Tuesday, 20 September 2011

An Interview with Andy Kluthe

I love reading a good comic strip whenever I have a few moments to spare online. I stumbled upon Andy Kluthe's work a short time ago, and loved the gaming related strips in particular.

Andy kindly agreed to an interview to discuss his comic strips, gaming, and more.
"Fan Participation"
Q. Hello! Can you introduce yourself to my readers?

A: Hi, my name is Andy Kluthe.  Some of you may (or may not) know me for making arts and sticking them on the interweb.  I’m run a weekly web comic called Nerd Rage.

Q. You've created a lot of game inspired comics. Do you have a favourite?

A: My comics are like my children. I love them all equally.  Except for the one that’s secretly my favorite.

In all honesty, though, my favourites are the ones that people like the best.  If you’re writing a humor-based comic and no one is laughing, you’re doing something wrong.  I enjoyed drawing Fan Participation, if only because I was so sad to see Legends 3 get canceled.
"Duke Nukem...Forever"
Q. You've done a broad range of comic strips now. How has the response been to them, and is there one that seems to gain a lot more attention than the rest?

The response has been…interesting.  Sometimes I work on one that I think will be really popular and it kinda goes unnoticed.  Then I’ll do one that I don’t think is all that funny and it’ll be a wild success.  I never expected Facebook Creepers to be so popular.  Dr. Rageguy, PhD didn’t get much attention when I first drew it, but recently took off on Reddit.  I think the site hit a record for most visits that day.

But as far as most attention goes, Facebook Creepers was very popular.  The Metroid: Other M comic was very popular.  Uh, both the comics that involve ponies were popular.  Chicks, Chicks Everywhere was popular.  The most recent comic, 25 Candles, brought the website down due to traffic.
"25 Candles"
Q. I'm currently loving the Nerd Rage comic. What inspired you to create this?

To be honest, I didn’t start Nerd Rage with plans of doing it as an ongoing strip.  I was making one-shot strips because I had topics I thought were funny and made for good jokes or commentary.  Anyway, they say to write what you know – these were my interests, so I followed the related news closely.  When I first used the two main characters, I thought I was using them for a one-shot comic.  But then I drew another comic about them.  And another.  The comic sort of took a life of its own…

I was drawing one or more strips a week, so the next logical step was to put a title on it and make it official.

Q. Have you got a favourite game, console or games company that you enjoy basing comic strips on?

Really, whoever is trending makes for the best comic.  I usually try to pick a subject that’s ‘big’ news that week or the week before (not always, but usually).  Fan backlash/support is always a good gauge for what material will be funny.

As for consoles or companies I like, I grew up with Nintendo.  I’ll probably always love their properties, despite some recent missteps. Valve is a great company; they make really great stuff.  And I’ve been impressed with Sony’s offerings, too; they seem to keep getting better.
"E3 2011 In A Nutshell"
Q. Any advice for those wishing to create their own gaming comic strips?

Don’t stop drawing, don’t stop writing.  Those are two skills you need if you’re going to do a comic.  You want to keep these skills polished.

Don’t expect it to be easy, either.  A lot of people underestimate how much time goes into drawing a comic or how hard it can be to keep it consistently funny.

Q. Can you recommend a game for my readers to play?

Anyone that hasn’t played Super Metroid, please do yourself a favor. Go buy a copy at your local used game shop, eBay, flea market, whatever.  If you are one of those poor souls who do not already own a Super Nintendo, go to your local used game shop, eBay, flea market, etc. and buy a SNES, then see step one.  Or buy it on Wii shop, since it’s available for the virtual console.  It’s one of my all-time favourite titles

Modern games:  Team Fortress 2. I’ve owned TF2 since release, but Valve still regularly roles out updates.  My hats off to you, Valve (see what I did there?  Get it?  Hats?).  Anyone who doesn’t have Team Fortress 2 should go buy a Super Nintendo and play Super Metroid—er, I mean get on Steam and play TF2, because it’s now free to play.

My other big time-waster is Minecraft.  Like Notch needs another recommendation, the game has already made him some sort of millionaire, but me and my friends still have fun with Minecraft!  Plus, 1.8 just came out!  You don’t even have an excuse to not be playing Minecraft right now!
"An Uncharted Proposal"
Q. And finally, have you got anything new in the pipeline?

I have a script for another multi-part series of strips, like Chicks, Chicks Everywhere and More Ponies, More Problems.  There’s a trade off, though, since you can’t stop to do a topical strip mid-way through a continuing story.  I hope to do that sometime in the future. 

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