Interviews

Creator Interview: Allan of Allan!
skoolmunkee at 7:53AM, Aug. 27, 2007
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posts: 7,058
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Username: Allan
Name: Allan Wood
Comic: Allan
Age: 16
In what part of the world do you live: USA, California
Are you single/boyfriend/girlfriend/married: I've got a girlfriend named Jen, Jenny, or Jennifer (but no one calls her that (except maybe her mom when she's upset with her…))
Day job: I'm a full-time Junior in High School come August 27th, but this past Summer I worked for my “uncle” in a Delicatessen.

Can you ever possibly beat Cooltendo's interview?
Hell no. What he did took a sheer amount of patience and brilliance. I take my hat off to him for actually drawing stuff in an interview of words.

So what is Allan about?
Plain and simply Allan's about me - Allan! It involves what I think about, what I do, and what I wish I could do 95% of the time. Other times it might be mini-strips when I'm unavailable to work on Allan (maybe, I'm out on vacation or something?).

You seem like the kind of guy who likes simple pleasures.
I do. I like sitting down with a cold Dr. Pepper (or “Deep” as I often refer to it), playing a video game, and getting a good grade on a paper. I also take pride in every strip I finish - not that I want to be prideful, mind you. I mean, I could be one of those people who likes skydiving while baking chocolate-chip brownies and shaving a dog, but that wouldn't be very simple, and might just make a mess.

Your comic is fairly well-liked here on Drunk Duck. Why do you think so many people seem to identify with the relatively simple diary-comic of a 15 (now 16, happy birthday by the way) year old guy?
Thanks for the happy birthday; I think a lot of people like my strip because they can relate to it. Everyone (well, most everyone) loved their childhood/teenage years, and I've had numerous people tell me it brings them right back and cheers them up when they're feeling down. In fact, I've had one or two people call me a “celebrity of Drunk Duck” (their words, not mine) and a “Maverick.” I'm very flattered by these remarks, but as I was later followed-up by a friend of mine, I'm “(getting all this publicity, but still not being a jerk.)” I try to be as nice as I can - I don't really have any real reasons to be mean to everyone who reads my comics… how would I look then?

Why did you start doing a webcomic?
My friend Rob introduced me to webcomics about a year ago. Mostly he showed me the basic “intro” comics, like Ctrl+Alt+Del, PVP Online, and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. I got really into reading webcomics and started sketching my own little mini-adventures loosely based on others' ideas before me. It was made abundantly clear to me by Rob that people only like originality in comics… especially webcomics… and I asked what had the lowest percentage of comics online. He told me Autobiographical webcomics, so that's what I decided to start making. I figured if other people could make comics about their lives, why not I?

Early in the comic, you said that you didn't want to tell anyone you know in-person about the comic. Why is that, and do you think that will ever change?
This is true, and will probably remain true for a long, long time. Eventually I'm going to have to tell my parents and I assume, my wife (when I get married (if ever)). I try to keep my comic to myself in life for two reasons.

1. Let me give you an example: Remember that Simpsons episode where Homer became Mr. X, and he started fixing problems when no one knew who he was? And then he revealed himself and no one wanted to talk to him, because they were afraid he'd totally gossip about them? Well, there's one reason, right there.

2. If people in my life read my comics, I'd have to be careful with what I say about them. I can't write down my honest opinions like I could in a totally personal diary because I know they'd be reading the comic and judging me based on how I'm judging them. So I share my strip with people who will not take offence at what I say about others (in case I ever say something negative). I think it works out pretty well, myself.


Why do you talk about your “uncle” in quotes? Is it an honorary uncle thing?
It is an honorary uncle thing. He's an old family friend of my mom's, so we're not really related, but since I was little, they've told me to call him “uncle.” So I did - until I found out a few things about him I wouldn't really want to be associated with, especially by blood; so I no longer call him “uncle,” but I still describe him as that when I'm writing, because it's a lot easier than explaining it.


What do you like about doing a webcomic? What do you not like?
I've been an artist since I was really young, so obviously my favourite part is drawing it. It's my own personal style I've developed for both speed and accuracy, and every day I get to draw it and develop it a little more. Writing is also another really high point in the comic-making process for me. As everyone knows, writing and drawing go hand-in-hand, and I know some of the strengths compensate for some of my weaknesses (*cough* writing *cough*), but every strip I get a little bit better.

As for what I don't like: Other autobiographical comics on the interweb give themselves a little spacer in time, 10 days or so, so that if the artist gets sick, he/she can make up a new comic before her 10 day spacer has run out. Trying to make thing original, I wanted to make a daily comic that was about that day so that even more people can associate with it (“Hey, it's Friday! Woo!”) (“Happy Holidays!”). This gets kind of challenging when I've got school, friends, games, and everything else to deal with. Daily comics are not as easy as they sound!

Do you take art classes?
I do. I've taken art classes since freshman year in High School. I also take digital art, which is where I place all my computer-savvy-ness when it comes to coloring. Of course, I've picked up my own stuff from experimenting, but without learning the basics I couldn't have gotten to where I am today (inspirational speech)….

How do you challenge yourself?
You might've seen a few panels/pages that really stick out of the whole archive. Those are the pages that challenge me. I throw in color, or I really spice up the imagery, or I work on side things like “About” pages on the website. I try not to keep all Allan pages too linear, and want my readers to get something new out of every day.

What kinds of things do you like to experiment with?
I love using abstract colors in my work that isn't usually shown on Drunk Duck, but I also like thinking up new projects to work on (and then never work on them because I'm so busy). I also like pushing the limits of what's kosher and what's not. It's a lot of fun being a rebel.

Do you have any goals for the comic?
Well my first goal was to make it to page 20. Then it was 25. Then it was 50. Then it was 100 (which when it came around I was gone and couldn't do anything special for it). Now I'm not really focusing on numbers anymore. I never thought I'd have the readership I do for this strip, and every day when I get these amazing comments on there and it just reinforces the fact that I'm doing something people actually appreciate. My goal right now, is probably just to improve (oh, and make it to the top 5 strips), and do everything I can to do so.

I like your site's design. It's simple and nice to look at. Did you make that yourself?
My friend Rob (who is the only other person I know in life who reads the comic) is an ace at HTML and PHP. I know a small amount of code from him teaching me and me searching for it online, but he's the genius behind the coding of my website. I showed him what I wanted it to look like and he set me up a template. Dreamweaver ftw!

Do you have any comic, art, or writing influences?
My style doesn't really show any influences in my opinion, and neither does my writing, but I've gathered stuff from all over the interweb and stuck it in my little comic. I've got a few family members I don't really talk about in my strip who used to help me with overall drawing and style, and they really helped me when I was younger (showed me how to draw text bubbles, faces, expressions, etc.). They're probably the reason I'm still drawing today, because they taught me the basics. I've had someone once compare my art to “Dan Paladin.” I have no idea who that is.

Could you tell us about your process? What you do, what materials you use, etc.
Sure! I've got a 9 x 12 sketchbook in which all of my strips are drawn. I just recently filled up a whole one, and bought a new, shinier one to work with. I'm currently on page 5 out of about 150 in there. Every page in the sketchbooks holds 3 days (mostly), because they all are vertical, they all fit rather nicely. I started out drawing Allan with no pencils - just straight ink on paper. There was no pre-thought for the dialogue either, I wrote it all as soon as I could think of it (this explains the typos).

I used ballpoint pens (the office kind) because I had never used art pens, and didn't really want to buy expensive pens; as of late I've been using Micron pens with 0.25mm tips and Faber-Castell Artist Pens for thicker lines/dark, black areas in the strip. More recently I've found the readers expect Allan to look a certain way, and with no pencil and just pen it's hard not to mess up. So I've been using pencils before inks and I think the pages have been looking a lot better. I couldn't have done this one without pencils, let me tell you.

After all the drawing and dialoguing is done, I scan it in on my 8 x 11.5 scanner (which is sometimes a squeeze) and fix it a little in Photoshop (darken the lines, crop out other images, etc.). After that I size it down and upload it! Usually I'll have something to explain in the strip, which can always be found in the Author's Notes just under the strip on the right. I enjoy explaining myself to others (as you might be able to tell from reading all this).

All strips are drawn on that current day or that night, unless I have a future engagement I know I'm going to, and then I might do something about “my thoughts” or something that doesn't necessarily involve what I did during that particular day. I'll usually stop back and check up on the day's comic twice or thrice and occasionally respond to comments I find note-worthy.

Do you have any future plans for the comic or are you just going to take them as they come?
Since it's based on day-to-day activities I can't really predict what will be happening. In the future I do want to do maybe a week-long back-story of my parents, seeing as how I've never even showed them in the strip, but other than that I've just got to take what I get.

Have you started thinking about YOUR FUTURE?
I'm definitely going to college, and I'm probably going to be an Art Major, only because a lot of people tell me I'm good at drawing. I also like digital art, so I might start up something in that as well.

Do you have any favourite video games?
I was a huge fan of Oblivion before all my saved games were destroyed in my numerous computer crashes. Currently I'm playing Guitar Hero II, EverQuest II (sometimes), Rainbow 6 Vegas, and Geometry Wars (which is like Asteroids, only with big explosions). Now I just need to get BioShock.

Any favourite music you're currently listening to?
I'm a big fan of new stuff. Recently a friend on AIM gave me a bunch of Barenaked Ladies, which isn't really new… but it's new to me, so I've been listening to them a bit. I also like generic alternative music, rock, and only every once in a while some metal (System of a Down). I usually can't stand stuff like R&B and try my hardest to stay away from rap, country, and techno - though occasionally you can hear me humming a beat to each of them.

What are some of your other hobbies?
I'm a big fan of skateboarding (though I don't say it enough) and I love video games like everyone else. I just recently got an Xbox 360 and Guitar Hero II, so if you don't see me around Drunk Duck, that's what I'm sinking my time into. I also like music, sleeping, and making friends.

When it comes to your own strips, what are some of your favourites?
Well, when it comes to strips I love them all (except the ones with bad art… I'm not a big fan of those ones). However, I like what others take from specific strips, in the beginning I never knew “Go Blue Squire!” would become a cult phrase (a very, very small cult). I also hear a few people are starting to use the word “xum,” which is pretty amazing.

Are you thinking about doing any future projects other than Allan?
I have been chatting with various people about projects which pique my interest rather nicely. Nothing's written in stone yet, but I've been in contact with Shaun from Applied Living , Daniel_the_Drummer from Shark Brain , and Wilson , from his future Vengeful Jesus.

Any friends out there on Drunk Duck you'd like to give a shout out to?
Definitely Acadia from Applied Living . He got me started here on the Duck - plugged my comic almost daily, sent me PQ's, invited me to his sketchblog, he helped me out intensely and he needs some street cred for that.

As for others, I have a few people from DD who I chat with on AIM/MSN/YIM who know who they are. They're all really cool people and I've incorporated them in the comic somehow, whether it be author's notes or actual cameos.

Have you tried Dr. Pepper Zero?
Oh God. No. Dr. Pepper can be considered the nectar of the God's, and removing any of those special ingredients that make it what it is, it sacrilegious! Why Dr. Pepper Zero? Why not Dr. Pepper “Over Nine-Thousand”?! Now there's a drink I'd drink!

However, when there is no Dr. Pepper to be had, I'll usually get a Cherry Coke, Coke, Mr. Pibb, Pibb Extra, Mountain Dew, Pepsi Vanilla, or Cactus Cooler to chase down my Taco Bell.

…Any final words?
Yep! Thanks to all my readers out there for reading, thank you, Skool, for interviewing me, and thanks for everyone else that might stop by and be inclined to check out my comic. I really appreciate it.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:40PM
nerdsareinvading at 3:06PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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…nice to know more about you, and i admit,i use ‘xum’ sometimes…

compassion???
bling bling bling, now with 50% more bling…
THE CAKE IS A LIE!!!!

music is like candy… throw away the rappers

smiley agrees,right? lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:11PM
carrollhach at 6:17PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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joined: 9-29-2006
Nice interview. Liked especially your talk of pens. I've been using a huge wacom pad for a good while now and kinda forgot how much I loved pencils, but I got my daughter a legendary Blackwing 602 on Ebay and rekindled my interest. Paying 30+ bucks for a pencil is totally stupid, but there are some really good substitutes for the Blackwing available, and using one of those has really been a thrill.
keep up the good work. Your stuff is great, IMHO.
Josh Carrollhach
For profile inormation, other comics and general blog stuff, please check out
http://www.drunkduck.com/Clench_and_Cheese/
The Clench and Cheese Blog
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
daniel_the_drummer at 5:01AM, Aug. 28, 2007
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I use ‘xum’. My gf still doesn't know what it means, and it drives her crazy, and i like driving her crazy, so THANKS ALLAN!

I'm gonna PQ you now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Talekyn at 5:59AM, Aug. 28, 2007
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posts: 12
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Great interview, Allan. I haven't started using xum yet, but I have been known to shout “Go Blue Squire” when things get too quiet in the office. Of course, no one else at the office has any idea what the hell that means, so it makes for some awkward moments …

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
marine at 3:09AM, Aug. 29, 2007
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A pretty good interview. It was better than some of the others.

As for some of the specifics Allan said, the first thing I'd address is who Dan Paladin is. He's an artist/animator from Newgrounds a flash website that used to be THE place to go online. Its fallen off my radar in the last two years, but I still follow some of the work from Newgrounds. Specifically, Dan Paladin. He does the artwork for the games the guy who owns Newground (Tom Fulp) programs, a lot of flash games for free on Newgrounds as well as one of the best console games of the last generation Alien Hominid. They've got a new game coming out this year that I'm interested in playing. A simple google search can find all of that information.

And personally, anyone who gossips about me only fuels my fires and makes me giggle like a goofy redneck guy. A quick inward uncontrolled laughter that is hard to attain. So maybe you should tell people you know so they can get such a hard belly laugh.

Also, whats wrong with being honest about your comics with people? If I take a story from someones life, I always go above and beyond to show it to the people involved. For instance a story I did about a friend of mine and his girlfriends hilarious break up over a year ago, I showed it to both parties and both thought it was great. I portrayed one as a fat mouse man and the other as a skinny blue haired girl with my typical awkward drawing style. The two characters were shown going through their early stages of their relationship, even going as far as to use dialouge that I overheard them say to one another. In the story, the female decides one day out of a sudden that she just doesn't love the guy anymore. Crushed, my friend, after some soul searching and advice from me, decided to dedicate himself to mixed martial arts of all things. The female involved, I introduced her to her fiance (now husband) and within three or four months of dating she became pregnant. Thats about where I decided to take things into the crazy penis territory I'm known for. I forget a lot of the details, but I know it involved suicide, abortion, and probably murder. The point is, it was rather unflattering of all parties involved (me especially, I was the cat who liked to be pooped on, Scat Cat) but I was brave enough to show them the comics that featured them. The female was flattered, and said it was the funniest comics I'd done yet. Despite how mean it was towards my male friend, he just gets dumped on and goes on a homicidal rampage, he still thought it was great. He complained that he shouldn't have been a mouse, but other than that, no hard feelings. Other people who witnessed their relationship thought it was a spot on satire. My regular readers who weren't in my social circle thought it was an interesting and hilarious story that went off on crazy tangents in random and unexpected ways and involved all of the extreme themes that a good penis story needed.

So what I'm saying is, why hide your comics from the people involved? If they find out from someone else, their going to be ten times as offended. Its this ducks opinion, that you should show them and be proud. If for nothing else, than for more readers of your comic.

Like I said, great interview skool, Allan had a lot of interesting things to say. I liked this one.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Priest_Revan at 5:56PM, Aug. 29, 2007
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I enjoyed that interview. I actually like Allan's honestly about CoolTendo's interview. This also gave a good insight into how the comic works.
Updates Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's (depends).

7/0

Offering Project Wonderful Ad space on my website.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:48PM
Slowbro at 11:39AM, Sept. 5, 2007
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I agree, I would totally drink Dr. Pepper Over-Nine-Thousand! And I know ZeroVX would!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
Armagedon at 12:27AM, Sept. 27, 2007
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really great interview. I enjoyed the entire thing through and through (interviews are usually take a lot to keep my attention.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Pulse at 5:22PM, Jan. 27, 2008
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posts: 92
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nice interview!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:56PM
Allan at 2:00AM, April 12, 2008
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I appreciate the comments guys! I assure you all it was just as much fun to write it as it was to read it.

I'd like to thank Skool again for interviewing me. It was an honor to be thought highly enough to even be asked to be interviewed!

You guys all rock. Thanks again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM

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