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We'll be at NEWW! And we got tumblrs.

Our third installment in the Rest in Pieces series - here's the dresser, and here's the car. An unfortunate hour of my life - have a nasty scrape on my thumb to show for it. I think I'm done with IKEA shelves! They're built flimsy so they'll collapse on American consumers - Sweden, I'm onto your plan! Your slow, deliberate plan. 

Guys! We're in the first wave of guest announcements for New England Webcomics Weekend (NEWW) 2! Head on over to check it out. We'll talk about that further down the line. 

You guys bought all the Pony Rocks! Sorry to anyone who didn't get a copy ... chances are we'll reprint Pony Cop as part of a collection some day, so the opportunity to have it isn't 100% gone. 

We got Tumblrs, by the way! Give 'em a join if you like ... they're going to be mostly about work, JW works in progress (like the book) and things that don't fit the JW blog mold. Conrad's in particular is about his thoughts on mobile development, among other things.


Enjoy the weekend! 


IKEA's sudden but inevitable betrayal?

Comment by Midoriko (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 16:23

I have had that exact thing happen to me! That's what I get for getting too many books I guess. Anyway seeing it in your comic made me laugh out loud. My reaction was just about the same too.

This summer my dad and I made a better bookcase. I am done with falling shelves! (I hope)


Comment by Aido Thu, 05/27/2010 - 16:32

I should interject!  That bookcase had been bought in the as-is section of IKEA and had been disassembled and reassembled at least three times in its life.  I'm fairly certain its time had come.

That isn't to say that IKEA furniture isn't fairly shoddy.  Because it is. 


Comment by Lynx (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 17:15

I have the Billy shelves and they've been moved several times and are holding up just fine. You know how many books I have. I also have some other shelves from them that are more open, remember the ones from the basement with the comic boxes on them? I think you just had some bad luck with the As Is section.

My recommendation: If you

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 16:34

My recommendation: If you buy things at Ikea, buy the things that are 100% wood. I have the NORREBO shelves and they are solid birch and sturdy as can be! The LACK shelves, on the other hand... I already had one break. Wood may be twice (or three times) as expensive, but it is totally worth it.


Comment by DisposablePal (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 16:38

i would have done the same thing, i love my books.


Comment by Júlia (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 16:46

there is no such thing as "too many books". trust me.

This is a good demonstration...

Comment by ChristineA (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 16:57

of why I'm not allowed to assemble anything anymore. ;D As I tend to try & wing it, Hubby has forbidden me from putting things together. They usually fall apart like your shelves did... or are on crooked.. or backwards. lol!

alternative title

Comment by teax2 (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 17:06

The alt title for this comic could have been "Owned by Ikea" or "You don't own an Ikea Shelf, It Owns YOU!"
xP I wonder what their 4 dollar lamps do to you.

alternative (outmoded) title

Comment by il biggo (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 06:20

In Soviet Sweden, bookshelf owns YOU!

IKEA bookcases

Comment by André, from sweden (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 17:13

Let me guess? Billy bookcase? You see Billy sounds very close to the word "billig" which translates as "cheap" in english. And thus it's the cheapest, most rotten piece of skräp (trash) that swedes ever seen. And that my friend is the cunning plan. Why would you buy a bookcase called "Bergsbo" when you can take good ol' Billy? Muahahaha!

Oh and if a name has ö,å or ä in it is always thumbs up in quality. Then again if we swedes want to buy anything of great quality we buy from the danes at ILVA. :P In general IKEA is second grade stuff that are missing pieces and you have to build yourself... :/

They go for your life...

Comment by Konock (not verified) Tue, 09/07/2010 - 02:37

I also used to have a BILLY bookcase put on my wall. Since my room is very tiny (8m2) it had to be put above my bed... So it almost killed me in the middle of the night, when I woke up for having hundreds of books on my head.
Guys, be sure it won't taste blood O_o These BILLY shelves go for your life...

Must be related to the

Comment by Mary (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 17:40

Must be related to the dresser in comic 7. :P

Just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen.

Comment by Softspoken (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 17:44

Billy the bookcase says... Goodbye?

I think it's now been established that Ka-chunk is the universal sound of things falling apart. Quickly, copyright it!


Comment by EiceBleu (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 19:13


There's no such thing as too many books!

ka-chunk: forever the herald

Comment by lady rae (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 19:37

ka-chunk: forever the herald of the collapse of things

Hmm, I would follow the

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 19:52

Hmm, I would follow the mentioned Tumblr pages, but sadly the RSS links to on them do not seem to work for me- not sure of the issue is on my side or the internet's. Alas.


Comment by Yu Huo (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 20:03

Our Billy bookcases are holding up fine-- quite possibly because we've stopped triple-stacking them and have quite a number of boxed up books in the attic-- but that is one seriously familiar aaaaaaaaa.

I'm thinking of building a

Comment by Stephen (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 22:00

I'm thinking of building a giant underground bunker/library to be filled in the event of a zombie apocalypse/nuclear war/everything going ape$%11. You know, when I get rich, Those shelves will be concrete lined with wood and won't collapse this side of judgement day*, **

Then again, most of my bookshelves have been hand me downs, home made, or built into the wall, so I don't know anything about IKEA

*Obviously I've collapsed multiple bookshelves before.
**Anyone willing to donate books in the case of the above disasters, I would be very interested in getting in touch in case of a worst-case scenario.

Abstract Bookshelves

Comment by Anonymous Red (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 22:07

Falling books have happened to me twice.
The books from the first crash are now surrounding my desk while we wait for my dad to repair them.
The second set of falling shelves has no books falling off of it, but every shelf is at some odd angle.
Homedepot has good shelves.

Oh crud

Comment by Steffox (not verified) Thu, 05/27/2010 - 23:59

Well that's good to know! We WON'T get IKEA shelves to put on either side of our huge fishtank if they're going to collapse on it!
Poor books and fishes! They should never meet! Plus I'm not so sure about the fishtank stand as I didn't put it together...

I usually trust Ikea stuff pretty okay. The most expensive furniture we own (dresser) is having more problems than any of our Ikea stuff and that's just annoying. :-\

slowly and surely drew their plans against us

Comment by Matt (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 07:43

No one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century that this country was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than American's and yet as mortal as our own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this country about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older countries of Europe as sources of danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of threat within them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most American men fancied there might be an army within Sweden, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the Atlantic, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this land with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twenty first century came the great disillusionment.

Hahaha, War of the Worlds.

Comment by Ananth Fri, 05/28/2010 - 10:11

Hahaha, War of the Worlds. Nice. 


Comment by Skie (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 08:13

Oh, geeze.
Ananth, how's your thumb?

It's a little banged up but

Comment by Ananth Fri, 05/28/2010 - 10:10

It's a little banged up but is healing nicely. No worries! 


Comment by NeoTsunami (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 11:04

How the heck did it get hurt? Massive papercut from various books? Full-Chronicles-of-Narnia-sized hardcover fell on it? Or IKEA shelves practicaly a safety hazard that could kill a man if he's not careful?

Hope it's healing fast, buddy.

One of the corners or pegs

Comment by Ananth Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:43

One of the corners or pegs caught the dead center of my thumb. It's healing, thanks! :)

The IKEA Incident

Comment by Skie (not verified) Sat, 05/29/2010 - 00:08

Good to hear.
Out of curiosity, will this stop you from buying more IKEA furniture?

I've had a similar experience and yet... I still buy things from IKEA. I am not sure if I am a fool or a madman.

An economically conscious

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Sat, 05/29/2010 - 07:14

An economically conscious fool perhaps?

I don't think so? I don't

Comment by Ananth Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:46

I don't think so? I don't know if I'll buy a BILLY again, though. 

Plan C complete. Initiate

Comment by Agent S (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 09:59

Plan C complete.

Initiate Plan D.

End of Transmission.


Comment by Ananth Fri, 05/28/2010 - 10:10



Comment by NeoTsunami (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 11:00

Note: ugh, sorry for double posting here and on Conrad's post, didn have the hang of the comments section until now...I can't delete the other comment, don't mean to spam or anything! I actually meant to post on this strip's rant >_<

Every time I read the oauto-bio strips what take place in your apartment (i.e., 98% of them) I just get this damn urge to finally get out of my house and rent my own apartment. Studying in the same city where your parents live in prevents this because of convenience. But man, how I wish I'd had the chance to study abroad for a while (I live in Mexico). I'm graduating from college in december (hopefully) and your comic has just lit the fire of apartment-living desire even more! Thanks!!

Also...just wanted to point out...I'm at work...discovered your comic yesterday thanks to TPS...And as of 10:45am today...have caught up to this strip...That's how good you guys are!

So glad you enjoy it!  No

Comment by Ananth Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:46

So glad you enjoy it! 

No problem in living with your folks while you finish up school - it's expensive enough as it is! And if you're working at the same time, you can save a lot to put towards the apartment further down the line. 

Having your own place is pretty ace, though! ;)


Comment by Tony (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 13:14

Ananth I think you should look into investing in Amish-built furniture. Made in the U.S.A. and out of REAL WOOD, not that particle board and fiber board crap everyone else is making. It's a little more pricey, but totally worth it, as it will last for generations to come.

I don't know where to find

Comment by Ananth Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:48

I don't know where to find Amish furniture around here (I'm sure I can) but the IKEA BILLY shelf is definitely out as an option. I want to buy serious furniture when I'm sure I won't be moving for a couple of years. :) 

This weekend I helped a

Comment by Kate (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 19:26

This weekend I helped a friend with spring cleaning and she has three large bookcases full to the brim and one smaller one. Also, her bedroom walls are lined with the rest of her books. In her line of work she gets lots of free books and I am sooo jealous.


Comment by Fraoch (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 20:03

Trying to catch books as they fall from a dying shelf is like trying to bathe a cat: you make a valiant effort, but you still end up with lacerations.

Damn you Swedes and your mass-made furniture! Crappy products are OUR market! *shakes fist*

IKEA is evil.

Comment by Elizabeth B (not verified) Fri, 05/28/2010 - 20:24

No, seriously. Evil. Their environmental record suuuuuucks, and they source materials from countries with crap labor practices. I would either try to buy stuff used (Craiglist, maybe?) or Google for a wood furniture place near you. Downside: more expensive. D:

Either way, I'm sorry to hear that your shelves pooped out on you. Hope the finger isn't too bad.

Whoa, hang on! In that last

Comment by Robert V Aldrich (not verified) Sat, 05/29/2010 - 13:46

Whoa, hang on! In that last panel, is Yuko going to cut off Ananth's thumb?!

Hahaha! She's just wrapping

Comment by Ananth Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:48

Hahaha hey Rob!! She's just wrapping it, thankfully. :) 


Comment by Steve the Guy (not verified) Mon, 05/31/2010 - 00:38

You should totally make your own book shelves. Go to Lowes (or Home Depot, depending on which is closer/whether you like blue or orange,) and get some 2x4s, and some of those metal angle-connector thingies. Add some flat panels to put the books on, perhaps sand/varnish everything so it looks all nice, and viola.

(It looks and sounds like a lot of work, especially because you'd be doing it from scratch with no Swedish plans laid out before you, but trust me it's dirt simple.)

Old-school or PS?

Comment by NeoTsunami (not verified) Mon, 05/31/2010 - 12:28

Yuko, I was just curious. It's not that I have a webcomic or anything, but something in your strips had been stirring something in my memory and I finally put my finger on it haha

I once read a manga how-to guide and it was pretty oldschool. I remember that the one thing that impressed me about the whole process is that the "texture" layers on the comics (the dotted patterns) were usually a sheet of acetate with that pattern printed on. And the artists had to manually cut the shapes out and glue them on the pages at the exact location they wanted them. Be it for shadows or surfaces. Then the whole thing got xeroxed and you'd have a finished page. it the case? Are you doing it old-school style? Or is there a brush or filler in PS that gives it that old-timey comic strip feel?

World domination

Comment by Mathias Sweden (not verified) Tue, 06/01/2010 - 02:24

""Sweden, I'm onto your plan! Your slow, deliberate plan. ""

Damn. They are on to us!
Switching to plan B.
"turns to the men in black coats"
Send in the meatballs!

No fair!

Comment by Fraoch (not verified) Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:00

Those things are delicious! We have no defense against deliciousness!


Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 06/03/2010 - 03:04

seriously, you guys have tumblrs? :D
I posted a link to you guys not too long ago on my tumblr.
whoa whoa whoa.
guess who's going to follow you? :D

and yikes, that looks painful / horrible.
hope you get better :D
I have a shelf from ikea as well, and it's been holding up fine.
then again, I got it not too long ago, and I don't have a lot of books..
and it's not a billy.


Comment by Chloe (not verified) Mon, 05/16/2011 - 11:22

That last panel is adorable.

I've sent a hour last night,

Comment by Amy (not verified) Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:33

I've sent a hour last night, and a good chunk of this morning reading you comic, for start to this one, and it's so excellent, that I'm having trouble putting it down. But, I have work to do, so I shall use my self control to stop here for now.
Love it!


Comment by AnonymousEponymousBob (not verified) Sat, 04/21/2012 - 21:32

Sudden but *inevitable* betrayal!
As in, 'Curse your sudden but inevetable betrayal, T-Rex!'
Firefly is awesome.