, they have been my means of introduction to so many wonderful, fascinating people. So thank you all! and many many more comics soon!


  1. Mary Ellen on April 30, 2012 at 1:15 am

    That’s lovely, Sydney – – I trust they’re letting you keep the footnotes and asides and things, because where would the pocket universe be without its little (or big) pockets and culs-de-sac and tag-ends and embolisms and wanderings (like, for instance, the Person from Porlock diversion, one of my favorites).

    I want to say something — as a fellow draw-er — about style, and pressure, and the influence of a wonderful but scary entrance into the Big Time like this, but I don’t want to be in any way negative. Maybe an analogy works best, I dunno — but when I was in my teens and 20s, I loved dancing, and since it was the heyday of the Boogaloo and the Shake and the Shingaling and the Pony and all the other mostly freeform manifestations of the period, you didn’t need any formal training, just zest and enthusiasm (yeah, yeah, so I’m in my dotage now, but we had fun). But (here’s the moral) for a short while I had a job as a g0-g0 dancer — yes they were routinely called that, and it wasn’t like being a lap dancer — where I HAD to dance, on a regular schedule. Wasn’t so much fun. I got tired of doing it. Took me a while after quitting that job to get so I liked dancing again.

    All that sounds obvious, and it doesn’t address what I want to say about style, though it’s related to it, because the common factor is money, fee-for-service. We know from what you’ve said here that you’re very interested in “cleaning up” and improving the drawing of L & B, and that you’ve been putting a lot of talent and time into evolving methods for giving User Experience a high standard of background imagery (inside the Difference Engine, for instance) that you want it to have, partly because you feel that some of the stuff you’ve done in the previous stories was too rough. And now that you’ve got this wonderful deal, which of course involves contractual obligations, you will want to continue doing so…

    I only want to put in a word for your “roughness”. I’ve been drawing for a long time (as you can tell from the above, I’m much older than you) and I’ve looked at a lot of art. I think that your draughtsmanship, to give it the old, lovely spelling, sometimes ESPECIALLY at its roughest can have a vitality and excitement that excites the eye and moves the narrative and is often wonderfully funny too… I’m thinking of the great chase sequence in “Economic Model”. The roughness helps create all those good things.

    OK, end of rant and unsolicited codgeress advice! You go, girl. And fear nothing.

  2. MadRat on April 28, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Thank you for all your efforts. It’s good to keep a steady pace but be careful to take care of yourself and don’t push yourself so hard you end up getting burned out.

  3. JamesPadraicR on April 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Just want to add my two cents worth of Yay! Yippee! Yahoo!
    Excellent news.

  4. hapax on April 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm


    (steam-powered exclamations of joy)

  5. Adam on April 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thrilling! I’m also looking forward to the book, thank you for all your work so far!

  6. Natalie on April 26, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Fantastic! Will be buying several copies for self and as gifts for fellow geeks.

  7. JM on April 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Congratulations! Looking forward to it!

  8. Telzey Amberdon on April 25, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Oh, I do hope there shall be footnotes a-plenty! I’m really looking forward to this book, I have long since wished it into being. It’s going to be wonderful!

    Suggestion: pick one specific date for all of us to simultaneously buy your book on Amazon, and we can push the book’s rating up the best-seller chart and possibly put you on Amazon’s front page. Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics fame) asked all of his loyal readers to buy his novel “Machine of Death” from Amazon on one specific day, and he inadvertently kept Glenn Beck’s latest diatribe from the much-coveted #1 slot — while getting a lot of eyes on his book that might not have seen (and bought) it otherwise.

    • Pete Arundel on April 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Good lord you’re a long way from The Hub . . .

  9. Pwny the Bold on April 25, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Great news. Looking forward to it!

  10. Terry P-B on April 25, 2012 at 4:39 am

    As a semi-sentient thing with eyeballs glasses and reading, I am unable to express my excitement. Hail to the Divine Pantheon and even more Divine Sydney!

  11. Alice on April 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

    Sydney, you do not know how happy you have made me. Except in. re. Vampire Poets. Not that I could ever be actively UNhappy with anything you ever did. But I’m starting to worry about poor Emily….

    Oh well! Hurrah for papery things! One question: when you say ‘a year of hard drawing’ does that mean we can expect the book in a year, or that after you finish all that hard drawing it will spend some more time in the deep dark throes of the publishing vortex before it can burst into the light?

    Have you thought about marketing a Lovelace and Babbage calendar, on which your loyal devotees could count down the days?

  12. Sparks on April 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Yay! I wish to procure a copy of the Papery Thing with Ink On as soon as reasonably convenient.

  13. ajay on April 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Excellent. Put me down for:
    one copy (to read myself)
    one copy (to lend to other people and not get back)
    three copies (to give as presents to friends who would definitely like it)
    eight copies (to give as presents to other friends who OUGHT to like it)

  14. Paige Henson on April 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I am posting this everywhere! Can’t wait.

  15. Tealin on April 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm


    I will rejoice at the death of the trees used to make this and dance upon their graves!

    (What? Paper is a renewable resource.)

  16. Ken on April 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm


  17. fvngvs on April 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I hope the inked-paper-thingies are available world-wide otherwise the howling will be heard worldwide.

    Fear not, oh great Illustrator, the interval between editions, indeed, the very timing of editions is perferctitude in itself. They are issued when they get issued which is, by definition, at the right time. The Vampire Poets will surprise us all, I suspect.

  18. J on April 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Hurrah on a steam-powered pogo stick!
    Do you have anything resembling a release date for the book? I know these things take anything from 6 months to a couple of years to gestate…

  19. Brigit on April 24, 2012 at 6:20 am

    This is amazing news! Congratulations! I look forward to reading all of the footnotes. And the comics themselves, of course.

  20. James Kornell on April 24, 2012 at 3:57 am

    You do beautiful hands. Insouciant yet capable. I with the others await. (Are you going to do recursive footnotes?)

  21. G on April 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Wonderful news, congratulations.

  22. Doug on April 24, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Very cool, and congrats! I second the Movie Deal sentement. The world is sadly short of awsome steam-punkish alternate pocket universe feature films!

  23. Ellie on April 24, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Oh that really is fantastic news! (and there are far worse places to hang out than Gosh Comics… I wish I lived closer to that place!). Looking forward to seeing how it all progresses.

  24. Ben Gwalchmai on April 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Felicitations, ma’am.

    Now that it’s taking on a new dimension, will it be renamed? Perhaps to 2PD Goggles. That is, 2 papery dimensions.

  25. John on April 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    The sound you can’t hear that’s driving the neighborhood dogs nuts is my gleeful, yet (ahem) manly, squeal of delight.

    And not that I’m suggesting anybody get there before me, but Sportsman’s Guide (.com) does have six pounds of “meat stick” remnants for twenty bucks. It’s pretty good. (What? I keep the bags in the freezer for times when I want a quick soup…)

    Anyway, keep us posted on the actual release. It’s only going to take a split-second of indecision during my Christmas shopping, certainly, for everybody I know to be getting a copy.

    Interesting move to paper, though. I hear the batteries pretty much never need to be recharged!

  26. Gidget on April 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Congratulations, that’s so awesome! But…but…Vampire Poets. I want more!

  27. the doodler on April 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Yay! Congratulations! Felicitations! Ect!

  28. Bruce Byfield on April 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Congratulations! I suspect it might be a challenge to reproduce the online experience on paper, but the tradeoff should be better reproduction of the art. I’ll be buying a copy for myself, and for one or two others who might appreciate it.

  29. Erynn on April 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Oooooh. Paper. With ink. *purrr*

  30. Jim on April 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Next step the movie deal. Suggestions for casting?

  31. Kaazz on April 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Oh, and, may we please have this new illustration on a SHIRT?? Prettypleasewithacherryontop??

  32. Kaazz on April 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    oh, Oh, OH!! This is absolutely FABULOUS!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I can think of no one else more deserving of graphic-novel-authorhood than YOU! Your work on this is really, really creating & brilliant!

    Seriously, this is so AWESOME for you! And, well, pretty awesome for those of us who have a thing for papery things with ink & such. This is something I’ve wanted to own since the very first L&B web-comic! (Yes, I’ve been reading it THAT long…) I will have a special place on my bookshelf reserved for your NEW BOOK!!!!!!!

    Really. Awesome. So happy for your!

  33. Valerie Aurora on April 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    YAY! I haven’t added a graphic novel to my bookshelf in over a year. Looking forward to it!!!

  34. Clare on April 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Wonderful, wonderful news! Achieving a Papery Thing With Ink On is a BIG accomplishment – congratulations (and fortitude too)! I will clear space in my library post haste. Callooh! Callay!

  35. Redshift on April 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Hurrah! In addition to the many other accolades it will surely acquire, we can be certain it will be the Most Footnoted Graphic Novel of All Time!

  36. E. on April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    …A Papery Thing with Ink On! Does that mean more footnotes?

    And does it mean (furtive looks to either side) centerfolds?

  37. Sara on April 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    This is terrible….OK. Grumble. This great.
    Actually. This really is awesome. You completely deserve this. I can’t wait to see them in ink on paper.

    I am happy to wait. Really. I mean it. OK happy, might be a stretch. Definitely willing though.

  38. Dvon on April 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    So this is a standard-sized comic graphic novel and an Edward Gibbon-sized book of references? Will the six volumes be available by quarto subscription?
    (Note to self: build more bookshelves.)

  39. arhazade on April 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Woo!! Yay for Sydney!! I’m so excited for more L&B amazingness *dances around the house* Can’t wait to see it all!

  40. Anon, a Mouse on April 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    HOORAY!!! Congratulations and many more! Looking forward to the day a printed and bound volume arrives!

  41. Rico on April 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    That is truly fantastic news. Congratulations. I can’t wait, but I shall…

  42. Josef Svenningsson on April 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Absolutely faboultastic! I’m now going home to prepare a ginormous batch of soup and take the first place in the queue for your book. Congrats!

  43. E-Wit on April 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Welcome to the wonderful universe of real, papery books! I can hardly wait. Have at it, Sydney, and keep us in touch.

  44. Craig on April 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Joy! Take my^H^H^H more of my money, please!

  45. Jay on April 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Congratuwelldone! This is fantastic news! I mean, not just in a self-interested, I get to have these marvelous stories on my bookshelf sort of way, but also the sheer awesomeness of something like this existing in lovely dead tree format.
    I apologize for the adjective overdose. I am just so pleased.

  46. Em H. on April 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    This is most excellent news! I’ve been a follower of 2D Goggles for rather a while now, and look forward to both more comic-type-things and a real-live Papery Thing!

  47. Kate Smith on April 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Congratulations! I look forward to more comics, and especially to the book. Thank you!

  48. Suw on April 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Hoorah! Hoorah with bells on! And sprinkles!! This is such fantabulous news, Syd, I’m totally, utterly delighted for you and very excited to finally be able to look forward to a real Papery Thing With Ink On! Yay for paper! Congratulations!

  49. Bookworm on April 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Congratulations! I look forward to this book adorning one of my bookshelves… or joining the piles of books on the floor because I’ve run out of space on my bookshelves. One or the other.

  50. Corey on April 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    This is the greatest news since the Hindeneburg… I mean since Arch-Duke Franz– I mean since something GOOD was reported!

    Very pleased to hear this. Am proceeding to store to acquire jerky and soup, evaporated.