My name is Jeff Burkholder. I’m writer/artist of the comic strips Zoidland and The Social Life of Frank and Linh, the creator/editor of the collaborative flash-fiction blog Gloaming Gap, and – most importantly today – the writer of the comic strip The Ouro Bros and the Neverending Tour. My creative partner on that, Jeremy Bentley, and I are just about to wrap up a Kickstarter campaign to get our first three years’-worth of comics printed into a bound volume. We’re pretty excited about that!
Anyway, here are some answers to popular questions that you and your readers might be asking me:
- Are these actually popular questions?
- What genres do your books fall into or is it genre blended?
- My work tends to bounce around a bit, genre-wise. The Ouro Bros is a slice-of-life comic strip about two brothers and their misadventures along the way of becoming a world-famous band. Over the course of the strip, we’ve managed to not only do gag-a-day style strips, but we’ve had some zigzags into fantasy, Sin City-styled film noir, and ’80s-era, Japanese-produced Saturday morning cartoons. My other material ranges from geeks complaining about TV and politics (Zoidland), introverts snarking about social media (The Social Life of Frank and Linh), and a Twilight Zone-esque anthology of monsters going about daily life in a small town (Gloaming Gap). So…blended. Definitely blended.
- Do you come up with the plot or characters first?
- Largely, the characters. I’ve found I have a hard time really getting a good handle on a plotline unless I know just how my characters will react to something. Some of my strips and short stories have had to completely change, story-wise, because the character just wouldn’t be shoe-horned into the plot I was trying to create. And I like to think that most of the time, the characters had the right idea.
- What inspires you to write?
- Is it cliché to say, “Deadlines”? …No? Shouldn’t it be?
- Who would you consider an influence on your writing?
- I’d love to say Douglas Adams, with maybe a touch of Cory Doctorow, but I imagine that’s rather presumptuous. So, instead, let’s go with Corey Addams, this guy who sat three chairs in front of me in 9th grade homeroom who always said that the essays I wrote for his homework sucked.
- What do you aim to make people feel when they read your books?
- My main goal in most of my writing is to ask questions. And to get my readers to ask questions, themselves. Never answer questions, though. I’ve found that answering questions is never as interesting as asking them. So don’t look to my writing to give great answers. If you want answers, find some nice, comforting dogma somewhere that sits well with you.
- In light of that, will you continue to answer these questions for this interview?
- What’s next for you?
- The Ouro Bros is continuing – and we just started up with new, expanded strips after taking a bit of a hiatus to get our book prepped – as is Frank and Linh. I just recently ended Zoidland after a 10-year run, and am looking forward to perhaps some new challenges on the geeks-in-politics front.
- Do you sing in the shower?
- No, but I do occasionally hum Hans Zimmer scores while shampooing, if that’s not too much information for you…
- How can we read more of your scintillating prose and perhaps even throw fabulous piles of monies in varying denominations at you?
- Here’s where I’m located:
- The Ouro Bros and the Neverending Tour: http://ourobros.com
- The Ouro Bros Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1797824930/the-ouro-bros-and-the-neverending-tour-the-book
- Zoidland: http://zoidland.com
- The Social Life of Frank and Linh: Hosted at InklingMedia.net – http://inklingmedia.net/tag/jeff-burkholder/
- Gloaming Gap: http://gloaminggap.com
- Here’s where I’m located: