A Pint of Gaming Goodness: An Interview With Walker and Law of Press Start To Play

We're talking with Darryl Walker and Adam Law of Press Start To Play. Tell us a little about yourselves.

Darryl: Ha, I'm never any good at this. My name is Darryl Walker, 17 years old and from a tiny speck of land just west of England called Northern Ireland. It's really not as bad as people seem to think it is!

Adam: Again, I'm also from that tiny speck of land. My name is Adam Law, I'm 19 years old with no job and a horrible burden on my family and friends D:


So, why did you decide to make a webcomic? What do you most enjoy about doing it on the web and what is the biggest drawback of doing it on the web?

Darryl: We've both been reading webcomics for a few years now, and I guess it just got the point when we thought 'Hey, we could do something like this'. Nothing really convinced us to, the idea grew and evolved over a few months and then one day it all just came together and we started making them.

The advantage of using the web to publicise the comic is that you can reach anyone, anywhere with very little hassle, and if you're good enough people will spread the word for you. The downside is the anonymity of the web can sometimes have an effect on what you do. Take for example, people reading the comic and forgetting that there are real people behind it, putting effort into it and making it. Which is not an easy process, sometimes they can be overly harsh with criticisms, etc and it's hard not to let it get to you. But at the end of the day, it's not about the people that don't like it, it's about the people that read it, enjoy it and keep coming back that make it all worthwhile.


Adam, your art style is quite engaging. Besides the acknowledged Penny Arcade and VG Cats what are your artistic influences?

Adam: I use a style for PSTP that's meant to be very loose, in the sense that I wanted it to be very 'doodly' and for it to seem like not a lot of time was spent on it. I feel I gotta say that first because PSTP is really something different than my usual artwork and my style. I wanted PSTP's artstyle to feel wacky to help make it even more insane.

My Artistic influences though are mainly Western, I love American art and have always admired traditional comic-art. My obsession for Stylisation only really came around a few years ago and I totally dig Genndy Tartakovsky and his work on Samurai Jack, Starwars: Clone Wars Animated series especially, even the Powerpuff Girls exceeds in leaps and bounds in the expressions department. Penny-Arcade and VG Cats are both beautiful and examples to follow I think.


Darryl, your writing/storytelling is quite funny and surreal. What are your influences?

Darryl: The writing in the story basically just draws from our own type of humor, I guess I have Adam and my child hood friend to thank for that. We make comics of the things that we find funny and that we think others might enjoy.


What video games obsessed you most when younger?

Darryl: The games that were a real landmark for me when I was a child were Mario Land and most notably, the earlier Zelda games for the SNES. They were the first games I really played and enjoyed, and were the ones that really got me into gaming.

Adam: We had a SNES in our house, so it was always a race home from school to play Super Mario All-Stars, Zelda, Metroid and all those fantastic Nintendo titles(I could go on.) I really only decided I was going to obsess and roll around in games once the N64 was on the scene. I fell in love with every game we bought for that system. With the likes of Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie and Ocarina of Time being games I still play now.


What video game obsesses you most right now?

Adam: I'm actually restarting alot of 'oldish' games again now. I think it's simply because I fall perfectly under what you'd define as a 'Poor-Gamer' and usually only buy the biggest and best titles with little inbetween. So I'm on a dry-run at the minute, playing some of my all-time favorites like Skies of Arcadia and Phantasy Star Online.

Darryl: At the moment it would have to be a tie between The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker and Ocarina of Time: Master Quest.


Who are your favorite characters? Are any based on real life? (Do either of you own a parrot?)

Darryl: My favorite character would have to be Simon. Such a malevolence and evil rapped up in a little green package.

Adam: I don't think I'll ever not like Simon. Partly because he almost never happened and it was a random doodle that convinced us that we should write in the crazy talking parrot. If someone had of told me a year ago I'd be drawing a parrot in various expressions of distaste and disgust, well I really wouldn't have believed them. Oh and no, no parrot sadly


PSTP had one of the more original ways gaming webcomics have used to introduce some women into the comic — you had the main characters get married while drunk. Are the "wives" permanent characters? What made you come up with them?

Adam: Thank you! That's actually something some people didn't see; that it's not a usual way new characters are introduced. However, as Darryl is the writer I had little part in why these guys showed up, so I'll let him explain.

Darryl: Chênée (purple shirt) is actually based on my real life 'wife' (long story XD). Tess is fictional, invented to be part of the story arc. Right now the plans are to keep them as permanent characters in the comic, but we don't know how often they are going to appear.


Do you have a favorite strip?

Adam: #048 went down the right tube for a lot of people. Often old friends of mine who've found and read the comic highlight that one as their favorite. Deep down I still love #006.

Darryl: Probably #009, Burn Baby, Burn. It's based on a real life event, so it's probably why I feel so connected with it.


What are your future plans for Press Start to Play? Do you have any other projects in the works?

Darryl: At the minute we're just focusing on keeping Press Start To Play on track really. It's taken off so fast we haven't really had a change to step back and say to ourselves 'Ok, what direction do we want to take the comic in now' For now I guess we'll just keep doing or thing, and let PSTP evolve into something all it's own.

Adam: Yup, just keep going and hopefully keep up the good humor. Other projects are indeed on the way, however nothing collaborative like PSTP. I have my own "interative" webcomic in the pipeline for this year and if anyone is curious about that it's soon on the way.

Xaviar Xerexes

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