Do You Feel Lucky Josh Mirman? Well, Do You?
I'd like to tell you that I got to sit down with Josh Mirman in a hip New York coffee shop and talked webcomics over black coffee, but instead we chatted on the old instant messager. Sure, I could lie and let you think that we were some place hip or that I was even wearing pants while we talked, but I'm not going to lie to you.
If you are one of the five people on the earth who hasn't read Josh's webcomic Punks and Nerds, you are missing out. Josh has a very clean drawing style, a developed writing style and a good sense of comedic timing.
Punks and Nerds is the ongoing manic adventures of heterosexual life partners Mike and Brad. The comic is constantly reinventing itself with underwear-outfitted superheroes, talking wigglesticks and hot asian girls. Everything you need in a webcomic.
Let's start off by setting the stage a bit, where are you at, what have you been doing all day?
Uhhhm, Maybe you don't want to know what I have been doing all day. I totally slept till like 3pm, and then woke up and just spent a few hours reading. There, I hope you're happy. The lifestyle of a hero.
That doesn't sound too bad. What were you reading?
Autobiography of a Yogi.
Bear or Berra?
Damn, that's pretty far out. I had to google it.
A tiny bit different than Yogi Bear, just a little, not much.
"Hey boo boo, I think I've discovered Self Realization"
"I don't think mr. ranger is going to like this, Yogi."
So when you are not drawing comics with talking rubber wieners you are browsing the philosophy section of the local bookstore... that's pretty cool.
Well Punks and Nerds is my outlet for talking dildos, because in my life I'm spending time doing things like getting my portfolio set or even having yoga classes or sleeping till 3pm on Sundays There's not time for talking dildos in my normal life so into Punks and Nerds it goes.
Why do you draw yourself with a bag over your head?
Haha, Because I didn't really want to be put into Punks and Nerds. I don't want to have a Mary Sue character. My first webcomic, my main character was me, despite the comic, well, sucking. And then in my second webcomic I was a secondary character, who I claimed wasn't me, because none of the situations my character faced, happened in real life And he just shared my name and looks or whatever.
So the bag is a protest in sorts
Protest? Naaah. Haha, I'm just not Crumb.
You've done really well with the webcomics. You've done eight different webcomics actually.
That's what Wikipedia says.
Well I'll be damned.
What do you do next? Are you satisfied with webcomics or are you looking to move into print
I guess it just goes to show that not everything will be a success right off the bat. I'll be doing Punks and Nerds for a couple more years, because it's fun for now, but I don't see myself doing this until I'm old and grey. It's very national lampoon-ish type behavior (college humor), and I don't know how satisfied I'd be with myself if I'm still throwing out the same silly sex and video game jokes when I'm in my 50s.
I'll be doing illustration as a primary job, and I'm looking into art directors to work with right now.
And I'm also planning to write a children's book for kids around ten and up. I worry that if that plan works out and things go through I'm going to have to get a pen name because if that one kid types in my name and finds Punks and Nerds, Uh-oh!
hahaha... Yeah, that might be a good idea. Do you think the dirty jokes and college humor have held you back at all?
Nah. That's just what Punks and Nerds is for. If I think something is funny, or dirty or something, where else can I put it? Into the comic. Even if I'm the only one that thinks its funny, into the comic it goes.
What other comics (web or print) do you read if any?
What other comics do I read... I have just reread Blankets last night, and I'm a huge fan of Bryan Lee O'Malley and his Scott Pilgrim run.
What about the web, do you read the other Boxcar guys?
On and off. A lot of them are a good fun read, but I don't really find myself reading webcomics.
How many conventions have you been to?
Like about 9.
What advice do you have for other webcartoonist going to conventions?
I think it's like... Have a good time dammit! Don't expect to make money, you're more there to promote yourself if you're going to have a table or a booth the convention is a success if you can pay for the table space and maybe the costs for the merchandise, but don't expect to live off of this stuff. I only know a few people that can live off of conventions.
You draw some pretty big hits on your site. Do you get recognized in public?
Sometimes yes actually. I once went with my best friend in high school's college friend's birthday party and in comes a friend of his and she goes "OH MY GOD" and I'm wearing one of my shirts so I'm thinking "she digs my shirt" and runs up to me and hugs me and goes "I LOVE PUNKS AND NERDS" my friend's eyes were nearly out of his sockets I was pretty surprised too. Because I sometimes have the problem in remember that those numbers are people, and not just numbers. *remembering
Oh man, that's great. A few more questions and I will let you get back to reading and realizing yourself.
:-P Yeah let's try and make this more interesting for comixpedia readers, dammit!
Your characters have vivid emotional changes from panel to panel which is kind of a manga style. How much of that is Josh? Do you shift gears pretty fast??
Urgh. Manga style. Gross. I mean yay! No I just sort of think that if people want manga they should get it from Japan :-\ Why do I draw emotions the way I do...
It's just natural to me, it's fun. like if you look at Evan Dorkin's stuff, you can see he does the same things sometimes too. Or hell, even the Simpsons for example, look at Krusty over things like when he misses his father or Homer during a heart attack. Emotions just become more dynamic. It might've started in Japan and kind of naturally flowed into American stuff, sort of how everyone influences everyone.
Alright last few questions. If you could fight anyone who would you fight?
Like a verbal fight?
Psh, no one. I'd lose!
Maybe you could fight a sick person.
No, I'd lose.
Would you take money to write Golden Palace on your back?
What if it was a lot of money?
Why do you want to see me fight?
I don't.. I couldn't remember what I was going to ask and panicked, something about advice for other webcomics or Robocop, I dunno.
There. I'd fight webcomics.
That's sounds like a good end for the article.