It's Only Chronillogical: Talking to Greg Poulos and John Chouinard
Greg Poulos and John Chouinard are the creators of the new webcomic Chronillogical, a webcomic about time-traveling graduate students. Greg handles the writing and John creates the art for the strip. It's a relatively new webcomic, but already one I check in on a regular basis. I got a chance to interview Greg and John via email this month.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
John: Just another collegiate great ape, trying to distract myself from the all-encompassing scariness of the real world with chronic beard-stroking. The bassoon was my instrument in high school, and as a child I heard the voice of Harold Ramis in a crowded lecture hall.
Greg: I am tall, and a student concentrating in Computer Science. I have brown hair, two robust legs, and an engraved pocketwatch that was given to me one Christmas by my brother and sister. My least favorite letter is 'I', which is ironic because I am an egomaniacal megalomaniac.
What's a typical day for you like recently?
John: Well, recently it's been midterm season, so I've pretty much split my time between eating, sleeping (miraculously), reading, going to class, and comicking. Things better settle down next week.
Greg: Yeah, mostly busy with classes. Pretty ho-hum stuff, unfortunately. I should probably start working on my grad school applications one of these days.
Where are you located these days?
John: Los Angeles, right now, though I left a part of me in the Midwest when high school ended. Whether I go back to retrieve it, I'm not entirely sure, but it's more than likely.
Greg: Cambridge, Massamachusetts. That's likely to change after I graduate, though to where I do not know.
Do you have another job besides working on comics?
John: Just a full-time college student, though that doesn't really qualify as a "job," does it? So I suppose it's just the comic, then! WOO
Greg: Aside from being a full-time student, I am also a FULL-TIME AMAZING DUDE. It's pretty time-consuming, actually.
Do you read other comics? What are you reading online or in print?
John: Astro City came to my attention a few years ago, and I just want more of it, more more more. Doug TenNapel's Iron West is also a recent favorite. I need more of his work and more of his mojo, wherever he secures it.
In the online world -- should I just make a list? I'm leaving a lot out, but the big ones, alphabetically: Anders Loves Maria, Dresden Codak, Girly, Kate Beaton, My Stupid Life, Nobody Scores, Octopus Pie, Penny Arcade (shock!), Sam and Fuzzy, Scary Go Round, and Starslip Crisis (and Chainsawsuit, and F Chords). Haven't put a lot of time aside to go scrounging for unknown gems, I'm afraid.
Greg: To John's list of online thingamajiggers I'll add Dinosaur Comics, GastroPhobia, Gunnerkrigg Court, Kukuburi, Overcompensating, PvP, Three Panel Soul, We the Robots, Wigu, and xkcd.
John: Gahh, I really need to read Kukuburi! Get with the program, John!
John: Grad students travel through time! Hijinks ensue! Here, have a flier. (It's worth noting that we coaxed the comic premise from the comic title and not vice versa.)
Greg: To be clear, we probably wouldn't include that parenthetical bit in our convention pitch.
Do you have a favorite strip or storyline from the comic? Which ones do fans seem to bring up the most?
John: Of the ones we've put up so far, I very much enjoyed a recent strip where Milo conducts an inquisition on a dissenting stuffed animal of his.
Greg: I don't know if I have a favorite, and I agree with John about the inquisition strip, but I'm also fond of one of our early strips where the gang is trying to decide where to eat lunch. They consider a whole slew of oddball establishments, including Razor Burger, a fast food joint famous for having a razor in every burger!
Are there any of your characters you're really fond of? Any that are particularly difficult to use?
John: Mr. Skeleton really needs to be developed beyond the single appearance we've given him. He is just the best and super-cool, and I think we handled his introduction somewhat awkwardly.
Greg: Yeah. You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to fit a walking, talking skeleton with a toupee into a webcomic about time traveling grad students. But rest assured, you haven't seen the last of Mister Skeleton!
Do you have any long term goals or ambition for the future of the comic?
John: Nothing beyond the typical goals of every other webcartoonist -- get seen, get money -- buy an island. Find Atlantis, maybe, or go to the moon when the price comes down.
Greg: I've heard Mars is lovely this time of year.
Any plans for a print collection?
John: No plans for merch of any kind at this stage, I'm afraid. As I understand it, this won't change any sooner than May.
Greg: Yeah, it's pretty early for us to be thinking about that kind of stuff, and we've still got school to deal with.
How do you go about promoting your work? What seems to be most effective at pulling in new readers?
John: Being such a new strip on the scene, we've mostly relied on word of mouth. Fleen linked to us once, though, which we greatly appreciated! Project Wonderful remains an unending, undulating experiment.