The Penny Arcade Interview: Subconscious Lashings in a Dark Dream

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Penny Arcade is/are doing a dee-luxe hardcover book called The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade in honor of their 10th anniversary. If you don’t know what Penny Arcade is, it’s one of the greatest comics on the Web. Or off it. Go there and don’t come back for at least two hours.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

OK. So when they decided to do an anniversary volume they may not have factored in that they would have to talk to people like me about it. But then it was too late. I called Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, a.k.a. Gabe and Tycho, at their office in Seattle last week, and these are the things we said into our telephones.

Unlike most people who are funny on the page, they’re not less funny in real life. Also they are physically beautiful.

LEV: OK, so how long do I get you guys for?

MIKE: I don’t know. No one has ever asked us that before.

LEV: Well, let’s keep going and you say stop when it’s over, or I’ll say stop if I’ve run out of questions.

JERRY: We need a safe word.

MIKE: Artichoke.

LEV: OK. That’s the word. So you guys are doing a big deluxe hardcover book. What was the impetus here? What was the conversation where you said, awesome, let’s do this book?

MIKE: We wanted to do an anniversary book to sort of celebrate the ten years that we’ve been doing the comic. And being lazy, we came up with that idea around the 11-year mark, and so when we finally decided to do it, it just seemed appropriate that we should sort of respect it with a hardcover. It’s actually a lot of work that we did, and I think it deserved a hardcover.

LEV: How did you mark the actual 10-year anniversary? Did you go out to dinner or do shots or something?

JERRY: I think we meant to go out to dinner, but we ended up not doing that. That’s more or less the strength of our convictions.

LEV: And so now you’re doing a book tour. What happens at those events?

MIKE: Yeah, we’re going to sign books. My idea of how the events will take place is something like, people will line up with their books, we might be at a table, we’ll have pens, people will come up to us, and we’ll sign the books until there’s no more people in line.

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LEV: That sounds like a good plan. That should work.

MIKE: Well, it’s our first time doing it, so I don’t know.

JERRY: It’s never been attempted.

LEV: What do people generally ask you for at these things?

JERRY: Typically, money. I would say that’s 90% of the requests.

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