Webcomic: The Perry Bible Fellowship
The Webcomic Police: Ok first off, could you tell the people who’ll be reading this in the future a little bit about you (your name, age, location, etc)
NG: Nicholas Gurewitch, of Manchester, NY is 23.
There’s not much etcetera going on
WP: Did you make comics before PBF and, if so, what were they like?
NG: Just single-frame political cartoons for my high school paper.
WP: I see
NG: They weren’t half as fun to make as PBF’s.
WP: Why not? Because you were limited since you had to constrain to high school criteria?
NG: No, more like I was limited because I assumed something had to be just like the Far Side to be funny.
WP: That ties into another question I had planned, why do you do PBF in the
traditional newspaper style format? especially since a lot of comedy strips are doing experimental "random humor" type stuff
NG: I’m really not sure. I think I just tried it once, and it worked, so I repeated the format. I love brevity and narratives, so 3 - 4 frames is pretty much a comprimise.
WP: I noticed pbf is special in this way since most people have a really hard time making good jokes that way, I mean in the straight setup to punchline manner
NG: Yeah, I don’t see it happening to often now that I think about it.
WP: Basically I find PBF to be similar to newspaper strips but most of them really suck, but PBF is really the funniest comic I’ve ever read.
NG: That’s nice of you to say.
WP: Well it’s true =/ That’s why I wanted to do the interview =O It’d be nice if I could get all the mainstream comic people to read PBF so they’d realize what they could be doing
Although most of them have been doing the same thing forever so I don’t think they’d change. And speaking of newspapers, I saw on your site that PBF's in a couple newspapers. How’d that happen?
NG: It’s in much more than a dozen right now actually
NG: I need to update my site.
WP: Yeah =/
NG: Editors just e-mail me sometimes. And I usually say "yes" to their requests.
WP: Are they picky about which strips they use? I can’t imagine most of them being PC enough for a newspaper
NG: Not terribly picky, no.
WP: Esp. the nudity and stuff
NG: I can only think of one that has been inappropriate. "Zookeeper" - and even then, it’s only a matter of taste.
WP: Yeah I can see why they wouldn’t use that
I actually remembered that one as being one of the most graphic
Besides some of the earliest ones
Has getting the strip into the papers changed your attitude about doing it?
NG: I think I avoid doing penis jokes because I’ve already done them already.
I’m not sure how much it has to do with outside influences.
WP: I think that’s one of the things that everyone thinks is stupid but everyone likes it anyway
Although yeah it’s probably best to avoid doing those more than once in a while =/
You use a lot of different methods to draw + color the comics. I can tell some are simple digital coloring but a lot are different.
What are some of the the different ways you color the comic ?
NG: Markers, colored pencils, watercolours, guache, acrylic paint, and combinations of these.
WP: A lot of people could probably tell by looking at it but some of us are kinda clueless when it comes to art.
Wow. Yeah I love seeing all the different styles you do. A lot of the time they’re barely even recognizable as being by the same person
NG: That’s good. I can usually tell though.
WP: Well yeah =/ there’s similar aspects to pick up on, but still it’s nice to see the variety in styles
Do you mostly experiment with stuff in the comics or do it in outside stuff?
I mean as in artist techniques/tools
NG: I love experimenting in general.
WP: That’s cool, it’s nice that you like to keep things fresh
NG: Yeah, I have to
WP: Cuz even really good comics can stagnate after a while
NG: Or else....boredom hits.
WP: I watched the movies that you made and they’re really interesting. since you’re a renowned writer + artist and also an aspiring filmmaker, do you feel like you’re pushing your limits by doing different artforms at once ?
NG: I don’t think I have limits.
WP: That’s certainly optimistic =O It seems like it’s impossible to be a great writer and a great artist and a great filmmaker though
You know, being great at everything
...because writing + art + filmmaking is everything -_-;; Although you’ve definitely got the first two down o_O
NG: We’ll see what happens
I’d like not to distinguish between them.
WP: That’s pretty awesome you’re doing it all
A lot of people are kinda wavy and don’t know what kind of art form they like to do most
Like me =/
I see how they all tie together though. Back to the comic, sometimes you draw people very minimalistically and sometimes they’re very detailed + realistic. how do you decide which way to draw them?
NG: If a comic features a nipple, or a tongue, or I need to show a person’s skin-tone, or I want to invoke a certain nationality or something - I usually have to draw characters with some degree of realism. Barring the need to though, I love reducing the characters to the colorless, simplified forms.
WP: What would you say to someone who thinks the sex + nudity in PBF is crude and obscene ?
NG: "I’m sorry" maybe. Are there such people?
WP: There has to be =O
NG: I haven’t met any in person.
WP: There’s always people getting mad at mature content. Have you ever gotten any weird hate mail? Or weird fan mail in general ?
NG: Not much. Only one thing that I remember. Nothing impressive.
WP: Well any fan mail is impressive to people who never get any =O
What was your reaction when PBF was picked as outstanding comedic comic by the web cartoonist’s choice awards?
NG: I was surprised. It was also very comforting to hear.
WP: Did you do anything to celebrate it or congratulate yourself?
NG: I think I smiled.
NG: Bro, do you think you could e-mail me the rest of your questions? I’m running late with the comic (as usual)
And should probably get back to work on it
WP: Yeah sure I only have a few left though
NG: Ok, you can shoot em
WP: Ok. Do you like to listen to music while you draw, or does it distract you?
NG: I always start out with music. If the comic gets incredibly detailed, or if my concentration flares, I can go without music for many hours without realizing that a CD or record has stopped.
WP: That’s cool. Do you have any plans to make a more cohesive, story-driven comic? Do you plan on developing any of the characters in PBF?
NG: I don’t think I’ll make any longer-form comics, no.
WP: Any final words for the people among the far recesses of the globe who will be reading this interview?
NG: Be cool.
WP: Awesome advice, and thanks for doing the interview .
NG: No prob, bro
Will it be online?
WP: Yeah hopefully
I’ll e-mail you a link when it gets posted
NG: Sounds good. Take care, bro