genejoke interviews ifelldownthestairs of I Fell Down the Stairs and the Webcomic Review Comic on the Web!
skoolmunkee at 2:09AM, Aug. 21, 2010
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of ifelldownthestairs, whose comics are: I Fell Down the Stairs and collaborator on The Webcomic Review Comic on the Web and others!
(interview conducted by genejoke!)

So… Ifelldownthestairsawhowhereandwhynow? Apart from that is the title of the comic but what about you? who are you? where do you come from? and why do you exist?

Hmm.. a tough question. But a fair one. Genejoke, there's no single answer. Some voters respond to my integrity. Others are more impressed with my incorruptibility. Still, others by my DETERMINATION TO LOWER TAXES AND THE BUREAUCRATS IN THE STATE CAPITAL CAN PUT THAT IN THEIR PIPES AND SMOKE IT!

…ahem. I'm a 27 year old server who's still in college because I still haven't made up my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. I'm a slave to music, movies, and art in general, am overly fond of drinking, and have too much wanderlust for my own good. As for why I'm here, um… I never really figured that one out. My mom spent hours trying to explain this to me, and eventually had to resort to a crude recreation of sexual intercourse with her index fingers, but to no avail.

So your masters music, movies and art, what examples of these inspire you the most?

Oh man… that's a hard one to answer without rambling. With music, I was a HUGE metalhead in high school. And I still am at heart, but there's so much more stuff I've grown to like throughout my twenties. I love experimental stuff; anything by Tom Waits or Mike Patton is just gold - Rain Dogs, Mr. Bungle's California or Disco Volante for example feel like they were specifically made for listening to while creating art. Then there's stuff like The National, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, etc. that are so good at evoking emotion - The National's Boxer should be required listening for anyone my age; it's the best expression of resisting adulthood while clinging to a rapidly fading youth that I have ever heard. Electronica, jazz, classical, fuck, even some country… I know lots of people say they like everything, and I hate to just leave it at that, but I really do think that there is something to like about pretty much everything.

I love movies that make me really think or feel something; these can range from movies like Rushmore and Garden State to Night of the Living Dead or even Robocop and the first two Terminator movies. All of these give you things to ponder about how people interact under strain, or ways to react to your life falling into a rut, or societal and political ills, or even accepting inevitability and mortality. They all give you something to walk away with, and they all make you feel something. …admittedly I just kind of looked over at my DVD collection and picked those out at random, but I'm sure you can see what I mean!

Art is amazing in how it uses aesthetic to express feelings and ideas. I used to hate modern art, and part of me still does, as honestly these days it seems to be valued as little more than giving self important people opportunity to talk bullshit. I understand the progression art has made, where before it was more aesthetic than ideas, and now it's pretty much the opposite, but come on - how many canvases of all one color can you really make before it gets difficult to look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself an artist! I still think of Expressionism and Surrealism as art's real peak; the former for taking every day objects and twisting them around to resemble the feelings of the artist, and the latter for just running so fearlessly with imagination.

Okay, I'm definitely rambling now. Time to stop. Hoooo…

Ifelldownthestairs? really why call the comic that? (Although I guess it is hard to come up with a title for a gag a day comic.)

A couple of reasons. Initially it was because I thought it was random and silly, but soon I realized that it's basically slang amongst doctors in hospitals/schools who have treated wives/children with suspicious injuries. And given my somewhat dark sense of humor, this revelation cemented the name for me.
Also I suck ass at naming things. Part of why I don't get a pet is the fear that it'll end up with a name like “Kool Moe Dee.”

That's why I call everything Bob. If I had my way my kids would be Bobs one two and three.

Hah! It'd be like that Far Side cartoon, “out bob-bob-bobbing along, I see.”

So mspaint, haven't you considered moving up to or gimp even photoshop?

I tried and didn't really care for it, same with gimp, though I do use that for the reviews, and photoshop's too damned expensive. I finally bought a pad, and sadly the very first time I used it was (now that the proverbial cat's out of the bag)for the Plural Bonerage illustration. I think I might end up using the pad sooner or later, because I'm definitely ready for a new phase with the comic's art.

Speaking of works of art,Plural Bonerage, great title. Shite comic, great joke. How long have you guys been planning this and who came up with the title?

We first thought of it this spring as a result of us talking about April Fool's Day pages. The title is all Hark.

Really predictable question here, is it difficult coming up with decent gags regularly?

Yeah, it can be… and for a daily comic, those dry spells are brutal. It's all dependent on thinking funny things.. which sounds obvious but a large part of why I started making this comic was to capture all those silly ideas I get when random stuff happens - for example, once I was watching some surgery channel, and got really caught up in how tense it was while the doctor was making an incision. The first thing I thought was “wouldn't it be funny if some guy jumped out of nowhere, scared the shit out of the doctor, and he jumped and totally fucked up the patient by accident?” This also became one of the first ifdts strips.

I dunno, it's all about remembering those moments for me. Unfortunately, some days not much happens, and I don't get those, and I have to force it… which works with highly varying degrees of success (i.e. it sucks).

So do you carry a notebook at all times to write down random ideas?

Haha no.. I keep telling myself I should, but I would look like a total jack ass stopping in my tracks and writing shit down at random. I've joked before about carrying around a mini-voice recorder too, and dramatically shouting comic ideas into it while making the people around me uncomfortable.

Do you ever make a strip or think of a strip that may be a little too offensive and shelve it?
Wow… you don't even want to know what I'm chuckling about right now.

Actually I do, I'm morbidly curious like that.

Well.. it involves fisting, a naked white supremacist, a black guy, a knife, a baby, and a wide array of bodily fluids. Part of the conclusion is a certain type of waste being shot from a body and resembling a fancy fountain. I thought it was funny but…

As you also do the webcomic review comic on the web, does that mean you have a thing for long titles?

Yeah… it's all about the long titles. You have to really work with them though; I like to embrace and toy with long titles until they feel firm for me. Once you've got a hard title though, you've really got to stick with it.. sometimes they can be a bit hard to swallow, but if you can't suck it up, you're just going to end up with a big mess on your hands.

Hah, Subtle, anyway now we have stumbled on to the webcomic review comic on the web, I may as well ask a few questions about that. You guys seem to have a laugh doing it, so how do you do it? all the sweaty details please.

We just laugh until it's done, and we're all sweaty. You wouldn't think that to be a productive technique, but it really is!

…okay no. We each read the comic, and then discuss it for a while over AIM; sometimes we discuss it while we read. Then I'll put the background together and we'll go over our dialogue - what each of us says in the comic is basically what that person said, though sometimes the other will offer suggestions on how to word certain things. The banter aspect is highly collaborative; it's very much “we should get into an argument here” or “you should act like _____ throughout the review,” and so on. Even some of Hark's puns have been a team effort - every once in a great while, my character will be a bit more mean spirited towards his pun than usual, and when that's the case, chances are that I wrote it. Then there was the Mr. Square review… oh man, we were practically throwing puns at each other while writing that one. That was a lot of fun.

You recently did a podcast, that sounded like fun too, Is there a place or plans for both? Or maybe a side project?

We've still got a lot of ideas about where we want to go with that, but it definitely won't replace the comic format or forum so much as become a third avenue we can use to talk about the comics we review, both amongst ourselves and with our readers alike. I was pleasantly surprised with the mostly warm reception it got, and we're most likely going to explore that some more.

There has been a number of similar projects appear in recent weeks, how do you feel about this imitation and what do you think of the competition? assuming you have read them that is.

I think it's nice in a way. For one, seeing people take that idea and run with it in their own direction is very interesting, particularly Why Does Everyone Hate My Guts, and of course Barry Reviews Webcomics. Also, seeing comics use an idea you had as a basis for their own work is very assuring; it's basically saying “wow dude, that was a great idea!”

Have they inspired you to make changes to your comic?

Kinda, though not in the sense that we want to ape anybody's ideas or anything. Our reviews have always had a bit of an experimental nature to them, but the friendly competition definitely serves as encouragement to continue in that vein. With all the clever twists others are taking with the concept, it would be in our best interest to keep trying new things!

So the mob ties review, a lot has been said about this and I don't want to start a fresh bout of abuse but do you still stand by the review or would you maybe handled it a bit differently if you did it over?

Honestly? I wouldn't change a word. There's one single review I can think of off the top of my head where I can look back and think that perhaps we focused too much on the negative aspects… and that comic definitely isn't Mob Ties.

In case you were wondering, I'm talking about Mildly Mundane.

Author Ninja creator of Mob ties said somewhere something along the lines of “I have given you more views than you comic has ever gotten before!” is there any truth to this?

Oh, absolutely. When a comic on the front page of the site has its readers flocking to yours (particularly in outrage), you are going to see a huge number of hits. He certainly sent more our way than we sent to him!

Then follow that with getting featured, I guess you have been getting a bit of a boost lately.

Yeah, it's been pretty cool, especially getting featured! I never really expected something like that to happen.

Also has this had a knock on affect on your individual comics?
I don't think so, no. I can't speak for Hark but ifdts didn't seem affected.

Also you have a great big list of comics to review, have you ever considered taking some out of the current order as you have both read them or some such?

No, we're very strict about keeping the list in order - what with its length (there we go with length again…) people have to wait a really long time for a review, and it would be unfair to thrust somebody in front of them.

You do a comedy strip that is crude and pretty random and drawn in MS paint, do you ever feel like a hypocrite in your reviews?

Not at all - my comic is hardly attractive, but with reviews I'm always forgiving with the art so long as the writing entertains me. And besides, when I critique comics it's based on a scale of what it seems to be going for. I wouldn't hold, say, Stickman and Cube to the same illustration standard as something like Fight 2. Also, I've seen a fair amount of comics made with MS Paint, and in that category I daresay I do reasonably well!

Personally I think ifelldownthestairs is one of the stronger gag strips I have read and you have done some effective work with paint. It has even inspired me to do a Malefic tale drawn solely in paint, with a mouse, just a short one but i like the challenge of making paint look good, I just need an idea for one.

Thanks, man! It always makes me glad to know that ifdts is entertaining someone. You should! I think it would be a fun (albeit potentially frustrating) project. Maybe it's just because I've been using it to do this for so long, but I've developed a fondness for the program <3

Well we are nearly done here, so do you have a bad pun to close on?
It was a lot of fun interviewing with you! It felt like we could not only formally interview each other, but geneJOKE around as well!

…wow, I feel dirty.

Harkovast would be proud!

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
harkovast at 4:07AM, Aug. 22, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Great interview, and an insight into the scary mind of Kev.
I always find it entertaining that Kev can swing from “intellectual discussion of symbolism in films” to “jokes about bum sex.” in a single conversation. The combination of high and low brow is central to the eternal contradiction that is Kev!

And PUNS 4 EVA!!!!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:44PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 5:33PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 3,785
joined: 1-16-2009
I will never feel the same again.

…I love the one at the bottom of the stairs.

Great interview.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:54PM

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