An Interview with Scott Kurtz And Kristofer Straub About New Company And New Projects
Last week Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub were gracious enough to grant this brand spankin' new Comixpedia front page writer/blogger an email interview about their new partnership. The questions are a bit clumsy, but their answers are interesting and informative. Enjoy!
Question 1: How goes the corporate name search? There seems to be a pretty strong fan concensus on something involving pixels, pandas, or some variation there of, and I personally am pulling for Graphamaximo Inc., but I understand you wanted to go with something unrelated to your previous work. Where are you now?
Scott: We've actually decided to go with Halfpixel for the name. It was important that we didn't use a name that already was associated just with PvP or me. I love the name Halfpixel, it describes who we are and what we do. Halfpixel.com has always been experimental so it won't be too upsetting for it's readers to see it morph into a new hub for our collaborative efforts (Don't worry, web You.0 isn't going away).
Question 2: How is the union going to effect your current properties? Is there going to be a level of collaboration on PVP and Starslip Crisis? Merchandise revenue sharing? Or are these projects separate from the corporation?
Kris: There won't be any more collaboration on our respective properties than there is with any scenario where two creators trade ideas talking. It won't be PvP by Scott Kurtz and Kristofer Straub, or Starslip Crisis by Kristofer Straub and Scott Kurtz. Halfpixel will be all-new projects that both of us collaborate on, be they webcomics, books, T-shirts, animation, video, or podcasts.
Scott: It's going to only be natural to turn to Kris and say "help me with this punchline" or for Kris to turn to me and say "Do you think I should take the story in this direction." But we already do that over the internet.
Question 3: How do you think the collaboration is going to improve the quality of your work over all?
Scott: I think just having a creative environment to work in every day will help. We get to experience that one week at a time twice a year when we visit each other at a con or when we spend a week at Penny Arcade or Blind Ferret. That's what spurred us to make this move. We kept saying "Why can't we have THIS all the time."
Question 4: What sort of new joint projects can we be expecting? Obviously the PVP animated series is going to continue. Will there be a new cartoon series? Kris Straub suggested he may be developing a second strip over at Halfpixel. Can we expect a second Kurtz strip as well? Will their be a joint strip or comic book? Or will it be something completely different?
Kris: Scott and I agree that having set office hours really boosts productivity, and working with someone else pushes it up even more. A single Starslip Crisis strip takes an hour to draw -- there's another seven hours in a workday that I'm not taking advantage of, and I really want a second strip to be in there.
Scott: I would love to do a 2nd strip, but right now it's all about taking control of the amount of time we're wasting in a day. So it feels like before I can consider a new strip or a new project, I have to put out all these fires I started already. I'm excited about the time management and structure that the office will give us. It seems like I'm overworked but I'm really just poorly managing time.
I would really like to take the extra time I find to explore other media. I think that I have the strip, the series and I would really like to expand the podcasting and some video-casting too. So halfpixel will become something like the Scott and Kris entertainment network.
Question 5: How are the guys over at Penny Arcade reacting to the news? Glad you took their advise? Or fearful of your awesome combined powers?
Scott: It's impossible to say. They offer very controlled responses that prevent them from ever taking an official position. I believe their reaction was "Acknowledged. Please await further instructions."
Kris: I had a dream about them last night. They seemed happy there, so...
Question 6: How have your fans reacted to the announcement? From what I can tell the response seems uniformly positive, but I am not as plugged in as you guys surely are. Have there been any concerns?
Scott: Fan's really have nothing to react to...YET. But once Halfpixel is reborn it'll be a window into what we're doing every day and I hope that's very exciting for our fans.
The interesting reaction, to me, is how other cartoonists and the people in my circles of friends are reacting. I gotta tell you that I've been struggling with it because this whole thing progressed very naturally with our friendship. But it feels like there's a lot of disdain coming towards me about teaming up with Kris. You can really see it in the webcomics "community." Some people just resent that I want to collaborate with Kris. But hey, if it's pissing off the webcomics "community" then I must be heading in the right direction. So I'm going to stay the course.
Question 7: Both of you are known for occasionally making controversial statements and/or stands. Will the new corporation continue in this tradition, or are you going to work together to try to be more, ah, diplomatic? Will you have your partners approval before posting a rant?
Scott: What kind of question is this? "Hey, will you guys still be assholes?"
Kris: What's going to happen is, Scott's going to make bullshit statements like his answer to Question 6, and then I'm going to have to bail him out of it.
What he meant to say, was that fan reaction has been very positive and check out Halfpixel.com and thanks for your support.
Question 8: Kris, what are you going to miss most about living in LA? Do you think you are going to have trouble adjusting to smaller city life?
Kris: My family is in Los Angeles, and I've never lived anywhere else. I'll miss them most, and I'll miss living within earshot of Dave Kellett, Steve Troop and David Malki. That said, I know it'll be a learning curve, getting used to oiling a saddle, pulling arrows out of the office wall from Injun ambushes and riding the stagecoach from Prairie Sage to Broken Arrow to get this month's mail. Oh wait, Dallas has a population of 1.5 million? So there's at least a Jamba Juice.
Question 9: Scott, are you going to miss work from home? Having the option of never getting out of your pajamas?
Scott: No, I will not miss it. I never worked in my pajamas. I have to get up and get dressed. The wife and I agreed it was time for me to get office space regardless. So even if Kris wasn't coming down, I would start working out of my home. It's time for a change. Time to turn some new corners.
The one thing I'm worried about is my dog. He's not used to being alone all day and I'm not sure bringing him to the office every day is a good idea. We'll have to learn to cope.