Cue & Ehh? With Nicholas Gurewitch Creator Of The Perry Bible Fellowship
Nicholas Gurewitch owns the electronic pulses from brain to hand behind the making of 'The Perry Bible Fellowship' a comic strip similar to a comedy sketch show with an unlimited budget. The strip as a whole is an incredible collection of various styles, situations and surreal moments, if there is one thing that holds them together it's Gurewitch's dark humour and beautiful mark making. Sadly (for him) I was able to question him...
Since discovering your website, your image had been haunting me. You bear an amazing resemblance to a young John Linnell.I didn't want to tell you this, but I think you should know that a 'Might Be Giant' might have been... doin‚ the dirty with your mother. If you feel the accordionist is innocent, which famous celebrity would you like to be your dad and why?
Ian McKellen - if, and only if he dressed up as Gandalf. The bedtime stories, playfulness, and general wizardry might have provided the ultimate childhood.
When I was working on my older strip 'the freud and epi stories'‚ I always seemed to be listening to Depeche Mode's 'Songs Of Faith & Devotion'. What song/album/music gets your creative juices flowing?
I can't say a song ever causes creative juices to flow for a comic, but I enjoy listening to music that pertains to what I'm currently drawing. A comic about vampires calls for Bach. When drawing a rodeo, Aaron Copland might enhance my mood.
Perry Bible Fellowship? Is the name something to do with some kind of Babycham drinking buddy cult? If not, what's it all about?
I think I just like the way it sounds.
You seem to become a different artist with every strip you draw. The style is always changing to suit the content. With the Mad/Genius 'fine line' always being referred to, and having your footing on the boundary, which way are you leaning? Are you a crazy schizophrenic or a genius?
I've always wanted to be a crazy schizophrenic. Me too. No, not really. Of course it'd feel nice to be called a genius - I'm just not sure if it's merited for a 4 panel comic strip.
The PBF never back tracks on a theme, but you always seem to feature round-headed enhanced stick people with white faces, beady eyes and a mouth. Do you have a secret phobia or inability of drawing noses, are you just too lazy to bother drawing them? How did their look come about?
I dislike doing more than is necessary for certain types of strips, perhaps to highlight the verbal or emotional details. There's always been something nifty about saying a lot with a little.
My favourite strip of yours (and it's a hard choice to make) has to be the first one that I ever saw. The 'Freaking Vortex'‚ in which an astronaut crashes into the back of his own helmet. Which is your favourite piece of your own work?
Probably those strips in my sketchpad that are too silly and dumb to never work for an audience - if only for the moment after they're conceived. They're never funny the next day. I'm feeling very partial to "Prank Dragon" right now, but perhaps that's because I just finished working on it.
I can't imagine life without 'Calvin & Hobbes', 'Amy & Jordan', 'Peanuts', 'Maakies' and 'Rehabilitating Mr Wiggles'. What strips do you live to read?
I don't live to read any comic, but The Far Side made the Sunday paper a pretty big event in my childhood.
I was listening to two guys on the sub talking about which cartoon character they would be intimate with. One of them mentioned Jessica Rabbit, which I think is uninspired and un-researched. My choice would be Sally from Peanuts, I wouldn't necessarily 'do' her for fear of child molestation charges and local gossip, but we'd definitely be friends and visit the cinema now and again. Who would your cartoon partner be?
I can't shake my crush on Mrs. Incredible. She's such a hard-working, over-stressed supergal. I feel so compelled to have an affair with her...though the reprecussions might involve a superfist in my skull.
What would make you laugh more, buggery or trauma to the crotch?
Trauma to the crotch sounds pretty sad. Probably buggery.
For the purpose of preserving a dying wish. When you go, what cherished item would you like buried/burnt along with you?
My entire extended family.
Your strip often wears a dark edge of the blackest humour. Do you ever feel though that you might be mentally scaring hundreds of children who happen upon your attractive, colourful strip only to be greeted with sex and violence in the last panel?
Remembering this simply inspires me to want to be a better parent for the kids I might have someday, and to be ready with explanations about the crazy world. I would never think to hide my kids (or yours) from the fact that world is crazy. That seems far more damaging.
A Publishing House has actually gained some taste and have decided to release a PBF book. Who would you like to do the forward?
I've asked Scott McCloud to do it, but he says he doesn't have the time.
The last thing I really laughed out loud to while reading was Charlie Brooker's 'TVGOHOME'. That was about half a year ago... What and when was yours?
Probably the other week while reading about archaic scientific methods in A Brief History of Nearly Everything. (Bill Bryson)
Nut Job scientists have decided that there are too many letters in the alphabet. They have decided to remove one but can't choose which. They phone you up and ask you for advice. In fact, they want you to pick because they're indecisive loonies. Which letter and why?
"K", Just to fuc with a certain group of idiots.
Weird & Freaky Question:
The same nut job scientists have decided that since you did a great job with the letter, they will test your extent of submission during pleasure. They restrain you in a swivel chair, your eyes are clasped open, a massage device is attached to your todger and set on full. You panic. Your hands are fixed, but you are able to spin the chair around with your feet. You have a choice of two images in front of you. One is a small picture of an old woman in lingerie sitting atop a rotten maggot infested corpse of a calf. The other is a long mirror showing your own reflection, you can see yourself tied into this horrible contraption, though instead of seeing your own face reflected, the area has been obscured by a picture of Michael Douglas' face in a gaudy gold frame. You can feel the inevitable about to happen. What image do you stare at for the final finish?
I liked Michael in Traffic. He might get my money.
Official PBF Site
Brian Palmer Interview