Zachary Alexander Weinersmith (born Zachary Alexander Weiner; March 5, 1982) is an American cartoonist, who is best known for his webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC). He is the author of two other webcomics, the completed Captain Stupendous with artist Chris Jones, and Snowflakes, co-written by James Ashby and also illustrated by Chris Jones. He also founded the sketch comedy group SMBC Theater with James Ashby and Marty Weiner in 2009.

Weinersmith has been involved in writing and drawing comics since his high school years, but he first published on the internet in the late 1990s. His early comics usually had three or more panels, but after 2002, he switched to drawing predominantly one panel comics.[2] He stated in an interview that he is glad to have decided to draw one panel comics because he feels three panel webcomics have become a cliche and there are almost no decent one panel comics on the internet.[2] More recently, he draws a mixture of single and multi panel comics for SMBC.

Weinersmith's webcomic was recognized in 2006,[3] and 2007 with the Web Cartoonists' Choice Award for Outstanding Single Panel Comic,[4] and received nominations in 2003,[5] and 2008.[6]

He also cohosts the science podcast "The Weekly Weinersmith" along with his wife Kelly, a parasitologist, the first episode of which was released on October 5, 2011.[8] As of October 2013 the podcast is on hiatus.[9]

Education and personal life

Weiner's first degree was in literature from Pitzer College, where he graduated in 2003.[10][11] With the success of his web strip, Weiner decided to go back to university to study science at San Jose State, in order to satisfy his personal interests while also creating topics and creative ideas for his comics; initially planning on biochemistry, he opted to pursue physics.[2]

Weiner is married to Kelly Weinersmith. They have a daughter, Ada Marie Weinersmith, who was born on March 14, 2014.[12]

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Weiner 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 atheism, God, superheroes, romance, dating, science, research, parenting and the meaning of life.[13]

Other projects

While the mainstay of Weiner's work is the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic and its archive of over 4000 comic strips, Weiner has also branched into numerous side projects, often related to the comic. Some of these are available on the SMBC website's bonus section,[14] and movies section.[15]

  • Vince Invincible[16] is a multi-panel adventure, which ran from September 26, 2003 to November 13, 2003, with three later installments in April 2005. It was a departure from Weiner's previous work, both in that it was entirely hand-drawn on lined, yellow paper, and in that the storytelling techniques for each strip didn't always conclude with humor. The comic was about a boy named Vince, who as seen in the title, is impervious to any form of harm. He is shown doing dangerous things, such as smoking, getting an axe thrown at his head, and having a ruler cracked over his head. The comic is shown as a few panels with subtitles for some of the panels. The story remains, presently, unfinished at 25 strips.
  • Baby Moloch[17] is a six-part mini-series. The work is an origins story for the character Moloch, who featured in several of the earlier SMBC single-panel strips. Five of the six strips have currently been completed.
  • Chason, a character from the multi-panel days of SMBC, has been expanded into an independent comic called Chason!,[18] also written by Zach Weiner, but illustrated by a new artist since the 20th episode.
  • Captain Stupendous[19] (formerly Captain Excelsior until the name was changed for legal reasons) is a comic project written by Weiner. The comic is about a superhero (Captain Stupendous) who was recently divorced from his superhero wife, Mrs. Mind. Thus far, he has tried going on a blind date, but failed after listening to his friend's advice. His ex-wife is getting remarried to a regular non-hero guy, causing strife with her mother. He has three children, a gawky teenage daughter, a superhero son and an ordinary son to whom he acts totally indifferent, at best. It launched to the public on January 19, 2007, and features Chris Jones, who also runs his own webcomic, Grumps,[20] as the illustrator. It was completed after 95 pages in 2008.
  • The Jerry Simpiro Project is a four-part mockumentary of a fictional webcomic creator. The eponymous main character of the series is the subject of unspoken derision for his lack of commitment to updating, and lack of originality. The series provides commentary on common complaints with modern webcomics. It can be found in the movie section of SMBC, along with another movie titled, "Brushing Teeth".
  • SMBC-Theater is the latest project taken up by Zach Weiner. With the help of Marty Weiner and James Ashby, Zach has been producing and acting in short films that release every Monday.[21] There has been no recurring plot line within the films, though many of them are labeled as "part 1".[21]
  • Snowflakes[22] is a webcomic from Zach, James Ashby, and Chris Jones. James and Chris provide the story/plot and art respectively, while Zach writes the script.
  • Augie and the Green Knight: A Children's Adventure Book[23] is a children's book by Weiner and 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. The project is currently being financed on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, with 954% of the initial $30,000 goal funded.[24]

Filmography

YearWorkRoleDirector
2005IntermedioProduction assistant; Actor (Intermedio)Andrew Lauer
Way of the VampireActor (Vampire)Sarah Nean Bruce, Eduardo Durão
War of the WorldsActor (Garysville Policeman/Townsperson)David Michael Latt
2006Girl with GunSet production assistantRuss Emanuel
2007Foul ShotProduction assistantDanilo Mancinelli
2009-2012SMBC TheaterWriter, ActorJason Axinn
2010-2012SMBC TheaterDirectorDirected episodes: "Orientation", "Working from Home", "The Tale of James", "Just Friendship" and "Heaven"
2012The Ghastly Love of Johnny XProduction assistantPaul Bunnell

Awards and nominations

YearAwardWorkCategoryResult
2003Web Cartoonists' Choice AwardsSaturday Morning Breakfast CerealOutstanding Short Form ComicNominated[5]
2006Web Cartoonists' Choice AwardsSaturday Morning Breakfast CerealOutstanding Single Panel ComicWon[3]
2007Web Cartoonists' Choice AwardsSaturday Morning Breakfast CerealOutstanding Single Panel ComicWon[4]
2008Web Cartoonists' Choice AwardsSaturday Morning Breakfast CerealOutstanding Single Panel ComicNominated[6]