Interviews

DrLuck interviews ifelldownthestairs of I Fell Down the Stairs!
skoolmunkee at 3:06AM, July 29, 2009
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posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of ifelldownthestairs, whose comic is I Fell Down the Stairs!
(interview conducted by DrLuck!)


1. I personally would find it difficult to have a gag-a-day kind of comic, and greatly respect those who can successfully pull this off day in and day out. What are your thoughts on gag-a-day versus an ongoing story?

There are times I think about having arcs or at least establishing characters, but I still enjoy the charm of making each strip with a clean slate. Much like how Final Fantasy starts anew with each release. So you could pretty much say that I Fell Down The Stairs is a critically acclaimed, best selling, highly influential RPG that has touched the lives of millions.

Yeah, you could totally say that.

I am not a story comic fan by default, but I still have a lot of respect for the imagination it requires to create your own little universe and embrace it to the extent that you can dream up enough things happening within to keep it interesting. There are a few stories on here in particular(Rival Angels, Temple of a Thousand Tears, Anatta, Harkovast, Clench and Cheese…) which pull you into their world so convincingly that it's insane, and there are a ton more here I simply haven't read. Like I said, I respect that a LOT, but I'd rather just take someone aside and give them a laugh. ….and give ‘em somethin’ else… ohh yeahhhh….

2. In one comic, you discussed how you managed to make a joke every day. I fully believe all of it, but wonder why people keep trying to hug you if you keep killing them. Could you go into more specifics about your process when coming up with a joke every day?

Because they're ASSHOLES, that's why, the little hippie pieces of crap. “Ow, Kevin! I think you accidentally sanded off my face!” Yeah, I did; because you're a LOSER.

My comic ideas ultimately come from silly thoughts that pop into my head. A perfect example: the other day I had an oven pizza for dinner, but I forgot about it and it ended up burnt. So the first thing I think of is me looking at my burnt pizza, and then looking at the box it came in, which would say something like “Mario's Pizza! So simple a COMPLETE IDIOT could make it!” and then I'd just burst into tears. The problem with this method is that these thoughts tend to be fleeting, and sometimes I'll remember them at inopportune times (like now for example, instead of when I'm wracking my brain for ideas). I've learned to start writing them down, but when I don't and it's time to draw a comic for the next day and I've got nothing, it's the dreaded brainstorm… which is probably the superior method but I prefer random thoughts, as they're less predictable.

3. Finalist for the most deliciously offensive last year. I can completely see why! Why don't you talk a bit about your kind of humor?

I remember in the sixth grade, (I was eleven, for those of you who ain't ‘merican folk) we had a reading class, and my teacher asked the class, “does that ever make you a little sad when you finish a book?” The puzzlement was abound in the classroom, because sixth graders don’t read recreationally, unless they're nerds.

….I was a nerd. I knew exactly what she was talking about.

But then the first thing to pop up in my head after “yeah, that sucks” is her saying “…doesn't it make you a little mad?” and the classroom growing uneasy, with rage slowly building in her face. “Doesn't it just… JUST MAKE YOU WANNA FUCKING KILL SOMEBODY???” and then she throws a desk, screaming student still sitting in it, out the window and screams maniacally.

So now I'm in the back, desperately trying to suppress my laughter, while she goes on about that day's lesson.

That's what my humor are based on primarily, that and misleading the reader, which is a great device for someone who hates (but admittedly often succumbs to) predictability.

4. Congratulations on having over 500 comic pages. Would you like to discuss some of the changes you went through with how many comics you've made all this time?

No.


…alright, I will. I went a good 200 strips before really giving thought to adding a bit of polish to the art. It was essentially “extra effort = better product” versus “less effort = ….less effort”. I never cared for the oblong stick figures especially, but I think the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was when I came across the third or fourth comic hosted by this site which was a clear Cyanide and Happiness rip off.

All I could think was “this is the crap I'm getting lumped in with?” it was a slow transition, but by my 400th comic I was done with stick figures. Much like by the 400th day I'll be done answering this question.

With the writing I've definitely broadened the topics I use, but that's really the only difference I notice. Some who have reviewed my comic said the writing got more sharp over time, but I don't see it. Then again, I'm a self deprecating prick.

5. You mention using Paint to do your comics. What is it you like about Paint when it comes to making comics?

I have it, that's about it. Believe me, if I had a scanner I would be drawing my comics. I've gotten fairly good at it by now, considering that I draw everything with a mouse, but I would love to actually DRAW ifdts. I've no doubt that eventually I'll buy a scanner or pad, just like after long enough I did away with the oblongs… but until then, I'm that guy in that joke, the one where the guy complains about his lunch every day, and then goes home and makes a webcomic with MS Paint.


6. Does your mother read your comics?

Hehheheh. Interviewer say funny thing.

7. You said you started your comic with a blog, seeing how long you could keep making jokes. What else inspired you to start making comics?

That's what I said that about me???

A lot of it was admiration for daily comics, which I've had since I was a kid. I remember, like many here I imagine, getting three pieces of paper, folding them “like a hamburger”, drawing, coloring, and stapling them together. My subject? An inept superhero named “Snotman”, who decided to become a superhero after picking his nose and pulling on a long string of snot, which snapped and landed on his face, resembling a mask. The way he would foil villains would be merely to approach them, and they'd just say “…awww.. oh god… I'll stop trying to take over the world, just go away..”

Anywho, I think the main thing was that while I love humor comics, not many pander to every kind of thing I think is funny. For example, as much as i love Calvin and Hobbes, I seriously doubt Bill Watterson has hidden away a strip where Hobbes sexually assaults Susie, and Calvin's mother walks up to find him fisting her with the stuffed tiger. Just like Electric Retard (thanks, Harky:P) wouldn't ever have a comic with a quirky xkcd-esque twist, and so on. There simply weren't any comics that I knew of that mix all the kinds of things that I think are funny into one comic, so I made it myself. It is tailor-made to fit my sense of humor, and anyone else who shares it. Which admittedly narrows my audience a great deal, but I don't mind. My fans kick ass.

8. Occasionally, the comic has parody comics, like xkcd and Dinosaur Comics. What are your thoughts on parody, and what kind of parodies do you enjoy yourself (ironic, exaggerated, a nod to the source material, ect.)?

I think parody's wonderful. It's the best thing out there as far as keeping people from taking themselves too seriously is concerned.

As far as parody I enjoy, I grew up on one of the finest parody artists around, Weird Al Yankovic. And of course there's Monty Python (which I think I've heard quoted about fifty thousand times too many), Mel Brooks, Airplane!, the Naked Gun movies.. ah, Leslie Neilsen. I don't care much for slapstick, but anything that man is in is guaranteed to make me laugh. I will cry on the day he dies, I'm not even kidding.

As far as newer stuff, it's all about Robot Chicken and Wondershowzen, though I don't think the latter is around any longer.

9. You have an interest in art history. What's your favorite era of art history, and why do you enjoy it so?

Expressionism and Surrealism. I didn't really care much for Expressionism beyond Van Gogh at first, but the more I learned about it the more I loved it. Namely Egon Schiele; I think he is the pinnacle of that movement. I love that before this, art was about beautiful images. Expressionists came along and said “fuck that. We're tired of these roves of beautiful paintings - we want to make fucked up shit. Not everything is pretty, you know. Douchebags.”

Surrealism I love simply because these artists weren't afraid to run with their imaginations and be fuckin' WEIRD. When I was a kid I remember watching Dumbo and being mesmerized by the pink elephant sequence.. fast forward twenty years and I'm at a Dali exhibit watching his collaborations with Walt Disney and watching Disney's own forrays into Surrealism and thinking almost screaming out loud “HOLY FUCK THE PINK ELEPHANTS THAT'S RIGHT OH MY GOD THAT WAS AWESOME”

10. Do you make jokes as you go along, making a new one every day, or do you have a list of jokes ahead of time you made before you make your comics?

Both really… sometimes I remember to write down ideas, and even more rarely I have the discipline to sit and draw each of them so I have a surplus and am in no danger of falling behind schedule.. but usually I'll just rely on something I thought of that day, or wait for something to come to me. Which I should really stop doing, because that has resulted in some shitty ass strips.

Follow up questions:

1. How do your paper-drawn drawings compare to your mouse ones? Do they look similar or are they completely different? I can't for the life of me draw with a computer.


Um… well they're not blocky for one, if that helps. I'm a capable artist, I think that my drawing skills are at least on par with your average gag strip. It's not terribly different from the way my “art” (as much as one can call ms paint figures art) looks now, just smoothed out and cleaned up with a great deal more detail.

2. I have to ask. What sort of villains went up against the hero that is Snotman?

I didn't give much thought to the villains, they were just traditional realistic bad guys. Like Corporation heads - I was a liberal even as a child! One in particular was a mob boss who would tell his henchmen to “TAKE CARE” of people (and no, none of those capitalized letters are to be missing) to which they would menacingly agree and laugh sinisterly on their way to the person's house… to knock over a piece of furniture. One thing I remember specifically is “What? He's back?? BUT I JUST SENT MY HENCHMEN TO HIS HOUSE TO KNOCK SOMETHING OVER”


3. Dude, surrealism is totally awesome, and in the same boat as you with the pink elephants thing. Did you happen to also see the Raggedy Ann and Annie movie? If not, you should see it for probably the trippiest animation I've seen.

psag! No… but I'm checking it out. Trippy animation is gOD.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
harkovast at 6:30AM, July 29, 2009
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posts: 5,197
joined: 10-12-2008
That was an AWESOME interview!
Now it is over I feel a little sad….
Maybe a little mad….
In fact, a lot MAD!
I AM GOING TO FUCKING KILL SOMEBODY!!!!
ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!
*jumps out of window*

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
skoolmunkee at 2:56AM, July 30, 2009
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posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
Anyone who does not like this interview, I'm sending someone to their house to knock some of their stuff over!!
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Skullbie at 8:33PM, Aug. 1, 2009
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posts: 4,709
joined: 12-9-2007
I don't usually read interviews but i can't believe how well written this is, great job it's made me want to read your comic :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
ifelldownthestairs at 11:36PM, Aug. 1, 2009
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posts: 431
joined: 7-4-2007
Awesome, thanks Skullbie! DrLuck, we make a damn fine team :D


And Skoolmunkee… don't. If anybody saw that, everything you've accomplished will be undone, and Comissioner Gordon will have died for nothing!

….sorry, I just watched the Dark Knight..

And Harkovast too, thanks for reading guys!
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
DrLuck at 10:32AM, Aug. 2, 2009
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Questionnaire power, activate!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
ifelldownthestairs at 10:34AM, Aug. 2, 2009
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posts: 431
joined: 7-4-2007
Form of Interviewer!
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Exzachly at 2:30PM, Aug. 6, 2009
(online)
posts: 565
joined: 4-21-2007
Hey, you did an interview!

Good stuff. Man, your process for coming up with ideas is pretty much exactly the same as mine. Great interview, I enjoyed it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Gillespie at 6:23PM, Aug. 12, 2009
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posts: 194
joined: 2-23-2009
Excellent interview. It's cool to get to know some of the people here. If they have a personality, an interview certainly shows it. Good job!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM

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