The Penny Arcade Interview: Subconscious Lashings in a Dark Dream

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LEV: God, does that work?

JERRY: Yeah, but sometimes they have very specific requests like they want ingots of some precious metals. It’s a huge pain in the ass.

MIKE: Or they just want an autograph and a sketch, which we are uniquely qualified to give them.

JERRY: But that’s not the preponderance of requests in any way.

MIKE: I’d say it is.

LEV: Who do they want sketches of? Do they all want Annarchy? I bet they all want Annarchy.

MIKE: I do a lot of Annarchies. Mostly Fruit Fuckers, a lot of Gabes –

JERRY: Jim Darkmagic.

MIKE: Doing a lot more Jim Darkmagic these days.

LEV: Wow, so his stock is rising?

JERRY: Yeah, his stock was up almost at the inception. We were surprised.

MIKE: At the last Comic-con I think I did more Jim Darkmagics than anything else.

JERRY: We sign a lot of Player’s Handbooks.

JERRY: We sign at least as many Player’s Handbooks as we do our own books.

LEV: I’m kind of interested in how famous you guys are. I mean, all hardcore gamers know you, but does it translate outside that? Do you get recognized on the street?

JERRY: We occasionally get recognized.

MIKE: Yeah, but we live in Seattle. There is a lot of gaming here.

JERRY: Yeah, there is a geek contingent.

MIKE: Like I’m not sure I would get recognized in some Midwestern town. I think because of where we live we might get recognized more than we might someplace else. But you usually it’s by other geeks who are also very shy, so it’s commonly like, “Hi, I like your comic,” and then they leave.

JERRY: Yeah, yeah, that’s the extent of it. It’s very rarely incredibly elaborate.

(More on Techland: Best of the Decade: Characters)

LEV: That actually sounds like a pleasant interaction.

JERRY: I would say it’s an interaction that is at the level that is appropriate.

LEV: You guys both have kids. Has that changed the strip at all? Has it changed Gabe and Tycho?

MIKE: Yeah, we definitely do a lot more strips about fatherhood now than we did before.

JERRY: Yeah, compared to zero in previous years, I would say it’s ascending north.

MIKE: But I think our audience has sort of grown up with us, you know.

JERRY: It’s been 10 years.

MIKE: There’s a lot of them now that are also parents, so I think that resonates with them.

JERRY: Yeah, at conventions it’s not uncommon for us to see people we’ve seen for years bring by a human larva.

LEV: And other kinds of larvae probably too.

JERRY: Occasionally. Sometimes just the eggs.

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