Author Archives: Nicole Smeltzer

About Nicole Smeltzer

The eldest.

A Jolly Lark

Remember how I read a lot of books with antiquated vocabulary as a child? (See A Bosom Friend for more.) Well, here’s another comic based on that. When I asked for her opinion on this comic, Charlotte called it “The most unfunny thing [I] have ever written.” Maybe she just didn’t like it because she wasn’t in it. Or maybe I only think it’s funny because I am sick and consuming lots of cough syrup and then lots of coffee to combat the sleepy effects of the cough syrup. Maybe this comic is best enjoyed while drinking cough syrup and coffee.*

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*Not a serious recommendation. Please don’t drink cough syrup and coffee.

Tween Wolf

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Hey guys– I got to be a judge in Knuckle Salad’s Munch Madness! Find out which weird food combinations beat each other out in the first round.  And find out what happened when my family had to decide between Orange Soda + Chocolate Ice Cream and Pickles + Hummus!madness1a

Tinsel in Your Eye

Why tinsel is no longer welcome in the Belanger household…

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(There is some debate as to who actually took the bite of the inedible gingerbread cookie ornament. So, to be fair, it might actually have been like this:
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The tinsel was eventually fished from Ashley’s eye, but the ornament remained in disgrace for decades to follow. Here is the only photo I have of the ornament:

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No, no– ignore how cute Charlotte is cuddling Rapunzel and how dazzling my mom looks in her greeny-yellow sweater. Focus on that bit of tinsel, please. It won an award, you know.

Secret Sister

Every year since we were little, the five of us have drawn names for a Secret Santa gift exchange. Although I’d love to tell you that the following happened a long, long time ago, it actually happened just last week. And it wasn’t too surprising.

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We wound up having to re-draw 4 times this year.

The Hands-Down Tree

Deep in the woods behind our house– okay, technically less than half a mile in the woods behind our house– there grew the spookiest tree in the world. The moment I first laid on it, it gave me chills. Even just the memory of it today gives me the willies. If a tree could be haunted, this one was haunted. If a tree could be cursed, this one was cursed. If a tree could dance naked by the light of the full moon and then go cackling away on a broomstick… this tree surely did.

I found a satellite image of the ol’ woods this morning and was thrilled to find that the Hands-Down Tree still stands. Now, I realize this is a bit like looking at a stranger’s ultrasound photo, but for the benefit of my sisters and some childhood friends, here is the image:

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Look! You can still see it! It stands to this day! I hope some other kids have found it and now it invades their nightmares. Um, I mean that in the tenderest way possible. I miss you, old Tree.

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Picture Day

Days like this are always funny to look back on…. aren’t they, Charlotte? …Charlotte? Aren’t they?

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I am participating in The Waiting’s “Remember the Time…” Blog Hop

Check out the original post here and read through the rest of the participants’ blog posts for more School Portrait memories. To participate yourself, follow the instructions at Emily’s site.

Good Doogie

Tess grew up in a haunted house. The ghost was mischievous, unpredictable, and ever-present. A little spooky, sure, but he was easy to laugh off in the light of day. At night, though… well, I think Tess can be excused for wanting an escort…

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It’s time that long-suffering Doogie got some credit for being a Good Boy.

If you like Doogie, you might want to check out this entry from my sketchbook, Call of Doogie: Bark Ops.

Also, The Middlest Sister will now appear on Justthefirstframe.com, which is a cool way of browsing for new webcomics. The site displays just the first frame of webcomics, and if you decide you want to read the rest, you just click on the frame to take you to the comic right at the creator’s own site. Pretty neat!

August Nights

Hello everyone! I’ve been traveling a lot and am now suffering some sort of plague. The fever plus the August heat have inspired this particular comic. I’ve spent the last two nights too hot to fall asleep, and actually did pick up a book of ghost stories just to feel goosebumps again.

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Happy birthday to Charlotte, who loved “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” as a kid. Still the scariest illustrations imaginable!

Freshly Pegged!

Hello everyone! The delightful and oh-so-funny Peg of pegoleg.com is featuring The Middlest Sister over on her blog today. Yes, The Middlest Sister has been Freshly Pegged and here’s my pretty badge to prove it:

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Please pay her a visit and enjoy one of the comics dearest to my heart. While you’re there, be sure to read through Peg’s archives and find out how she got to be one of WordPress.com‘s recommended humor blogs. Two of my favorites by Peg are

My Dad Has No Rhythm Yet He Is Still the Master of the Dance

and Using Old Familiar Words That Nobody Has Ever Heard Before

Thanks for checking it out, and stay tuned– I’m working on the next comic and it’ll be up next week! In the meantime, I’ll see you over at Peg’s!

A Day at Long Lake

Our house was a short walk from this lake. It’s my dream to one day own a house right on the water of a lake like this, even if it’s a run-down old shack. Even if it’s just a pop-up trailer. Even if it’s just a tent. I’d be content. For as long as the water moccasins didn’t bite me.

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Foolin’

A severe and unforeseen paper shortage in Cincinnati has forced me create today’s comic using finger puppets!

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If you’re wondering how much trouble a kid gets in for a prank like that, the answer is A LOT.

By the way, I’m moving from Ohio to Florida to be closer to my family, so I’m afraid the paper is getting packed up for a few weeks. The girls will be back (and in paper) in May! :)

Nicole Smeltzer:

I’m taking a short break from blogging in order to focus on a super-big project for The Middlest Sister. It is somewhere in the vicinity of 400 panels, so I have been cutting and pasting for 8+ hours every day and expect to keep on doing so until the very last panel is complete. I promise to return with a new comic shortly after that! Until then, here’s a reblog from last year. Happy Valentine’s Day!

UPDATE:

Ooh, I just counted and the actual number of panels is really more like 800. So… Yikes.

Originally posted on The Middlest Sister:

Chrissy spreads the valentine's day cards out in front of her, her heart heavy.

You're still filling out those valentines, honey? What's taking so long?

Just LOOK at these valentines.

The sappy valentines lay before her.

"Bee mine"? I can't give that to a boy! They'll think I LIKE them!

The only one remotely platonic is "Beary kind"... but like I really want to give that to some scab-eater.

I just think the makers of these kits need to get a litle more realistic..

You are fowl

It’s kind of late, but if you simply MUST have “You Are Fowl” as a card, I added it to the Zazzle shop here. If you can’t see it yet, it may take a day to process.

OR you can print these mini valentines for FREE if you want!

Here is the pdf of all the valentines

And one of just the FOWL valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

View original

Kate’s Comic

This week’s comic guest stars Kate from Spineless Wonders, who won the Movember Giveaway. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed brainstorming it together!

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And congratulations again to the other giveaway winners Pete, Jackie, and Arrie!

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By the way, there is FREE shipping on prints until December 9 at midnight at my society6 shop. Check it out! I just added a lot more prints!

Giveaway Winners

Just a quick post to announce the winners of the Bloggers for Movember giveaway…

The winner of the fine art print + guest appearance in a comic is MsKatykins!

A, Pete Howorth, and JackieP, you guys each receive a custom header for your blog or an avatar!

Please send me an email claiming your prize and we’ll discuss the details :) Thank you all so much for participating. You guys are the best!

Bloggers for Movember

Hi guys! You may have noticed my shiny new badge on the front page of the site that says Bloggers for Movember.

That’s because I have joined the league of bloggers who are raising awareness for men’s health issues in the month of November. And you can, too!

To raise awareness and to have fun doing it, I am announcing my first contest. The first place winner will receive a signed fine art print of their favorite panel from The Middlest Sister AND will be a guest star in an upcoming comic in December. The second, third, and fourth place winners will receive a cut-paper header for their blog or a cut-paper avatar– your choice.

Do you want to enter? It’s so easy! Just leave a comment here telling me that you have liked the Bloggers for Movember facebook page, have added the Bloggers for Movember badge to your blog, and/or that you have donated to the Blogger for Movember team (US or Canada.) For every one thing you do, your name will be entered into the contest, up to three times. Contest closes on November 21 at noon EST.

Winners will be chosen using random.org and will be announced here on November 23rd.