This interview is of Pirka, whose comic is Interdimensional Transfer Student Erro and assists on the comic Kaeru no Uchuu!
(interview conducted by Pieguy259!)
Bit of background first. The classic Internet question: Age/sex/location?
Hrmmmm, telling a dubious man my personal details? Sounds like a day!~
15, Female, Toronto, Canada.
First up, let's briefly talk about Kaeru no Uchuu. What's your role with that comic?
Kaeru no Uchuu is a Keroro Gunsou fancomic created by my good online friend, Yinsho. We're both big fans of Keroro and he decided to add me as a co-author because a lot of the plot came from our discussions on MSN. Truly, though, it's Yinsho's pizza pie and he drew everything and wrote it himself. I can't take credit for his talent!
Any idea when it'll be coming off hiatus?
Sadly, I don't know. Yinsho has mentioned doing a complete reboot of the comic at some point, but when this will happen is something I don't know. All I can say is that I hope it will continue - it was a great chance to fool around on MSN with a friend and end up with something cool as an end result.
Can you give us any hints as to future storyline?
For Kaeru no Uchuu? Yinsho's a little shaky with the details, but from what I remember we'll be seeing more of Kagaga and possibly a bit on Reimama's mother. I really do hope that this comic keeps on going. It's a nice change of pace from original stuff, which can be a little bit hard to pull off when you're tired and on the computer at 4 am.
Now onto the meat of this tasty interview sandwich: Interdimensional Transfer Student Erro (what a mouthful!). Where'd you first get the idea for this comic?
Tasty interviews - that's my kind of sandwich!
Why, thank you for asking! Interdimensional Transfer Student Erro originally came from my love of Japanese slice-of-life style yonkoma/four-panel manga, as well as the anime based on them - Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh, Hidamari Sketch, etc. Essentially, Japanese comic strips (as opposed to comic stories, which I've never really been able to get into, North American or not). There is a kind of charm in those that is unparalleled but also very difficult to translate into any language other than the original Japanese without a lot of reference-explaining. The reference-explaining is all well and good, but it detracts a lot from the ‘flow of in-jokes in a conversation with friends’ feel that so many of these slice-of-life series have had. When I came up with the idea of Erro, it was to try to create a comic with this style that didn't need to be translated because the jokes were written for an English-speaking audience, but also be simple enough for people of all cultures to go ‘hey, that’s happened to me before!'. I still don't think I've quite succeeded, but I hope that I'm getting there.
If I completely misinterpreted your question and you meant to ask where I got the idea for the actual characters and the comic itself, I apologize for you having to read all the artsy crap above.
Most of the situations in the comic are ripped directly from real life, but not all of them. A few are just based on random things that have popped into my head - those little muses that surface throughout life and tell you ‘hey, life is really weird, isn’t it?'. As for the characters, I would be lying if I said Erro didn't have any of me in him. He's nerdy, a little selfish and immature; these are all traits that I regrettably have. Travis also has a bit of me in him, but he's mostly my parents and my one irl friend mixed in a pot and simmered until tender. Miss Pudding is pretty much my real life homeroom teacher, right down to appearance and having enough sass to make school actually interesting sometimes. Flora? To be honest, I just made her up so Travis would have another human to talk to, and also for there to be a girl. She's the kind of person who, if confronted with a massive dinosaur, would ask herself ‘herbavore or carnavore?’ before fleeing in terror.
Is Travis a natural green?
To make up for the brain-melting length of the answer above (I apologize), this question thankfully has a simple answer: Yes, it's natural.
Will we be seeing Erro's home dimension in more detail at some point?
Interesting question, kemosabe! The truth is that I'm still working out exactly what Erro's home dimension is like for myself. I even wrote myself an ‘FAQ’ (despite the fact that nobody except my mom really asks me any of this - an ‘IFAQ’?) to try to help figure out the ins and outs of said alternate universe. From what I've gathered while staying awake cramming for tests and such - it's like our world, but fluffier and with a very odd system of aging that changes according to trials completed in other, alternate dimensions. If you don't complete the trials, it doesn't matter how old you are - you aren't an adult yet! It's less a convoluted metaphor than it is me just writing down what high school is like.
Recently I've had a pretty major development - Erro's home dimension actually might have a name now! That's progress! I'm thinking of calling it ‘Mascot’, but with the ‘t’ silent, so it's pronounced ‘Masco’. Terrible pun… Yay or nay?
I do hope to have flashback strips at some point, detailing more of Erro's background, but I think it's too early now. I'm thinking of having something special happen at 100 strips, though!
Has anyone other than Travis actually noticed that Erro is, in fact, a small teddy-bear-like creature, or do they just not care?
Another question that I'm glad you asked! God, this is a fun interview.
The truth is, I could have made this whole strip a ‘fantastic racism’ scenario if I really wanted to…but that doesn't matter to me, Erro is weird enough even if you don't consider his appearance. In other words, nobody really cares. They notice, but they don't treat him any differently. Sometimes I wish the world was more accepting like that. We'd have more aliens enrolled in our schools.
I do sometimes wonder how they got a uniform his size, though.
How does Travis manage to endure Erro's shenanigans?
The answer is simple - they're friends, and friends deal with the craziness of other friends. Sometimes, though, Travis has his work cut out for him - since he has no on-screen parents, he's shoehorned into the role of parental figure for both Erro and himself. Let's give that kid a hand!
Your art style is uniquely cute and fluffy. Who and what are your main sources of inspiration?
First of all - thank you *so* much for the compliment. It really means a lot to me! For serious, dude!
I've noticed, looking back on my art style (at least the style I use when drawing in a way similar to anime/manga) that a lot of the challenge in developing it was simplicity. Drawing a comic is not easy, and, as you of all people should definately know, ‘simple and appealing’ is key. Take Stickman and Cube - they're both simple, but also very fun to look at. In a strip format, simplicity is key, because the writing should complement the pictures in the limited space you have to work with.
As for direct inspiration, the design of Erro was definately influenced by the art of Chris Sanders, creator of Lilo and Stitch, my favourite movie of all time. It also contains elements of ‘puni plush’, a style that emphasizes curves and makes things appear ‘squeezable’, popularized by Lucky Star and other ‘moe’ shows. It's a good contrast to how harsh reality is - the way I see high school, sometimes it seems like everything is out to kill you.
Nice work on the flash intro! How long did it take you to make? Is that your voice singing?
I'm glad you think so!! ^^ It took a lot of work. Believe it or not, it was actually created for a school art project. I major in visual arts at an art high school (I do not reccommend this for anyone who wants to keep their sanity - please trust me on this one) and the biggest project of the year needed to clock at at least 48 hours of work. I've always been a massive, drooling animation fan, so I torrented Flash (everyone does it, I'm sorry Macromedia!) and got to work at self-teaching the program. Eventually I made a hopeless mess and looked up tutorials online. This helped. All in all, the animation itself took at least two weeks, but since they were school weeks a lot of time was wasted. You know, at school.
I was going to color it, but my hard drive fried and I no longer have the original flash file. Good thing I put it on Youtube…it's one of the few things I've ever made that I don't think is total poop. It's still not too good. Pffff.
Yes, that is my voice singing. I apologize for your ruptured ear canals. Don't scratch the scabs. (The layering was done in Audacity)
Also, speaking of audio - I listened to Still Alive on loop during nearly the entire time I was working on this. That's why the credits mention GLaDOS. I am a nerd.
Lastly, because we're all wondering: What is that yellow furry thing in your avatar?
Said yellow furry thing is from a screenshot of one of my favourite animated series of all time - Superjail! The episode it is from is ‘Don’t Be A Negaton', and it shows up for about two seconds before literally melting into a pile of flesh and bony bits…so I made it into an avatar and put a speech bubble reading ‘Sex’ coming out of it, because it felt like the right thing to do. I reccommend Superjail! to anyone who is non-squeamish and non-sane, as well as anyone who is serious about animation - the industry as a whole needs to look at the effort these guys put into their work.
Keep up the good work!
I know this seems sappy, but I honestly gotta thank ya for taking the time to write this interview and complementing me - it means soooo much and I hope to talk to you again in the future!
Everybody go check out Stickman and Cube! Tell em' Pirka sent ya! :D
Pieguy259 interviews Pirka of Interdimensional Transfer Student Erro!
skoolmunkee at 1:47AM, June 24, 2009
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Pirka at 6:43PM, June 24, 2009
Thanks so much for posting the interview, Skoolmunkee! I'm currently working on interviewing the awesomeness known as Pieguy (the dude who interviewed me, like yeah)…if I can only come up with good enough questions! (If Pie is reading this, sorry I've taken so long!)
Love you DrunkDuck!
Love you DrunkDuck!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
Gillespie at 10:02AM, June 26, 2009
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
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