Tuesday, August 4, 2009

20 Questions with Corey Pandolph

Corey Pandolph is certifiably insane.

Who else but a madman would take on four comic strips?

It started with BARKEATER LAKE. Then Corey took over THE ELDERBERRIES. Then came TOBY . Now he’s launching GREENE WITH ENVY.

He’s ether nuts or a strange cartooning robot sent from another dimension to make the rest of us look bad.

But he’s also funny. Corey Pandolph is a very funny cartoonist. My favorite Corey strip is the darkly humorous TOBY; but they’re all funny.

Partake of all things Pandolph at his website, but don’t stay too long. They say insanity is contagious.

1. When you were a kid, did you want to be a cartoonist? Did you draw?

I always wanted to be a cartoonist from the earliest age, however, I did
stray from that dream in my adolescence, only to rediscover it in my early

2. What was your first paying cartoon job?

Good Lord. Uh…when I was 12, a crazy women on my paper route had me draw
her dog for money. I think she wanted realistic, but it came out cartoony.
She paid me anyway.

3. How did you end up working on THE ELDERBERRIES?

Soon after BARKEATER LAKE left United Media and online only, I was working
on a new idea with the help of John Glynn at UPS. I mentioned I missed
working in print and he asked if I'd like to take over the art duties on THE
ELDERBERRIES. When Phil's health declined further, I ended up taking it over

4. You also do the BARKEATER LAKE strip and TOBY (a fave!). With three strips, how do you find time to eat, sleep, and Twitter?

I'm starting a forth called GREENE WITH ENVY on June 15th. I could tell
you how I do it, but then I'd have to kill you and all of your readers...
And their extended families and pets. Not even my wife knows my secret... Or
else she'd be DEAD.

5. What's your favorite rejected strip or gag?

Ummmm... I once wrote a gag where Dusty's (ELDERBERRIES) horse, Esmerelda,
breaks into Miss Overdunne's office to surf the web for oates, but gets
frustrated when all that comes up is “Hall and Oates.”

I write very late at night.

6. Where do you stand in the print comics vs. web comics debate?

Comics are comics, man. I've stopped caring about how and where they get
published. I think the majority of the webcomics guys have a good idea, but
a shitty attitude and I think a lot of the print guys are narrow-minded and
selfish. (Imagine that... selfish artists)

Personally, my preference is for whoever's gonna pay me to draw and write
comics, while handling the merchandizing and promotion so I don't have to.
I'm not a salesman, I don't have a business degree. I'm a drunken creative
with good ideas and a love of bacon, women and rock and roll.

And just because you have a business degree, doesn't mean you can be
funny. Actually, I think it means you're boring. You may be able to draw and
sell T-shirts, though. So that's something.

Anyway, whatever. I find I'm equally hated on both sides, so I'll just keep
doing what I do until I can invent some media that's both print and interweb

The Interpulp" sounds fun.

7. Newspaper comics are considered pretty tame compared to TV and other media. Do you find this limiting or is it a welcome challenge?

I dunno... I'm not one to find a whole lot of instances where I need to be
too vulgar in comics. I've seen very few examples where it works as well as
it might in TV or movies. Sometimes I think using expletives and toilet
jokes are the easy way out. Yes, farts are funny... in my living room at 11
at night. In comics, not so much.

Isn't it more fun to actually write a joke that no one's written? Or find a way
to cleverly add an innuendo?

Am I alone on this?


8. Name five of your favorite comic strips or cartoonists.

All three (soon to be four) of mine are head and shoulders above the rest, so
that leaves one of some other hack... I'll close my eyes and blindly point
to... CUL DE SAC. Sure, that's a quaint slice of life. Ugly characters,
though... And who drives a car that small, really?

9. What does Ziggy wear underneath that smock: boxers, briefs, a thong, or is he going commando?


10. How do you develop ideas? Which comes first, words or pictures?

I have a “hot chicks” room, which I visit before each cartooning session.
After that, I have no idea what happens. I just know there's a stack of
comics on my desk by 5 pm.

11. Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?

No, I worry about running out of beer. ALL THE TIME.

12. Who do you want to play Morris in the TOBY live-action movie?

Zack Galifianakis, hands down.

13. What kind of editor do you prefer, hands-on or laissez-faire?

I once visited the UPS offices in KC, where John Glynn took me to a baseball
game and proceeded to get what he still refers to as “handsy” with me.

I've been told I enjoyed it, so I guess my answer is “hands on.”

14. What are your favorite books, TV shows, songs and films? (Yes, that counts as one question.)

Books are for losers with bald heads and the word "jejune" in their
vocabulary. TV is Venture Bros., Rescue Me, and the MLB. Film is anything
with Clint Eastwood and/or Jennifer Connelly.

15. What are your tools of the trade?

Blood and parchment, blessed by a defrocked catholic priest.

16. What's the best part about being a cartoonist?

Getting to answer 20 questions after 11 1/2 Miller High Lifes.

17. Have you met any of your cartoonist idols? Under what circumstances?

Nope. I have breakfast with Lincoln Peirce once in a while, though... Oh wait,
I take that back... I got to meet Sergio Aragones at the MAD Xmas party a
few years back, so that was cool. I think.

18. What advice would you give aspiring cartoonists?

Go to school for something else, like marketing and sales, upload a
wordpress-themed comic to the web and proceed to rake in the cash on books,
shirts and mind-numbing speaking engagements about the future of the

Be sure to have a LOT of XXL and XXXL shirts in stock.

Or, if you want a more “PC”generic (but unrealistic) answer: Keep drawing
and writing! The cream always rises to the top! Dreams really do come true!
Unicorns and rainbow stickers will appear on everything you touch!

19. How important are awards?

Not nearly as important as REwards, like a black-and-white cookie or a beer
at the back of the fridge when you thought your bastard neighbor just drank
the last one.

20. What’s something that nobody knows about you?

I have a miniature Superman lunchbox on my desk, for that fateful day when
I wake 1/8th my original size.


Benita said...

You're funny, Corey. Funny and talented. And totally sarcastic. I love that.

Anonymous said...


This is another great interview! I love reading your 20 questions.

Have you given any thought to an interview with Bob Scott? He draws a strip over at Comic Sherpa called Molly and the Bear. You really should check it out. I've been reading it for some time now and it's damned good!

By the way, I'm a big fan of your strips too!!!

Scott Nickel said...


Bob Scott would be a good candidate for 20 Questions.
Besides doing MOLLY, he works at Pixar and used to draw for Jim Davis (US ACRES).

Thanks for the suggestion.