Call for Questions for Greg Dean of Real Life

Greg Dean has been delighting readers for years with his sometimes autobiographical and always hilarious webcomic, Real Life. It continues to be one of the most widely read webcomics.

Dean has agreed to take questions from you, the readers, for this month’s community interview. Just reply to this thread with the questions you have, and we’ll pick the ten best and get them to him to answer. (One question per post please.)


Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. You’ve had the interesting experience of using people from your everyday life in your strip, and then having had those people move out of your life and therefore out of your strip. (Including at least one ex-girlfriend, if I recall correctly.) Given that “Real Life” is often more a fantasy life based around your real life, how do you handle the retirement of characters based on people you’re no longer close to, and does it bother you that they’re still lurking in your archives?

  2. The “Sky Dumbass and the World of Two Weeks From Tomorrow” sequence featured absolutely incredible artwork. Could you compare your standard technique for producing Real Life Comics to what you had to do to create Sky Dumbass?

  3. Aside from your real life, what are your inspirations? I don’t necessarily mean things that inspire specific strips. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be, what stuff do you watch/listen to/etc that gets you so excited you just want to create something? (Even if you never actually do.)

  4. Is there an alternative to Sour Cherry Bubble Yum so we readers outside the US can get to Mars enjoy the taste?

    And why a brown Volvo?

  5. Ever since last summer when you posted a call for guest strips and disallowed MSPaint files, it’s colored – pardon any pun – my perception of you (though I still save Real Life for last in my morning trawl). I would’ve liked to send you a guest strip, but I use MSPaint for my webcomics because I made the conscious decision when I went online to employ the ubiquitous industry standards/defaults so that I could work from almost everywhere I go. (I still read my email with telnet.) (So does my Intro To Programming II professor.) Must you shoot the messenger? Oughtn’t you look at a guy’s joke before you decide it’s not worthy? Or am I taking your comment more seriously than you did?

  6. Did you ever think you would make it to year 5? Starting and maintaining a webcomic is a daunting task (at least, that’s what most of the current writers/artists tell us), so I often wonder how long many expect they can keep their momentum going. As a followup, do you still feel challenged, artwise or storywise, by your comic – comparing when you first started to today?

  7. What is your favourite storyline of all the ones you’ve done, and why do you like it?

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