Hi! It's nice to meet you! Here are some of the things I've written:

A Softer World - This is the webcomic I write with my friend Emily Horne! We've been making it for a DECADE now. But don't worry. Somebody will stop us.

Bravest Warriors - An all ages comic based on the Pendelton Ward (of Adventure Time) show. This is a fun comic to write, because it allows me to warp the minds of people of all ages?

Overqualified - This is a project I did where I wrote insane letters to companies, looking for jobs. I actually sent these, and never heard anything back, until the police asked me to stop. There is also a novel based on this, which is half a collection of insane and funny letters looking for work and half a sad story about losing someone you love.

Lockpick Pornography - My first book! This is about a group of queers struggling to deal with homophobia and violence. They deal with it using HILARIOUS PRANKS? It was recently reprinted as "The COMPLETE Lockpick pornography" which included a second novella, following different characters dealing with similar issues in their own way.

One Bloody Thing After Another - A horror novel!

Into Survival - A horror movie blog I write, which has everything from love letters to terrible movies (like the Thirteen Ghosts remake) to essays about the use of screaming in movies, up to and including a list of rape-free horror movies for your viewing pleasure.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have some books coming out later this year, and probably should have waited til then so I could "promote" them, but then I'd have to think up ways to make every answer about my new books! That sounds hard.

EDIT: Proof: I posted about the AMA and linked it from my twitter

EDIT #2: Gotta run out for an hour. But i'll be back to answer the rest of these! This has been really fun. Thanks for asking such great questions.

EDIT #3: Thanks so much everybody! This was fun!

Comments: 644 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

qwantz209 karma

Which one of us is the "Joey" character (like from TV's Friends)??

cameronm57 karma

Joey is clearly Chandler, and you're clearly Monica. I'd have to say Sanjay is Joey. Randall would be Ross. Li is Rachel and Kate Beaton is Phoebe.

I reckon anyways.

EDIT: I'm much happier under the assumption that everyone from these completely unrelated web comics impossibly all live in apartments across from each other. Thank god for rent control in my imagination, right?

untowardlands83 karma

I'm the Phoebe.

z00here164 karma


untowardlands84 karma

Okay! Also: Thanks!

zeot38 karma

I don't have one either, but I'd like to express my love for both A Softer World and The Complete Lockpick Pornography. Lockpick Pornography is definitely one of the top three books I've read.

untowardlands109 karma

Thank you! Unless the other two books are like, nazi books or something. If they are - don't tell me!

risette2011124 karma

Hi, Joey Comeau! So, you're one of my favorite people on this planet, and I just wanted to thank you for asofterworld and various novels and novellas.

However, this one little post you made on your site (starting on http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=661) really helped me out in a dark time. For the lazy, it reads--

"Hello, there should be more advice about dealing with depression when you're stupid and worthless, so here is a self help exercise.

Today's assignment is simple. Just go out and get on the bus.

It doesn't matter which bus. Whichever bus comes next. Get on, and just go. You could ride that bus to the very end, thank the driver, and then walk into the woods and just die. Just lay down right there and wait and wait until you were dead. Who is going to miss you?

Really, think about it. If you went out to the middle of nowhere and just sat down in a ditch and cried by yourself until you were dead, who would be the first person to wonder where you'd gone?

Call them up! Maybe they want to get ice cream?"

So, really, thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.

untowardlands94 karma

You are very welcome. I'm glad it helped! Want... want to get some ice cream?

Rette100 karma

Any good dirt on Ryan North?

untowardlands123 karma

He's not the ORIGINAL Ryan North, let's just say.

fedora71894 karma

Hey Comeau, have you seen a girl with hair like this?

untowardlands115 karma

That's Ramona Flowers.

sinn1sl0ken79 karma

How does the creative process for A Softer World work? Does Emily take the pictures on a given day to go with a script you've written previously? Do you write your script around pictures Emily's taken? Do you both mail each other slips of papers and photographs and glue until something sticks long enough to get uploaded?? I must know!

untowardlands87 karma

It changes from month to month, depending on which of us is busier in our day to day life. Sometimes she sends me a bunch of comics with the pictures in and I write for them, and sometimes I write the jokes, and she matches them with pictures!

evilnum253 karma

What is your view on the feminist movement? Do you identify as a feminist/do you consider your work (mainly A Softer World and Lockpick Pornography) to be feminist art?

untowardlands245 karma

I'm a feminist. I like to think that comes through in the work that I write, even when it's not explicitly ABOUT that. (though it sometimes is:

"I'm not a feminist." Is basically shorthand for, "I'm pretty sure Narnia is real."


TheChemineau80 karma

How do you feel about a lot of the casual sexism and racism that goes on around Reddit? If you were anyone else and you said you were a feminist in a main subreddit you probably would've gotten downvoted a ton

untowardlands277 karma

It's one of the worst things about reddit. It makes me long for 4chan sometimes, because at least they KNOW they're saying horrible things. Even in subreddits where you'd think people would have some sort of empathy (I'm looking at you, /r/gaymers/) - you still get rants about "the feminist agenda"


PixelDirigible46 karma

Are there any questions you are secretly hoping people will ask you in interviews but that no one ever asks? What are they?

untowardlands64 karma

Nobody ever asks if I really do have 2 pee holes.

doctorofphysick96 karma

On a scale of one to ten, one being "a crazy bunch" and ten being "none", how many pee holes would you say you have?

untowardlands84 karma

This is the best question ever.

A: 2

truthunderplayground42 karma

Hey Joey! I'm a playwright who often deals with themes such as sexual violence and the 'freak' identity -- and I find it very awkward to cast people because they look at the script and look at me and look at what I'm making them do and think: 'What kind of stuff is going on in that guy's mind?'

Do you ever find that people question your character due to the nature of your work?

untowardlands94 karma

Oh, sometimes I guess? But you can't write worrying about what people will think of you. That's a slippery slope. No matter how much you rein things in to not offend anybody, or not make anyone uncomfortable, there's always gonna be someone who thinks you're a jerk. That's the job they've chosen for themselves in life - deciding who is a jerk. Your job is to keep trying to deal with the things that interest you or bother you in your writing.

Edit: typo!

MeatThatTalks40 karma

Hey, Joey! I know you've got a close relationship with your mother. Does she read your comics pretty regularly? If so, does she have any strong opinions or particular favorites? Do you ever get uncomfortable writing them knowing that she'll read them?

Thanks for being wonderful and perfect.

untowardlands63 karma

Hi! She does read the comics pretty regularly. I'm trying to think if she's had any favourites, but the only ones that come to mind are the ones with puppies in them. She is in one of the early comics though:


That's my mom!

I don't really get uncomfortable knowing she'll read them. We talk on the phone a lot, and she loves me no matter what weird things I say. And, to be honest - that woman is every bit as weird as me.

untowardlands28 karma

Also, while we're on the subject: Here is a story about my mom!


Ceighk34 karma

Firstly, oh my god I love you hi.

Secondly, any advice on how to get into the sort of writing you're doing, getting good at it, and actually making it work as a lifestyle?

And you seem to have taken a pretty unconventional route to becoming a fairly successful author, was that intentional or did it just sort of happen?

untowardlands54 karma


I have no idea how to advise people to get into writing, really. I wish I had better advice than just: keep writing and making things that are better than the last thing you did, and putting them on the internet and showing people. As for making a living - I've been living off my writing for a while now, and it still doesn't feel safe or comfortable! I still feel like every year might be the year where I finally have to go back out and get a job to make my rent. But that's okay. When that day comes, I'll go get a job, and then when I get home after work I'll keep writing.

TheFamousChris30 karma

Hey Joey, have you ever made out with any of your fans, and if so, was it awesome?

untowardlands112 karma

Once you spend time with someone and make out with them, how could you think of them as a fan and not as a friend?

speculates29 karma

What percentage of comic ideas don't make it onto ASW?

untowardlands50 karma

Well - it depends what you mean I guess. I come up with a lot of ideas that never make it into the comic, or that (more realistically) get reworked until they are good enough. But if you're asking how many GOOD ideas/jokes don't make it into the comic for other reasons (such as self-censoring) - surprisingly few! Sometimes we'll have a great suicide comic, but decide there's too many suicide comics recently, and so we'll put it aside.

orangestoapples27 karma

Hey Joey. You're awesome. Where do you come up with the ideas for ASW comics?

untowardlands98 karma

I go to a bad place.

LemonFrosted25 karma

Any advice on the subject of shallow graves?

untowardlands70 karma

Just do your best!

SheepWalrus25 karma

Where did you get the idea for naming it A Softer World?

untowardlands44 karma

The name came from our idea that it was a world where the laws of reality were a bit less hard and fast - but it was also a sort of joke because of how harsh the comic could be at times?

genghiskuhn22 karma

Most (all?) of a softer world is spoken in the first person. Who is speaking? Do you imagine different speakers (surely, right?) Do any recur? Why this format?

untowardlands38 karma

Different speakers, for sure. Each one is a new character, which gives more leeway for setting up jokes, or for making fun of bigots or dumb dumbs.

b_rex198722 karma

I bought a signed copy of Lockpick Pornography you had listed on ebay, which you had shoved down the front of your pants. Prized possession.

My question is: what is your editing process like? Your writing feels very natural and I can't really see somewhere where I'd say "ah, yeah, he changed that, that's not how it was originally written." Your writing feels extremely honest, like a friend is telling you a story. Sometimes it can be brutal or beautiful but it's always honest, and I think it's wonderful!

untowardlands28 karma

Hahaha! Oh man I wish i could say I'd forgotten about that, but I have not! It is one of my secret favourite things I've done, selling a book I put down my pants!

As for editing: I am pretty brutal when editing, but I also read the result out loud to myself to fix the flow if i've cut things or changed them. Ultimately things should feel like I'm just saying them, I think. I'd like the writing to be sort of invisible-ish.

schmeryn20 karma

What is your favorite web comic? I know xkcd has a link to your site, where do you frequent/ suggest frequenting?

untowardlands51 karma

Oh! We have a bunch of links down at the bottom of the site, real small. Those are some of our favourites! We make the links real small so that they don't get TOO BIG FOR THEIR BRITCHES, though.

Off the top of my head, though, lately I've been really loving rereading Octopus Pie, Starfighter, Nedroid and Dinosaur Comics!

girlswlowselfesteem20 karma

Hi Joey! Big fan of ASW. There are a lot of pretty amusing mashups of the comics and various TV shows/movies-- do you follow those at all? If so, any in particular that you've enjoyed?

untowardlands29 karma

I enjoy them a lot! I like the Sherlock ones, the ones that feature Moriarty, because it makes me feel like I'm getting to write that character. I also enjoy the really weird ones, from fandoms I didn't even know existed. Like Kpop fandoms, or soccer fandoms?!

Cehrazad18 karma

Who would win in a fight, one horse-sized you or one hundred duck-sized Ryan Norths?

untowardlands46 karma

I think I have already lost this fight. I am just sitting here smiling about 100 duck-sized ryan norths.

the_freakness17 karma

Hey Joey!

Your book "It's Too Late to Say I'm Sorry" is one of my desert island books. I keep having to buy more copies because I keep giving mine away to friends and ex-lovers.

Do you plan on releasing any other short stories?

untowardlands26 karma

There is also the book of sexy stories "The Girl who Couldn't Come"

Also - it's been out of print for a few years and there are very few copies of Too Late left! Be careful not to gift your very last copy!

anguspshaw15 karma

did you know that rats laugh when they're tickled and how does that make you feel?

untowardlands15 karma

I know it all too well! And it makes me into a TICKLER.

khazakant14 karma

I loved Lockpick Pornography. Thank you.

untowardlands7 karma

You are very welcome.

weird888812 karma

I just wanted to say thanks! Your comics are awesome and helped me through every different and weird moment in my life.

untowardlands9 karma

I am glad to hear it!

jakespecialk12 karma


untowardlands28 karma

I am optimistic about the Evil Dead remake for a couple of reasons. 1) even if it is terrible, it won't affect my love for the original. 2) the trailer looks messed up and scary - which is part of why i love ED1 in the first place - it is genuinely trying for horror, even if it gets a bit goofy when its budget shows through. 3) it looks like the demons are teasing them, which is one of my favourite aspects of the original. Why wouldn't evil want to mock you before eating you? I would!

So, nothing to lose and maybe a demented movie to gain?

Shandyssab12 karma

What are you reading at the minute?

untowardlands43 karma

Right now I am reading Storm of Swords, the third book in the Game of Thrones series. I don't know if I really like it or not? I skim a LOT of it, and am mostly just interested in a few of the characters. It's hard to read something that is so ridiculously decompressed. I keep thinking "This whole chapter could have been two paragraphs!"

dbroms17 karma

untowardlands8 karma

haha awesome, dustin.

ryan_pequin12 karma

Are you still mad that I get a bio in every issue of Bravest Warriors and you don't?

untowardlands19 karma

Is there a word that means angry, but also aroused?

sethisan11 karma

Hi Joey, whom would you consider to be your biggest literary influences? Do you have a favorite book or author?

untowardlands24 karma

I love Patricia Highsmith - I love her books, I love reading about her life. One of my all time favourite books is A Beautiful Shadow, the bio of her. She was messed up and broken, and she was a genius I think. Of her books, my favourites are The Glass Cell, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Mermaids on the Golf Course.

Other favourite books:

The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt - I love how sweet and dark and smart this book is. Eventually I will be able to talk about it without having to assure people that "it has nothing to do with that Tom Cruise movie."

Shirley Jackson is another favourite. Basically everything she ever wrote was genius. My favourite is We Have Always Lived in the Castle, though.

Blitzkriegthecat11 karma

Hey Joey, greetings from England. Aside from Bravest Warriors you seem to release everything yourself, have you got any advice for someone who wants to self-publish their work but is also fond of eating and paying rent? Also will you fly over and drink beer with me and my friends? It will be FUN.

untowardlands10 karma

I have trouble eating and paying rent myself a lot of the time, so I might not be the best person to aks about THAT :) but there are some good self-publishing options these days that involve no upfront investment, which is great - and so if you can build an audience by giving away your writing for free, maybe someone will want to buy it too? I have no idea. I do know I'd love to drink beer with you and your friends!

tinaun11 karma

Are you actually going to kill catbug?

untowardlands25 karma

Nah, they probably wouldn't let me! I have no power! Maybe we can start killing catbug every issue, though, as long as we bring him back? Like a demented cross between Kenny and Gir.

King-of-Spades4231 karma

my days of taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle

untowardlands39 karma

Let the okay times roll.

mindianajones11 karma

Somebody will stop us.

Please don't let anyone stop you!!

I know you and Emily dated at some point and have wondered: What was the transition from dating to not dating like? Was it harder to collaborate on ASW?

untowardlands27 karma

It went pretty smoothly, actually! For a while we were living on opposite coasts, and it actually helped to have business to talk about, to keep us in contact when it might otherwise have been too painful and tempting to drift apart. I'm thankful for a lot of things about the comic, but my continuing friendship with the wonderful Emily Horne is one of the best.

theimportanceof10 karma

Wow, I've been a huge fan of your writing and ASW for the longest time! Where do you get inspiration for your short stories? Are you planning on re-releasing any of the older ones that used to be up on your website/elsewhere?

untowardlands15 karma

I'm not sure what to do with the older short stories! I'd like to write more sometime soon, and maybe I could put out a book that includes all the ones that are no out of print (or which were not included in a collection)

It'd be fun to do a book that was ALL the stories and short pieces, the dirty stories, the sci fi and horror, the "literary" stuff. It'd be such a mess of a book! I think it would be a lot of fun. So - I have ideas! But no solid plans yet.

cameronm10 karma

Wanted to say that I think you're just swell.

Since moving to Toronto like, 8 months ago I've been hoping for a chance to meet you and /u/qwantz. Do you have any 'events' I can invite myself to? Or even show up uninvited and spike the punch at?

untowardlands16 karma

you could help me kidnap him! for dinner!

StarchysABeelzebub9 karma

How did you come up with A Softer World's style? It's such a simple idea, but I've never seen anything quite like it. I love how the words have nothing to do with the images (usually).

untowardlands4 karma

We were just goofing around!

NakkiMonster9 karma

Hey my last name is Comeau!!! Its hard to find others

untowardlands10 karma

Hi! Are you Acadian, too?

cape43cod7 karma

Mine too! And my first name is Joe!

untowardlands12 karma

So was my grandfather! Are you Acadian too?

cape43cod6 karma

My grandfather was born in Halifax. He moved to the states at some point. My father and I were both born in the states, and I just added another little baby boy Comeau a month ago to carry on this line!

untowardlands20 karma

They will never stop us. We are legion.

Sibirica7 karma

Gosh, okay. Do you have any tips or advice on how to lead an interesting life? I feel like an idiot for asking, but I'm too curious not to.

(Also, I love your work. Like, it's not even an expression - I kind of want to hug it and make it breakfast and have endless conversations and maybe even rob lumber mills and hospitals with it.)

untowardlands12 karma

Leading an interesting life is more about leading a life YOU will find interesting, I think. And really, that just comes down to rejecting the things you find boring or useless. Whenever you get bored, go out and do something different! Make new friends! If you see someone who seems interesting, ask him what his hair tastes like!

samuraislider7 karma

Hey I used to be on your website. I was the picture you used for a while selling your shirt that said "Being in love is totally punk rock." It's a sweet shirt. I still use that shirt as my twitter profile, even though I'm way fatter now. https://twitter.com/samuraislider

untowardlands22 karma

Thanks for sending us that picture! We made a MILLION DOLLARS off of you! hahahahaha WHAT A RUBE

hummingavioletsky7 karma

Hey Joey, I just wanted to say that I love A Softer World so much and I super hope that no one will stop you guys from continuing EVER.

For a question, I was wondering what you usually do to write the comics, do you come up with the words first or the picture first? Also what usually inspires the text?

Thanks! Tell Emily Horne that my name is Emily too and maybe one day we can be friends when we go to Emily heaven.

untowardlands6 karma

I answered the which comes first bit elsewhere (short version: it depends!) but now you've got me worried that someone is going to STOP US.

Sweetmilk_7 karma

I know Ryan North is writing the Adventure Time comic - is that how you were introduced to the people at Bravest Warriors or did it happen another way?

untowardlands17 karma

No, it was him. He slipped them my name wrapped in a Canadian 5 dollar bill!

metaphoricaltigers7 karma

What horror movies have you seen this year?

untowardlands7 karma

I haven't seen too many good ones recently. I'm not sure I'd call STOKER a horror, but it was really good! Park Chan-Wook's first english language movie. Sort of like Hitchcock, but really more like Park Chan-Wook. He's one of a kind, that crazy fucker. I love his movies. Have you seen Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance?

cryptodick4 karma

oh geez, i recently watched Thirst with a friend and we sort of sat in a combination of terrified awe right afterwards.

untowardlands4 karma

Haha Thirst was bonkers, but it didn't really stick with me. I should go rewatch it!!

tangleflower7 karma

I loved hearing you reading "Red Delicious". Will you ever record more of your stories?

untowardlands3 karma

I'd like to! I really enjoyed recording that story, too. It's one of my favourites.

awkwardlyfeminine7 karma

I recently found a copy of the 2005 edition of Lockpick Pornography going for $350 (It's the only of your books that I don't own, so I'm always looking around). Is that shitty because you're not the seller or awesome because your work has appreciated to that level or something else entirely?

I also wanted to say, I've been a huge fan for many, many years now. You are one of my favorite authors, and I've never read anything by you that I didn't absolutely love.

untowardlands4 karma

I see those too, sometimes. I think they must be like- weird bookstores who get in a copy and they do a quick google, see that it is out of print, and jack the price up? I've also seen copies in used bookstores for 50 cents. So.

Oh! And I think Mike is selling off the last couple boxes of those original versions: https://line-sinker.myshopify.com/collections/books/products/lockpick-pornography-by-joey-comeau

autovonbismarck5 karma

Hmmm... says sold out. Which is fine because I bought mine years ago (in 2005 I guess if that's when it was published).

I'll be honest though, I'd trade it for $350. My kids gotta eat.

untowardlands4 karma

If you could actually get 350 for it, I'd be right behind you!

coolhanderik7 karma


Several years ago I got my copy of Overqualified signed by you. You wrote "The end is near." How much longer 'til the end comes?

untowardlands16 karma

It's closer than it's ever been!

(and now it's even closer!)

AegisXLII7 karma

Hey Joey! I've been enjoying ASW for years now. What are some of your favorites? And which one should I make my facebooks cover photo?

I also find your cover letters hilarious, and have been meaning to pick up the book for my coffee table. Why did the police ask you to stop?

Keep doing cool stuff.

untowardlands15 karma

The police asked me to stop because one of them was sort of about suicide, and it freaked out the HR person who opened the email. (understandably!!) I'd thought that it was clear enough that it was a joke - but I hate the idea of making someone so worried they called the cops.

ithinkimasofa7 karma

Hello Joey!

I have a question, and a suggestion:

Question: Will you ever do a reading/awesomeness tour, and if so would you potentially consider visiting some of the less-bustling parts of the US? What I am essentially asking is, will you ever come to New Orleans?

Suggestion: Some tiny ASW stickers would not be amiss. I have quite a bit of ASW merchandise, but I would totally buy tiny stickers and put them all kinds of odd places around my city.

And generally, thanks for writing great things. Yay!

untowardlands7 karma

I'd love to come back to NO. I haven't been since 2005! Also, I wonder sometimes, about stickers! it'd be fun to be able to do them like prints, where you could order stickers of whatever one you want. I will LOOK INTO THIS.

AwkwardEngineer6 karma

What ends up on the cutting room floor? Is there a stack of photos somewhere with little captions that never made it? Do you have an editor? What lines have you crossed? Or are there no lines?

untowardlands15 karma

There are lines we won't cross, for sure. Sometimes I come up with some pretty good terrible, completely irredeemable jokes. These are funny among friends, but nothing that I'd want to put online - it's too easy for people to love stuff for the wrong reason. And, more importantly - while I don't think any type of humour is "off limits" in general - people still get hurt, and at the end of the day I'd rather not hurt somebody than make a good joke.

GovmentTookMaBaby6 karma

What inspires you to write and what is the greatest joy writing gives you?

untowardlands7 karma

The greatest joy in the act of writing is when something comes together really unexpectedly in my head - like the ending of One Bloody Thing After Another. When it occurred to me how to arrange that book's final reunion - I walked around grinning for days. I was glad to have come up with it - but also really happy to be able to give those two characters a happy ending of sorts. I find it really hard to be cruel to characters, even when bad things are happening. I think it's important that the bad things happen, but i think kindness is important too, in the book itself? That's a strange way to word that. I don't want to write cruel books, even if what is happening is horrible.

peutetre6 karma

I wrote you a thank you email once and you never responded. Jerk.

untowardlands5 karma

I'm sorry! This is one of the worst things. I get emails and I think, "That was really nice. I have to write something good back to this person." and then I set it aside and it winds up getting lost in the archives. I keep going back and trying to respond to older emails, but I miss some.

Thank you for writing me, though. Sorry I didn't respond. I am 100% certain your email brightened my day, and I should have gotten back to you.

King-of-Spades426 karma

what is your favorite kind of pie?

untowardlands22 karma

Strawberry Rhubarb pie is my favourite! I love rhubarb. I used to pick it raw from the garden when I was a kid and visited my grandmother, and holy heck is it sour and boy will it make you sick if you eat too much - but in a pie it is sweet and delicious.

Indignant-one5 karma

I've noticed the most reacent 'A Softer World' comics seem to be getting darker and darker. Is it just me getting older and more cynical, or are they actually getting more depressing? If so, what's up with that?

untowardlands16 karma

We go through different tone periods with the comic, I guess! There have definitely been darker sections, but lighter ones too. Our mood can play a big part in how the comic comes out, for sure. I guess this is as close as the comic comes to being a diary comic, not in content but in tone?

bee_vomit5 karma

Oh my goodness! I am so glad you are doing one of these. I’ve emailed you a few times (once about your sexy math stories, oh yeah), and you have always been so helpful and kind! I’m glad some other people will be able to experience how down-to-earth and sweet you are.

As far as questions go, man, I could write a list! You are my favorite person I’ve never met, heh. It just makes me happy to know there is someone like you out there.

Anyway, how about telling us your funniest story? Like the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done, or something? Pretty please? :3

untowardlands10 karma

Haha funniest story? I don't know if I can just pull something like that out. When I was 21 I discovered that I had 2 pee holes! Well. I mean, I discovered that it wasn't NORMAL to have 2 pee holes. So the conversation went like:

Doctor: You have two pee holes. Me: Yes, but what's WRONG?

I just thought that it made sense. 2 functions, 2 holes? (Note: it does not actually work this way, but I am not a scientist)

DrCoconutPHD5 karma

Hey joey! ASW was the inspiration for my buddies and i photowebcomic somewherenew. Unfortunately we seem to keep the motivation to update it while we are in school/busy. How do you push foreword when you really dont feel like doing anything?

untowardlands5 karma

God, that's a question I ask myself more often than I'd like. :D

If you don't feel like working on something in the moment, then take some time apart from it, but keep it in your mind. And don't think of it as being abandoned. That's generally my strategy. That way I can be off playing video games or dunking my head in a toilet, and inspiration will strike - thanks to the SUBCONSCIOUS or whatever!

SheepWalrus4 karma

What's the worst part about maintaining your webcomic?

untowardlands10 karma

Well, there are always days where the last thing on your mind is writing a comic. We've been pretty good to ourselves in that regard though, and if one of us is having a hard time, or is super busy, we just say "we'll do one tomorrow" or the next day. We have no schedule set in stone, which is nice.

meatocracy4 karma

What compelled you to move from short-form (comics) to long-form (novels)? Did you have to adjust your writing approach? How?

untowardlands7 karma

I don't know if I have an answer to that. I've always written prose, too. My first novel came out not long after the comic began. They're just two separate ways of writing, in my head.

sonofheartstrings3 karma

Hi, Joey, thanks for doing the AMA. I'm a big fan.

What project have you worked on that you are the most proud of? Whether it's something we've seen or something you just did on a whim for yourself.

untowardlands3 karma

The two books I am most proud of are probably One Bloody Thing After Another, and The Summer is Ended (the horror book I have coming out this summer) - I feel like Summer is the best book I've written so far! Normally I only see where they could have been better (and I still do, here, but I also am right proud!)

magicallum3 karma

Which comes first: The pictures or the poems?

untowardlands4 karma

It depends! (I answered in greater detail above! or below? uh... elsewhere!)

coopaloops3 karma

Would you share some crazy drug stories?

untowardlands3 karma

Hrmn. How about if I link you to this: http://stillcrapulent.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/hot-dogs-on-the-brink-of-insanity/ which is a blog entry written by my friend Jonah (Who also wrote a book I really love). It involves a drug story! and me!

madainn2 karma

If you could collaborate on a dream project (book, movie, play, porno??) with any person in the world, who would it be?

untowardlands6 karma

I'd love to work on something with Ryan North, actually. We talked about writing a video game together, at one point!

Jon_Cake2 karma

I loved Overqualified, but I have to admit it was funnier when I knew you were sending them. Have you flirted with any other ideas for projects of the sort? Experimental, or involving the real world, or focused on a recurring character? etc.

EDIT: Second question: Are there any ASWs that actually make you sad when you re-read them? Or are you numb to it all?

untowardlands6 karma

I loved doing Overqualified, but I'm also really nervous about involving other people in jokes as the punchline like that - like, it's hilarious to think of regular folk getting these letters and just being bewildered, but it also is kind of a dick move to use people as a punchline? So, while it keeps coming back to me as a possible project to start again, I always have that in the back of my mind. And, even if I did start again, I think that worry would influence the joke, I'd struggle to make it kinder somehow? But then - that might be interesting.

Vrpljbrwock2 karma

Oh man, I love your work. I bought like 3 copies of Lockpick Pornography because I kept lending it to friends. Overqualified and A Softer World have been favorites of mine for years. A shame you don't send the letters anymore, unless I'm mistaken. No real question, but you're the first AMA I've cared about that I was able to see while it was still being updated.

untowardlands4 karma

I did stop sending the OQs for a while, and when I restarted I sent them to much bigger international companies, rather than just to local businesses.

Also, thank you for the kind words!

benmerva2 karma

Where do you get the pictures that are in A Softer World?

untowardlands9 karma

The photographs are all taken by Emily! She and I have been working together since DAY ONE, and are a team! She has a twitter!


madainn2 karma

Sometimes ASW seems to follow your bouts of depression, do you find it helps to write? Do you ever force yourself to write? How else do you deal with depression?

untowardlands16 karma

I'd like to say all the smart and sensible things - like exercise and eating right, but usually I deal with the worst parts of depression by eating too much candy and sleeping 20 hours a day. I also take some brain pills!

thegayestfaggot2 karma

How do I become super hip and indie like you? Which brand of shampoo will make me the most thoughtful?

untowardlands2 karma

Listen man. As soon as anyone offers me even ten bucks, I'll be first in line to sell out.

ChibiVioletta2 karma

Do you like to travel? What are your next trips? Where would you like to go but don't see happening in the foreseeable future?

untowardlands2 karma

I'd love to see China, and New Zealand! Those are my top two. Maybe South Korea, though North Korea makes me nervous!

logsplit8181 karma

How involved is Pen in the process for writing the BW and AT comics? Also does Ryan Pequin smell good?

untowardlands2 karma

I've never spoken to Pen at all. I think Ryan North has, though? Breehn Burns is really the mind behind Bravest Warriors. He's the showrunner and a hack of a writer I think.

Ryan Pequin is everything you dreamt of and more.

GamerVixi1 karma

Oh my goodness. Let me just say you are fantastic and I have tried to read everything that you have put online or publish. Would you ever publish the second installation to Lockpick Pornography or will it just always be online?

untowardlands2 karma

I did! It is included in the Complete Lockpick Pornography, which came out in the fall! http://www.ecwpress.com/books/complete-lockpick-pornography it has both books together!

tvrr0 karma

Every time I read your comic I find my self thinking how unlikely someone from #2600ca went on to accomplish something.

untowardlands2 karma

Haha! Oh no! My past has come back to haunt me!

karatecookie0 karma

JoeyComeauy. Let's go to cafe ole and get drunk out of subway cups.

untowardlands2 karma

HAHA oh no!

4post0 karma

Hi Joey!

I just wanted to say that I loved One Bloody Thing After Another and Bible Camp Bloodbath. You are seriously one of my favourite canadian authors.

Anyway, to make this legit... If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

untowardlands2 karma

If i could have one superpower, I'd want to be Amadeus Cho, from Greg Pak's Hercules comics. Super smart!