There comes a time in everyone’s life when he or she must interview the artist of the webcomic whose main character is, at the same time, being interviewed by Woody on his show. This, interestingly enough, is that time. Here is the first part of my interview with Justin Pierce, creator of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
I had just shaken Justin’s hand when we were instructed to get down on the floor because the bank we were in was about to be robbed. “If Wonderella was here,” Justin mused as we lay flat on our stomachs with our hands behind our heads, “she would totally be in the mood for some tacos.” I found this comment bizarre, until I realized that I too was in the mood for tacos. When I explained this to Justin he looked at me like I was an alien from a planet full of dummies. “Can’t you see we’re in the middle of a major crime dude? We could get chainsawed at any moment.” [The bank robbers were using chainsaws instead of guns because they had driven down from Canada – ed] “Seriously, keep it together or we’ll never get through this alive.” He was right, so I stayed quiet, but I still wanted those tacos.
WAH: What was going on in your life professionally and personally when you initially decided that you wanted to create and publish a comic on the web?
JP: Well, I’ve been doing comics in some form or other since the aftermath of September 11th. Everybody was lost and hazy back then, and for me back in college, doing comics became a means to stay focused. Doing them online meant I could broadcast exactly what I wanted, almost instantly (for better or worse).
WAH: What pop culture influences helped you to construct your theme and characters?
JP: Superheroes are obviously a biggie – I read a lot of superhero comics in that pouch-heavy portion of the early 90s. Aside from that, Matt Groening’s stuff has been a big influence on my sense of pacing, as well as Arrested Development. I feel the best comedy scatters all over the work instead of the pre-ordained “punchline spots”, and that’s definitely a mindset I try to keep in Wonderella.
More of my interview with Justin on Friday.