The Perry Bible Fellowship is one of the most entertaining and hilarious comics to grace the internet. Its creator, Nicholas Gurewitch, often uses anthropomorphized objects to illustrate the oddities of the human condition, and advance the absurdist humor exhibited in the strip. The comic contains a number of different styles and can range from intricately detailed and lushly colored, to a stark black and white. This interview was done via e-mail.
What's your artistic background?
It's that thing behind the foreground (Nyuck Nyuck). I went to college for film. Before that, I drew a lot in school.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration usually comes from the knowledge that I will have an audience for what it is I'm working on.
Who or what are your influences?
I've been enamored with Frank Frazetta's work since I was about 8. I have to think Stanley Kubrick has been a big influence too. A few of his major films have been in my head since middle school.
Could you describe the process of how a Perry Bible strip comes to be,
from start to finish?
Starting: I focus on a relationship (like that of Pig / Bacon). Then I formalize that relationship in a small three or four-frame plot that uses it to present a big idea. If the sketch makes me laugh, I usually share it with friends just to make sure it's funny. After suggestions and contemplations run their course, I switch around the frames, add things, and reduce dialogue until I feel it's great. Then I ink it. Then color it. Sometimes I just draw it though.
Are you interested in doing any longer, serialized work?
I've considered stretching a PBF to 6 or 9 frames -and having a "punch-line" every three frames. Serialized characters are very interesting to me, but I doubt I could keep them alive long enough to work with them.
How do you feel about religion?
Like everything very beautiful, they can be rather intoxicating. If I ever have kids, I'll probably raise them to avoid having methods of worship. Faith exists outside of religions. I think religions get in a lot of trouble because they assume otherwise. Everytime someone comes to my door to tell me about Jesus, I cannot for the life of me figure out why they don't simply LIVE Jesus' teachings. Talking about Jesus, and telling people he's great seems very ineffectual to me.
How do you feel about the internet as a medium for comic strips?
The internet is the ultimate share-fest.
Are there any web comics that you read regularly?
Never that regularly, but I have recently very much enjoyed A LESSON IS LEARNED BUT THE DAMAGE IS IRREVERSIBLE, DINOSAUR COMICS, BEEF JERKY, and DRESDEN CODAK.
On your site there are links to some of your short films. How do you
feel about film vs. comic strips? Do you have a favorite medium?
These mediums will likely blend into one another in the coming centuries.
How big of a role does PBF play in your life?
Very Big. I draw slowly.
Do you have a favorite strip?
Angry Hammer probably. Second frame alludes to much back-story.
What are your goals for PBF?
A PBF book on my shelf would be a wonderful thing.