So my original idea for this went along the lines of "self, it has been several years since you last did an AMA and they're always fun, PLUS: you can promote the Kickstarter for HOW TO INVENT EVERYTHING, your non-fiction time travel book that's ending on Thursday" but then I saw my CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND Chip did an AMA yesterday! So now my new idea is "self, this continues the proud tradition of you following Chip on things (like Jughead), with you being Everyone's Favourite Backup Chip". SO HERE I AM.

Things you may vaguely remember me from / be curious about:

Let's talk about our feelings

PROOF: on twitter dot com

UPDATE: Three hours and hundreds of questions later and I gotta take a break and go eat some fried chicken parts! I'll try to answer the rest afterwards, but thank you all for having me, thanks for the great questions (every time there's great questions! HOW DO Y'ALL DO IT) and be sure to check out How To Invent Everything in the... 28 hours left in the campaign. <3

Comments: 771 • Responses: 119  • Date: 

bad_jew686 karma

Once I was walking down a street in Toronto wearing a Dinosaur Comics tee-shirt and saw you, because you are very tall. I nodded and you nodded back. Was this also the most exciting thing to ever happen in your life like it was for me?

qwantz663 karma

It was, because THIS NEVER HAPPENS. It only ever happens when I'm with someone else, usually after I've delivered my "the great thing about people knowing you on the internet is you can go outside and nobody knows who you are, so you never get a big head" speech. So I am certain that I was not alone in this scenario.

Once it happened at a restaurant where the waitress brought over a comic for me to sign! That had literally never happened before, but the guy I was dining with wouldn't believe me and thought it happened all the time. WHO BRINGS A COMIC BOOK TO WORK?? (It was Wednesday and she'd just bought it at the comic store up the road, but still)

mazerrackham375 karma

A wizard has turned you into a whale. Is this awesome?

qwantz374 karma

I can finally reveal the answer: YES, SO AWESOME, ALL YOUR PROBLEMS ARE OVER, I'M WEEPING

Everyones-Favorite367 karma

When I started reading Dinosaur Comics one of the first ones I saw had everyone talking about radio formats or something with T-Rex stating in the last panel "this comic will only appear once" or something along those lines. I was then unable to return to the page after leaving and found no indication of anyone else experiencing this phenomenon. I know I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting this resolved or anyone believing me and I have no proof whatsoever BUT CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME CLOSURE THIS HAS BEEN DRIVING ME CRAZY FOR LIKE THREE YEARS!

qwantz588 karma

THIS IS A REAL THING I DID AND ONCE YOU SEE THE COMIC ONCE I STORE THE IP AND NEVER SHOW IT AGAIN, INSTEAD SILENTLY REPLACING IT WITH A DIFFERENT COMIC

YOU ARE NOT INSANE

BUT YOU HAVE BEEN... SELECTED

redartifice202 karma

If you were to permanently change one panel in the traditional dinosaur comics layout permanently which one would it be?

qwantz256 karma

oh gosh, I think my brain is hard-wired at this point for that structure! Though I did change the layout very early on: my first attempt at it had a different panel 1 and 2:

http://qwantz.com/comics/comic1-1.png

It wasn't working, so I flipped a table and then came back and changed the layout, and that was the first actual Dinosaur Comic!

bad_at_hearthstone116 karma

what. reading this is like, i dunno, like you travelled back in time and bootstrapped society from first principles and you fucked it up and all the webcomics are wrong.

qwantz60 karma

Right? It feels dizzying every time I look at it.

goirish2200175 karma

Hi Ryan. A few years ago you offered a free copy of your Hamlet Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book to teachers for their classroom. I put in my request but never got a copy. Makes me sad, is all. Is the offer still valid?

qwantz248 karma

Oh shoot, I'm sorry about that! I think it must've been lost in the mail. If you DM me your address I can send you a copy from my personal stash in Canada!

easycheesus157 karma

How old is Chompsky, and can you tell the story of how you became his person? *preferably with adorable dog pictures

qwantz339 karma

THIS IS THE QUESTION I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR.

Chompsky is *probably* 8 years old, but we don't know for sure because he's a rescue. We got him from Toronto Animal Services, and most of what they do is chase away rabid raccoons and pick up strays. Someone brought in Chompsky to drop him off as an unwanted dog, and Toronto Animal Services was like "uh, you're thinking of the Humane Society, we don't do that". But then someone else was there looking for a dog, and they made a deal in the parking lot for him. Then a week later... they picked him up as a stray. (They told us this when we picked him up). So we're at least his third home. He was estimated to be one year old at that point.

Chompsky had really bad separation anxiety - probably from being abandoned at least twice in his life so far - and for the first month and a half I didn't leave the house without him. The first night I had to sleep with my hand on him, because he'd freak out otherwise. I used to give him marrow bones while I had an (extremely quick) 3 minute shower, just so he'd be distracted and not have a meltdown that he couldn't get in the shower with me.

But we worked on it a lot, and now he's much better. He still loves people - and being around people - but he's fine being alone and knows he can just nap and we'll be back. The advantage of (now under-control) separation anxiety is I know he'll never run away: at parks he still stays close and checks in every one in a while. But it was hard going for that first month and a half and if I didn't have a job where I could work from home, I think it would've been impossible: he would've had a meltdown every day when I went for work, and you can't teach a dog it's okay to be alone without taking baby steps. A whole day alone is the final goal, not the thing you throw at him after a weekend in his new house! So in that way, he and I are perfect for each other <3

easycheesus58 karma

Oh man, what a story. Thanks for answering, and for adopting Chompsky! He is a lucky dog, and you are a lucky person. It's mind-boggling that someone could abandon that face - even more so that two people could do it! On a gushy note, thanks for what you do and please keep doing it. You're one of the few (maybe only?) artists that has struck a chord with me enough that I actually follow what you're doing and try to keep up with it all. So thank you for that!

qwantz27 karma

aw thank you, that's awesome!!

sebastiaankas33 karma

Nice ama! Did you name your dog after Noam Chomsky the linguist? And if so, what is it you like most about his work? Greetings

qwantz71 karma

Absolutely! Only with a "p" because he chomps all the time.

dmsub119 karma

Hi Ryan! It's been pointed out before that lots of popular webcomics are written by people with computer science degrees. Is this a conspiracy, and if so, how do I get in on it?

(Edit: perhaps my premise was flawed. I am truly humbled, Mr North)

qwantz154 karma

Wait, who else has a CS degree??

qwantz201 karma

WHO ELSE

dmsub130 karma

Andrew Hussie does!

(also I thought Randall Munroe did but turns out he "just" has a physics degree, whoopsy)

qwantz146 karma

HUSSIE HAS BEEN KEEPING SECRETS FROM ME

qwantz5 karma

HUSSIE HAS BEEN KEEPING SECRETS FROM ME

Kalean34 karma

... I have a network engineering degree. Is that close enough to hang out with the cool kids?

qwantz51 karma

I'LL ALLOW IT

MerryHo114 karma

When are you going to collaborate with some renowned board game designer and create a love child that is the greatest board game that the world has ever seen?

qwantz135 karma

I don't know any board game designers! I gotta go to more creative-partner-single board game parties and chat 'em up!

"Hey, how you doin'? I see you like meeples..."

- Future me

mad_fishmonger110 karma

How do you squash the brain gremlins that tell you how much you suck and try to ruin your life all the time? Or do you not have those?

qwantz169 karma

I look around for evidence that this is not the case: friends who love me, readers who have bought my books and left nice reviews, etc. It all helps!

nemicolopterus86 karma

A very many years ago my boyfriend at the time emailed you to ask if you'd write me a birthday note, and you did! It was so wonderful, but the funniest part was how the timing of the words fit perfectly into the dinosaur comic framework. It's like I got my own personal dinosaur comic! I treasure it, so thank you.

My question: in what way do you think the structure of our creative pursuits shapes the outocmes we generate? In other words, what role do you think tools play in our creative endeavors? And do you consciously shape your tools in order to get a new outcome (I'm thinking here of when you reversed all the panels, or added mustaches)?

qwantz104 karma

Oh, tools play a huge role! Like, if you consider the internet a tool (AND YOU SHOULD) then it's clear that Dinosaur Comics wouldn't exist without it. Online you can have this weird comic where the pictures don't change, and if you don't like it, then you'll just go read something else. But try to launch Dinosaur Comics in a newspaper and you're DEAD. Every comic on a newspaper page takes up the space that another comic could occupy, and it's put in front of everyone who reads comics in that paper. There's no way to skip it. If one in ten people like it, that means online, that one in ten feels like this comic is speaking directly to them. In a newspaper page, that means nine angry letters from people who hate it. Dinosaur Comics would absolutely not exist without the internet.

As for the second part of your question: I think humans are lazy, and if a tool makes things easy, we'll explore that easy option before trying harder things. So if you want to try to be more unique, it can help to do something that's less easy - there's less competition there! Haha writing that out, that ALSO applies to Dinosaur Comics, if you assume "rewriting the same panels for 15 years" is hard, which it maybe is? I think sometimes that if/when I stop the comic, it's probably not likely that anyone else will spend 15 years or more remixing the same images. My talking dinosaurs may be the end point of this particular creative endeavor, at least in terms of length!

MachWerx19 karma

Funny enough, there was a newspaper comic where only the words changed: The Angriest Dog in the World by David Lynch. The first time I saw Dinosaur Comics, it made me think of that.

qwantz23 karma

Had I know about that comic when I started, I would've never begun Dinosaur Comics! But I found out about it around 6 months in and then had T-Rex adopt him as his pet. Lynch's comic ran for a decade, so I got him beat, at least in terms of RAW STICK-TO-IT-IVNESS

mutantIke84 karma

Who would win: You or Ryan South, your inverted twin? The winner gets custody of North West.

qwantz96 karma

I don't want a kid so I throw the fight!! CHECKMATE.

MegaCthulhu66 karma

Who do you think will win in a fight: Squirrel Girl vs One million squirrel sized ducks?

qwantz164 karma

TOO EASY. They don't put "unbeatable" in her name for nothing.

mutantlog65 karma

Good morning Backup Chip! I might as well ask the same question I asked Primary Chip yesterday: what are your thoughts on Nancy?

qwantz158 karma

The almost 100-year-old newspaper comic or the Squirrel Girl character?

The Squirrel Girl character: I love her??

The almost 100-year-old comic: I love it, and it's such a breath of fresh air, and the people in the comments freaking out that Nancy is suddenly relevant and hilarious are insane. LOOK AT THIS: https://www.gocomics.com/nancy/2018/05/12

Also I love that the author is anonymous and we all have ideas of who she could be but nobody knows for sure

LupinThe8th45 karma

Modern Nancy is awesome.

Nancy Whitehead is also awesome.

Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street? Awesome.

Conclusion: Nancys are awesome.

qwantz27 karma

hard agree

WintersLex57 karma

If Mew and Tippytoe were to form some kind of pet avengers, petvengers if you will, what other animals do you reckon they'd get to join them?

qwantz129 karma

LOCKJAW! I got to write a bunch of Lockjaw backup comics and they were so much fun. He's a teleporting dog; there is literally nothing not to like here.

Also: Howard The Duck, and he would hate every minute, and complain constantly that he's not a pet.

masterlyBlast22 karma

Also demands Pizza Dog and Biggs the cat.

qwantz25 karma

HOW COULD I FORGET BIGGS??

Slatersaurus49 karma

In college in the early 90's I wrote and drew a comic for our college newspaper. The comic was called "Dinosaur Comics". I've always felt like you owe me some royalties or something. When will you pay up?

qwantz59 karma

IOU one (1) high five.

What dinosaurs did you have in your comic? What was it about? You're the only other Dinosaur Comics author I've met and I feel like we should start a club.

Slatersaurus84 karma

Ok, I was hoping for cash, but I'll accept the high five as compensation.

My comic was a crudely drawn brontosaurus-like dinosaur eating stick figures. The stick figures would usually represent some group of the day that needed lampooning. It was a surprisingly popular and controversial comic. Some people get really upset when you depict an obvious herbivore eating live people.

qwantz74 karma

THEY SURE DO

hikemalls44 karma

Do you have any dream projects you'd like to do but haven't had the right people/time/resources? If so, what are they and who would you most like to collaborate with? If not, what is it like to already be LIVING YOUR DREAMS????

qwantz86 karma

I like the way this question leads me into having to concede that I AM ABSOLUTELY LIVING MY DREAMS. With HOW TO INVENT EVERYTHING done, I'm in that sweet between space in books, where one's done and I don't know what the next one is yet. So I don't yet have a dream book, but ask me again in a few months, and I'll (hopefully??) have lots and hopes and dreams for the new book I'm working on!

All that said, Patrick Stewart.

Goodbye_Galaxy44 karma

How about that rain last night?

qwantz103 karma

HOW ABOUT THOSE GUYS THAT GOT CAUGHT IN AN ELEVATOR AND WHEN THEY WERE RESCUED THERE WAS ONLY A FOOT OF AIR LEFT AT THE TOP??

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/close-call-for-two-men-in-flooded-elevator-during-heavy-rain-in-toronto-1.4044318

D0UB1EA42 karma

have you ever fantasized about kissing and/or actually kissed randall munroe?

qwantz64 karma

no but I have kissed Chris Hastings

Neptunemonkey37 karma

So, my cousin started buying me squirrel stuff all the time as a joke. And then there was this picture that surfaced of me as a child feeding a squirrel. And then we discovered Squirrel Girl. And I have red hair and green eyes. And now i've embraced the fact that maybe i'm just squirrell girl?? Anyway, great series, we love her!!

qwantz34 karma

Thank you!! Red hair and green eyes is rare, so you and Doreen are already super special SIMPLY BY EXISTING. Everything you do on top of that is just gravy!!

Chaps_and_salsa36 karma

Any chance of a Great Lakes/west coast Avengers reboot with squirrel girl rejoining?

Other than SG, who is your favorite GL/WC avenger?

qwantz51 karma

So I do this thing, where, before I send in a script, I spell-check it. And then I post on Twitter all the words I added to spell-check that day. It started because I couldn't believe some of the words weren't there, but now I continue it because I love how it's this weird teaser, asking you to figure out what's happening six months from now in Squirrel Girl from a tweet like this:

https://twitter.com/ryanqnorth/status/1025418025439293441

And with that tweet in particular, I got TONS of people VERY EXCITED for Flatman to show up. I confess that it's only a reference to him, and not an appearance, but now I'm reconsidering because of all the Flatman Flatfans out there.

I've mostly stayed away from the GLA because I wanted SG's own cast to be able to establish themselves, and then once that happened because I already had this big cast to manage, but they are tons of fun. They had a reboot series a year back! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes_Avengers#All-New,_All_Different

Slingshot7735 karma

Which novelist is most influential on your fiction writing (specifically something like Romeo and/or Juliet)?

qwantz78 karma

Haha, I mean, for that book in particular, I gotta give it up to my boy and co-author Bill Shakespeare.

In general, Vonnegut was the first I read that combined actual humour with actual heart and empathy, and that's something I really love and strive for in my own writing (you can see a lot of that in Squirrel Girl).

remotectrl35 karma

Is Squirrel Girl ever going to meet any prairie dogs? I feel like they would be really eloquent and have some interesting things to say!

qwantz48 karma

THIS... is a good idea

centuryofprogress31 karma

Your humor, especially as made evident through your Choose Your Path books, would translate well to computer games. Have you ever considered making one?

qwantz51 karma

I haven't made one, but I've written for them! I did the writing for Flipping Death (it came out for Switch YESTERDAY) - http://www.flippingdeath.com/ - and I also got the chance to do some writing for Bungie earlier last year, which was great - I'd never been part of a larger team before, and everyone was awesome. Also: FREE SNACKS.

StankScorpio30 karma

Do you know that you write my favorite web comic?

qwantz29 karma

I do now - thank you!! <3

LouisCaravan30 karma

Hi Ryan, I just wanted to share a story with you that will stay with me for a lifetime:

When I was in High School, I used to wear the "Beards over Babies" shirt from your website. I wore the shirt all the time, so I ended up being the "Beards over Babies" guy. I honestly wasn't very popular, but if I wore that shirt, I got "Beards over Babies!" yelled in the hallways every time.

So one winter, my mother was going to be really late picking me up. Like, crazy-late. Rather than go anywhere, I opted to hang around at school and mess around on the ice/snow around the property.

So there's this big hill by the school, and I thought, "Why not?" and spent maybe 1.5 hours writing "Beards over Babies" in huge letters on the hill. Like I just walked up and down and around, making multi-footstep-wide letters, covering the entire hill in a down-to-the-grass message of favoring the Beard Life. It actually came out looking really nice! I had to jump quite a bit and ended up falling a lot, but it was worth it.

Flash-forward to the next day. Sadly, barely anyone notices. I got 2 guys from my computer class (which overlooked the hill) who came running up to me screaming, "You wrote Beards over Babies in the snow!" and 1 girl. That was it. Most people probably had no idea what it was or what it meant. It was just so fun to go to computer class and see that perfectly written sign of beardly preference so beautifully written and preserved. So much of the snow had melted, but "Beards over Babies" was perfectly readable. And gigantic.

Come 5th period (art), a message comes over the loudspeaker: "Please send /u/LouisCaravan down to the main office." Lots of "Ooh"s and "Trooooouble!"s. No one in that class knew I had written "Beards over Babies" in giant letters - or, at least, they didn't say anything. Or didn't care. Regardless, I knew why I was being called down.

Now, our principal hated me. Why?

A little backstory: A lot of my friends were troublemakers, and I was mostly along for the ride. Every single time they got in trouble for something, I was always just over the edge of plausibility to send to detention. I was in the passenger seat when one of my friends held onto the back of a car and skateboarded in front of the parking lot. I was "in the area" when one of my friends painted mustaches on the fancy murals drawn on the school's corridor walls.

I actually broke the door to our courtyard path between two separate parts of our school, because it was locked, and I said, "screw it" and pulled it really hard. Turns out the lock was bad, and it just snapped. I didn't realize we weren't supposed to walk through it (what is it for, if not a shortcut?), and eventually someone caught on and yelled at me for lockpicking (seriously). But nothing could come of it, because they couldn't prove I broke the door and, apparently, for safety reasons it shouldn't be locked. Long story short, I was always around trouble but never got detention.

So, back on track, I get called to the principals office. The guy has the smugest look on his face, like he desperately wanted to catch me doing something. Honestly, I didn't have enough of a reputation or social status in school for him to hate me, but man, I'll never remember that smug smile. he hated me, and he was happy I was going to school jail.

"/u/LouisCaravan," he said. "You have a 3-hour Saturday detention!" He was so happy. I really have no idea why. I just frowned.

"Do you know why?" he asked. I said I didn't.

"Because you," he pointed to me at this point, "parked in a teacher's spot!"

"Oh," I said. "I... don't own a car."

Another thing I will never forget is how goddamn fast the smile died on his face and turned into an angry frown. It was like someone shot his smile. And not one of those dramatic, slow deaths. It was like one of those movies where everything is taken very seriously, and they shoot a guy, and he just drops. And then the main character says, "Huh, it's always slower and cooler looking in the movies." That's what happened to his smile.

He proceeded to grill me for another 10 minutes. Apparently someone stole my unused parking ID number and parked in a teacher's spot, so their car registered as mine. He had to let me go. I walked away, very relieved and proud of myself that I didn't say "...for writing Beards over Babies in giant letters in the snow?" when he asked what I'd done.

So that's it. My foray into artistic vandalism began and ended with a preference for beards. The snow melted by the next day, and no one else mentioned it. But I'll always have a photo of "Beards over Babies" written in giant letters in the snow on my old Verizon Chocolate phone, and the lingering memory of a confusingly hateful old man's smile committing suicide in front of me.

The shirt's just a tad small now, along with the Wizard/Whale shirt and the "/take boat" shirt, but I still love seeing them in my drawer every day. Just thought I'd share!~

qwantz21 karma

I LOVED THIS STORY

good_names_all_taken30 karma

You've written in the past that when you watch stand-up comedy you think that it's something that you could do. Any chance you'll try it in the future?

qwantz91 karma

OH!! I DID! I ACTUALLY DID STAND-UP COMEDY.

So here's how it went down: I'm pals with Jacob Duarte Spiel (you probably know him as The Beaverton Guy) and a few years ago he ran this (literally) underground comedy show. It was in the basement of this bar, and it smelled bad, but it was AMAZING. Jacob's (unsurprisingly) really well-connected in the comedy scene, and so his big idea was a comedy show where established acts could test out new material, while people who had always wanted to try stand-up could do it in a fun, supportive way. I'd go as an audience member all the time - it's where I first saw Mark Little perform (AND HE'S NOW MY FAVOURITE STAND-UP COMEDIAN, HE'S AMAZING, I DON'T THINK HE HAS A WEBSITE BUT HERE'S HIS TWITTER - https://twitter.com/markmarklittle )

And he finally cajoled me into doing it, and it was amazing. It killed! The comedian after me was KID IN THE HALL Scott Thompson, so technically, I've now opened for Scott Thompson, no big deal.

It was such a perfect night that I'm pretty sure I should just call it there and that'll be my brief, 5-minute career in standup.

CorndogNinja26 karma

Hi Ryan!

You have a pretty distinctive 'voice' when you write or type (multiple punctuation marks??? sometimes no punctuation - AND BLOCKS OF ALL CAPS) - How did that come about? Is it a reaction to how we often lose a sense of tone or delivery when reading lines of text on a screen?

qwantz46 karma

Yep! I actually started it at a job I was working, where I didn't want to be misunderstood. It made intent way more clear, and it works well for an excitable character like T-Rex! Plus: I will go to my grave arguing that there is a DISTINCT semantic difference between these phrases, and it's all thanks to punctuation:

You love me?

You love me??

You love me?!

You love me!?

RhymenoserousRex25 karma

As a guy who writes dinosaur comics what are your opinions on dinosaurs in other comics. Have you ever read Atomic Robo? What do you think of the good Dr. Dinosaur?

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lts2od9IIs1qedr9co1_500.jpg

qwantz34 karma

I am a connoisseur of all dinosaur comics and Atomic Robo is GREAT.

tatihc24 karma

Could we have, one day, a Jane Austen Chooseable-Path Adventure by you?

qwantz67 karma

I feel like I'm not the best person to write it! Like anyone could turn a book into an adventure by just changing it to the second person and adding in some choices, but to make those choices GOOD, you have to know a lot more. What's the story trying to say? What's the conversation around the story? How has the story been received, and what are its most common criticisms? What's the fandom around the narrative look like, and what are the elements that people have grabbed on to? What was the world like when the story was written, and what things did the author address in their other books? What would they have written if they'd zigged instead of zagging at this point?

I feel like to make it a GOOD book, it has to in some way incorporate these things, otherwise it's just, like, a writing exercise. And I don't have the depth of Jane Austen knowledge that I have for Shakespeare or, say, Back to the Future (I WOULD LOVE TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS WITH BACK TO THE FUTURE) - so I don't think I'm the guy to write it! THAT SAID: I would absolutely read Pride and Prejudice and Choices

hikemalls24 karma

What is the simplest thing you personally can make or do that would most impress people from the past?

qwantz45 karma

Knowing what a germ is - and, on top of that, how to produce penicillin - would give you an almost godlike advantage over everyone else, and - assuming you share their secrets - make the people in your civilization appear to have an almost magical resistance to disease. Both of this are covered in the book, naturally! I'm not gonna leave you hangin' in the past.

HonoraryCanadian32 karma

Would you inadvertently destroy civilization by creating penicillin resistance centuries before modern medicine came around to invent other antibiotics?

qwantz69 karma

look, you take the good with the bad

splinterfm23 karma

Shouldn't you be packing your stuff for your travel to Russia instead of talking to people on the internet?

qwantz32 karma

I CAN DO BOTH

GISP23 karma

How do you feel about the most powerfull marvel character... (And your creation) not having a movie yet?

qwantz45 karma

I feel like it'd be fun, but I also love comics as a medium and feel like it's more than a stepping stone to movies! So Squirrel Girl having a comic is awesome in my books.

Though, I didn't create Squirrel Girl! Her first appearance was back in 1991 with story by Will Murray and art by none other than the recently-late, forever-great STEVE DITKO.

His version was kinda terrifying

https://www.cbr.com/steve-ditko-squirrel-girl-power-rangers-wwe/

fanboat23 karma

I just grabbed Flipping Death, and am a big fan of Stick it to the Man! How did you get involved in writing for these games?

qwantz28 karma

I met Klaus when Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb and I did a comic-within-a-game for an Adventure Time game he was working on! (We were the team making the comic at the time). Then when we was working on Stick it to the Man, he asked if I'd be interested in writing dialogue, and I said yes, and here we are years later and Flipping Death just came out yesterday!

Writing a game isn't like writing in other mediums. In comics, you control the whole page: who's saying what, to whom, and when - plus you control the pacing, too - which includes the size of the panels, their number, and their order. It's like being the director, actor, and writer all at the same time, and it gives you full control over a joke. But in games you don't control any of that! Outside of cut scenes - which we all want to keep as short as possible - all you can influence is what's said to the player, and the player determines what happens next. And this makes comedy really hard! But Flipping Death was actually a lot easier, because of the "possession" mechanic, and the fact that the characters were so unique. The characters have a lot of opportunity to chat with you while you're taking over their body, so it really opened things up for dialogue.

no-relation11 karma

Oh dang, Ryan wrote Stick It To the Man? That game is hilarious!

qwantz8 karma

thank you! Flipping Death is the spiritual sequel and I wrote that too! :0

hikemalls18 karma

I have to use my time machine to bring some influential people from history to my school for a project. Unfortunately, Bill and Ted already took all the most popular figures. Who would you recommend I take back to the future with me?

qwantz54 karma

I can't believe William and Theodore forgot about Leonardo da Vinci. Imagine watching him discover the modern world: I'M HERE FOR IT. Party on, Hikemalls!

Sciencesquirrels18 karma

What are your thoughts on having Nancy as an openly queer character in SG? I had always read her as either gay or bi and was wondering if this was an actual possibility or more just personal interpretation because of how much I relate to her? It would be cool to see that in my favorite comic so I was just curious :)

qwantz33 karma

It's a reading I support! She was originally based on a straight friend of mine (SIDENOTE: this is a great shortcut for creating characters, and it's one I felt really bad about until I confessed to Chip that I was doing it and he was like "oh dude, everyone does that" and then rattled off a list of comics characters we know and who they were based on). Erica and I talked about it early on when we saw those vibes developing in the text and we thought, "yeah, for sure, this can be a thing".

I know it's kinda weird to have the two people who created a character talking about her like she's a person with her own agency, but it's been honestly surprising to have that happen! It really makes her feel like she's got a life of her own outside of what we're doing, and I love it.

VideoBrew18 karma

Who would win in an arm wrestling contest, you or Jeph Jacques?

qwantz26 karma

Jeph is probably stronger, but I've got heart, so probably it'd be a tie and we'd still be wrestling to this very day, so it's a good thing we never started.

alice422318 karma

Where did the dinosaur comics format come from and how was it decided on? It must’ve been a big decision to lock yourself in right away.

qwantz47 karma

I mean, at the time I thought I was locking myself in for a month, tops. My initial plan was to change the pictures every month once I ran out of ideas, but at the end of the first month I was like "man, making new pictures is hard, and plus I've PROBABLY got another month of comics in me", and then - that was it.

There's lots of mistakes in the layout - for one, TURNS OUT it's really amateurish to have characters "stand" on panel boundaries - but I had no idea and it's way too late to fix it now!

Sciencesquirrels18 karma

Will the letter hypertime Doreen and Nancy wrote to their younger selves ever be addressed in a future squirrel girl issue?

qwantz24 karma

There is a reference to it in a script I sent in at the beginning of this month! But I don't think I'll ever show it, because I think the version you're imagining is better than the one I'd write, and the rest of that issue makes it pretty clear what they'd say to their past selves. <3

naidojna15 karma

You seem like you've done a great job at avoiding cynicism, being constantly supportive and constructive even though I'm sure you must get frustrated and angry sometimes. It's an inspiration, thanks! But does that ever limit you? Are there things you'd love to speak out on, but they'd be too divisive? Or do you just find a way to make your statements in supportive and constructive ways?

qwantz41 karma

Haha, one of the best criticisms I ever saw about me was "Ryan North is a good writer, but he's never going to be great because he hasn't suffered enough tragedy". And I was like, super! Terrific! Not suffering tragedy sounds great to me, thanks, I'm good here!!

I do think people should speak out on issues that they feel are important to them, and I feel like I do that pretty often! And it's also baked into my work: hopefully nobody's going to read my work and wonder if I'm pro or against LBGT people, for example. I think there's a great power in presenting things like that as normal, commonplace, and accepted, which was my Big Idea with Utahraptor back in the day: he'd be a gay guy, and it wouldn't come up that often, because he has interests outside of being gay. It's pretty routine now, but at the time we were in Will and Grace land, where it felt like every gay character was THE GAY CHARACTER whose whole life revolved around it, you know? And that wasn't like most of the gay people I knew.

Toast4215 karma

I was sad to read about Project Wonderful closing. Is there still room for decent advertising on the net?

qwantz13 karma

I hope so, but if there is I haven't found it since :(

CatComixzStudios14 karma

Hey, Ryan! I enjoy the way you write words and stories that have made me both laugh and experience other positive human emotions. Please keep doing that!

I've been working on my own comedy-adventure comic for a little over a year now. Like most people, I'd like to think I'm funny, but some of the jokes just aren't as strong as I'd like them to be? I'm doing my best to just kind of get into my own characters brainspace and really let them react in the ways that make sense, but then I'm also worried about losing track of the plot.

In fewer words, my question is: How do you keep the balance between writing stories that are funny while keeping the story moving along?

Also, please give Chompsky a smooch on the head and remind him that he's a good dog.

qwantz31 karma

So the thing with comics is that units are weird. In prose, the unit is the paragraph, and maybe the sentence. And these can flow wherever they want, and you don't have to worry about where they land on the page. But in comics you've got panels, and then pages, and that's it, and the page always ends at the same point. You need to think at the page level, to give the reader a reason to turn each page.

I do that in a couple of ways: mini cliffhangers and jokes. You can usually tell the difference in Squirrel Girl because the cliffhangers - where you want to see what happens next right now - WON'T have any alts at the bottom, because they slow things down. But when you're treating each page as a punchline - and the reason to turn the page is "that joke was good, I want more of them" - then you can have room for an alt. These mini cliffhangers can be anything, but the best ones are a reveal that raises new questions, or a question whose answer will come on the next page. If a page ends flat, with neither a joke, nor a cliffhanger, then it just sort of... stops, and the reader will have a moment to reflect on that, unconsciously, as they turn the page. This makes things feel boring, but if you have their mind distracted by a joke, or a question, or a reveal, then the turning the page happens quickly, and they're too busy trying to wonder what comes next to get bored.

When I write I'm writing to keep myself entertained, and then when I re-read things I just cut out the parts that were boring and take another run at it. So I'd say let your characters have fun, but if you re-read it and it's just jokes jokes jokes and you don't remember why you're supposed to care, then take some of those jokes out - or move them - and take the time to remind the reader of the stakes, or better yet, escalate them.

It's as much an art as it is a science, and the best tool you've got is your own reactions when you read what you've written a day later. Be your own worst critic, but then also give yourself props when you write something you're happy with!

trsra14 karma

How would kiddo Ryan North react to a glimpse of present-day adult Ryan North's life?

BTW, I've been reading Dino Comics for OH GOSH nearly 15 years and still occasionally deep dive back into the classics. SO many of them are linked to a time and place for me and I think it's great!

qwantz21 karma

he'd be confused by a lot of it but very excited at the dog and all the computers

Account23512 karma

Hello, I'm an incredibly bad writer too, how do I become successful like you?

qwantz19 karma

Practice writing to become less bad, and read lots - especially outside what you're interested in. If you want to write comics, you can't just read comics, because then your comics will be like everyone else's. People say "WRITE EVERY DAY" and I don't think it's strictly-speaking necessary, but if you don't make time for it, it's not going to happen. It's what we all do, really!

Copywrites12 karma

You travel back to the past.

What are you taking credit for?

qwantz28 karma

EVERYTHING - BUT ESPECIALLY COMPUTATIONAL MACHINERY

mistertrev1412 karma

When I was in middle school, I remember joking with my friends that in the MCU there’s a hero for everything. I was exaggerating saying “ I bet there’s a character called squirrel girl and being in the computer lab, we decided to look it up and lo and behold she’s central parks protector and exists. Did you know there about squirrel girl prior and what made you decide to become a writer for said comic?

qwantz15 karma

Yep, the original Squirrel Girl was the foundation that everything else was built on! I have heard from several people that they'd used "Squirrel Girl" as an example of a fake character and then were surprised to find out she was real :0

ReluctantlyHuman11 karma

As much as I love Squirrel Girl, I think the Machine of Death series is my favorite creation of yours. Any idea if we will ever see a third book?

qwantz14 karma

I usually say "MAYBE" and the answer is still "MAYBE"! There's a variety of boring reasons that have prevented a third book in the series, but there's still non-zero chances that we'll bring it back for a trilogy. Also: thank you!!

itwormy11 karma

Do you think that having to work within the limits of the Dinosaur Comic panels improved your creativity, or do you think it maybe over time restricted your thinking to certain successful joke/narrative structures? If that's too obvious a question, what are some story tropes that you have a soft spot for? Or a hard spot for? A hard, angry spot.

Big fan, by the way! Of both you personally and your output.

qwantz19 karma

Hey thanks!

Honestly, I think DC helped me get good at writing dialogue, because that's almost all the comic is. You'd have to be crazy to make the comic for so long and NOT get better at the back-and-forth of conversation. And it certainly helped me realize that writer's block is never insurmountable: 15 years with the same pictures proves at the very least that you can always write SOMETHING.

Though I will say when I started writing other comics it was SUCH A GREAT FEELING to be able to have a reaction shot whenever I wanted it, and to have full control of pacing. Whew!

GrandMoffAtreides10 karma

If T-Rex were transported to Gotham with the ability to stop Joe Chill from murdering Bruce Wayne's parents, would he struggle with the moral dilemma of saving a couple people versus consigning the world to a Batman-less future?! Alternatively, if he saved Bruce's parents, would he take up the mantle himself?

SPOILER: You're amazing and I've read your comic for the last...ten-ish years I think? I always loved getting compliments on my "You've been turned into a whale" shirt.

qwantz19 karma

WHAT A CHARMING SPOILER - thank you!! <3

I think T-Rex would stop Joe Chill, but then spend the rest of his time in the past trying to convince young Bruce Wayne how he should become Batman anyway, and when he does, how he should team up with his biggest fan who just happens to be a giant dinosaur, or if they don't team up, then at the VERY least he build a giant statue of him and put it in his lair.

TheNewDefaultsSuck10 karma

It's nearly breakfast time for me this morning - Should I make sausage or bacon with my eggs?

qwantz24 karma

sausage! A less popular, but more satisfying, choice

hobbit112310 karma

Hi, Ryan! So years ago in college, a friend of mine told me that when he reads Dinosaur Comics, he hears my voice for T-Rex. I guess what I'm trying to say is: if you were to make an animated version of Dinosaur Comics, can you give me a call? Cool, thanks, that would be rad.

qwantz10 karma

We have an accord

bofstein10 karma

You've listed a lot of really cool and successful projects (LOVE Dinosaur Comics). What are some projects you tried that just went nowhere? Like you never even finished, or couldn't find an outlet, or it totally bombed, etc, even if the idea seemed great?

qwantz12 karma

Oh, there's tons, but I generally end up finding places for unfinished stuff later on. My creator-owned book THE MIDAS FLESH began life as a Dinosaur Comic - http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1355 - and after I wrote that I wrote a script for the first issue of the comic. But then it took several years for me to go back, rewrite it to make it good, and turn it into an eight-issue story! I've got a couple things like that: stuff that I'm toying with but that isn't quite anything just yet.

cerebralTurbulence10 karma

What does Andrew Hussie smell like?

qwantz11 karma

Like coming home.

pineconesundae10 karma

Ryan, remember that word/code puzzle you did in some comic panel a few years ago and gave a few hints on? Did anyone ever solve it? I remember I tried for a while, even writing some computer programs to help, but I never got anywhere. I kept telling myself I would try again and again over the years, but I still haven't gotten back to it. Life...uh...finds a way?

qwantz17 karma

Someone got REALLY CLOSE - like close enough that I felt bad that it wasn't the answer - but no, it hasn't been solved yet!

RaeADropOfGoldenSun9 karma

Hi Ryan! You’re my favorite writer/general content-creating-person in the world. You’ve influenced my sense of humor so much that when I force my friends read To Be Or Not To Be and they do they’re always like “Oh, yeah, this explains a lot.” Also B to the F is beautiful and highly under-appreciated and I love it.

I’ve been trying to think of a question and completely coming up short.

If you could have a miniaturized version of any dinosaur as a pet, and it could have one super power, what dinosaur/superpower combo would you pick?

qwantz14 karma

GREAT question! I'd take a mini brontosaurus because: vegetarian, easy to feed, probably very adorable, and easy to take on a plane - and its superpower would be to become normal sized on demand so that we could ride around and have fun (though not while on planes).

One-Legged-North7 karma

Hey Ryan! My name is also Ryan North.

Once upon a time, when I was just a wee lad, I received an email from you claiming that you are the one and only true Ryan North. Because of this claim, the rest of us needed to change our name to something else. (I’m paraphrasing, because your message was longer and wittier then that... and it was a long time ago.)

This claim stoked a great competitive fire within me that has burned for all of my adolescence and adulthood.

So, part of me just wants to say thanks for urging on a competitive spirit which helped me find success.

The other part of me wants to challenge you to a duel.

My actual question is, do you still have that original email you sent out in mass?

qwantz6 karma

OH MY GOSH, YES. Though it wasn't really en masse since I could only find a few of us. A few of the wrote back and one of them was crazy! At first he was all "haha I'm 40 so I'm you from you future! Ask me anything!" and I was like "okay, any advice for me / past you?" and suddenly all joking was over and he replied STAY AWAY FROM WOMEN NAMED KAREN THEY RUINED MY LIFE. I still remember the name: Karen. But all the Karens I've met him been great!

I can believe you remember that email! You're the first one I've made since I sent then out in - it must've been 1998?

riskfactor137 karma

If I were flung 43 days into the future to find the world civilization had ended and I was the lone survivor of the apocalypse, would your time travel guide still be of use?

qwantz11 karma

Yep! There's a lot of parallels between being trapped in the past and being trapped in a post-civilization future, but the future version is harder in some ways: for one, we've already mined all the easily-accessible sources of coal and natural gas, so good luck doing anything with those for a long long time.

thestringpuller7 karma

Hey Ryan,

I love how Squirrel Girl has small computer science references used as humor. We're also seeing a lot of CS based humor in mainstream comedy now (like the show Silicon Valley), or used as for world building (Mr. Robot).

Computer Science can be pretty obfuscated, so what techniques do you use to make this humor accessible to a larger audience?

qwantz9 karma

I try to explain it to myself! I find I often forget little details in - everything, really - so by trying to explain it to myself and noticing the points I'm not sure about, I use that as a guide for the things that might be confusing to other people. And then you throw in jokes wherever you can so it doesn't get boring!

vinniepdoa7 karma

One of my fave things about Squirrel Girl are the little one line comments at the bottom of the page. I remember those being there on the (fantastic, btw) Jughead books as well. Is it just part of the deal now when someone asks you to do a book that you can do those extra lines?

qwantz6 karma

Thank you! No, those little comments are always added by me, emailing to say "oh hey by the way I'm adding little alts here, hope that's fine!". I like them in print comics because comics is a NOT-INEXPENSIVE hobby, and by literally cramming jokes into the margins, we're at least trying to make sure people get their money's worth. But I think they're a sometimes treat - they work great for Adventure Time, Jughead, and Squirrel Girl - but I didn't use them in other stories, like The Midas Flesh comic.

sbzp7 karma

Has there ever been a time you've been tempted to steal David Malki!'s exclamation point?

qwantz12 karma

Who do you think GAVE it to him??

(not really, but WHAT A TWIST if it were true)

TheLostSkellyton7 karma

Hi Ryan! I met you once at a local comic con where you were at the Topatco table with Chris Hastings. I fangirled way too hard, and frankly embarrassed myself (and probably Chris), but you said I had a pretty name, so it all worked out in the end.

My question: how long do you see yourself doing Dinosaur Comics? Are you going to take a page from Sluggy Freelance (pun intended) and just never quit? Please don't leave us. We will be sad.

qwantz11 karma

Thank you! I've often said "I'll quit Dinosaur Comics when it starts to suck" but then I realized: man, it's probably really hard to tell when you start to suck. So I don't know! When Emily and Joey ended A Softer World we obviously talked about it, but I still really enjoy making it - and I have the advantage that once I've written a comic it's BASICALLY done, which is more than other cartoonists who have to draw can say - so I think I'll keep it going for a while yet!

HearMeRoar2317 karma

Favorite website footer so far?

qwantz13 karma

I like the one where the sun is setting, I think it's really peaceful and beautiful and it makes me happy to look at it.

headlesssamurai7 karma

Do you have many secret bunkers, and if so, how many and in how many countries?

qwantz10 karma

I mean - I don't, but... now I wish I did?

ArrowsAblaze6 karma

what's your favorite episode of Bravest Warriors?

qwantz16 karma

EVERY ONE JOEY COMEAU WROTE

TheTedinator6 karma

Hi Ryan! I really want to thank you for your writing - I love all of it and I think you have a really unique sense of humor that I vibe with. I have a policy of reading 1641 any time I feel down and it has never failed.

Hmm, I guess I should ask a question. How was making the transition from webcomicist to other realms of writing, especially published?

qwantz6 karma

Haha, thank you!

I did it the slow way: I was 9 years into Dinosaur Comics when my editor on Adventure Time - Shannon Watters - emailed me to ask if I was interested in writing for them. So I took the "do a webcomic without realizing that it's not just a comic but also a hopefully entertaining long-form visual resume that shows what kind of writing you can do" approach, and after a decade, it eventually paid off! I'm also a fan of self-publishing: we did the first Machine of Death through self-publishing, and it led to a sequel through a publisher, and To Be or Not To Be was crowdfunded, which lead to the sequel being published through a publisher too.

Mantisbog6 karma

I enjoy your work, but do you think humorous super hero comics undercut other comics in a company’s “universe”? I feel like you kind of ruined Galactus?

qwantz16 karma

I mean, in a shared universe things change all the time, and future teams tend to pick and choose what they want to keep with and what they'll write away. I think it's very hard to ruin a character permanently, because even the least-popular ideas ever just get swept under a rug and never addressed again, and then we all just agree to proceed as if they never happened because we all love the old version of the character so much. But you can't tell stories about a non-changing character forever without them getting repetitive, so every once in a while you mix things up and see what works!

The thing I think that's most potentially-problematic for other books in Squirrel Girl - that in the Marvel Universe, squirrels are not only sentient, but have UNIQUE HUMAN-LEVEL PERSONALITIES are SPEAKING A LANGUAGE HUMANS CAN UNDERSTAND - is something that was established before I showed up, and I kinda love that it means that even in the darkest, most brooding Marvel story... there's still squirrels watching from trees and gossiping about it. But it doesn't break anything, because in the serious stories it's not addressed, and in the comedy stories we can have fun with it, you know?

NanotechNinja6 karma

Do you have any thoughts on Weinersmith's new project Laws&Sausages?

And, better question, do you play any tabletop RPGs?

qwantz7 karma

I think it's great, and I really hope lots of people read it, because even as a NON-AMERICAN I found it fascinating and learned a lot! I'd love to read the Canadian version of it too. We all gotta be informed citizens!

TheProudBrit6 karma

In Squirrel Girl and past endevaours, you've talked about shapeshifters turning their butts into a chair, and how butts are in fact chairs. What I want to know is, in that case, what would be your ideal thing to shapeshift a body part into?

Also, who's your favourite squirrel?

qwantz9 karma

I would shapeshift my butt into a beanbag chair, because I bet that's really comfortable. Chip had a great gag of shapeshifting your head into a hat to protect your face from the sun, but then getting a sunburn on your hat.

My favourite squirrel is the red squirrel, because I love their ears, which remind me of the ears on my own dog!

TastyBrainMeats6 karma

Who would you cast as Koi Boi in the inevitable live-action adaptation?

EDIT: What about Nancy? What about Tippy-Toe??

qwantz7 karma

Oh gosh, Erica would be able to answer this way better, because I know she had a particular person in mind when she drew Nancy. For Koi Boi - top of my head I'd say Ian Alexander? And for Tippy-Toe, a mixture of puppetry and CGI for the action scenes.

Inglonias5 karma

RYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! Hi.

As the tallest person in my family I have to ask: Which side of the family does you being so tall come from?

qwantz9 karma

HI INGLONIAS!

I think my dad's side? But I'm the tallest of any of them for at least 3 generations, and my mom's tall too.

Shout out to the Team Tallest Member Of The Family!!

TheNewDefaultsSuck4 karma

Thanks for the breakfast recommendation.

So I've been reading dinosaur comics since around 2004. I've enjoyed the choose-your-own path and machine of death books. I love reading books, and I love webcomics, but I've never been a comics comics kind of guy so I never got into adventure time or squirrel girl. (Also partly because it seems like having in-universe knowledge would be helpful).

But with so many of the AMA comments being about SG, if I wanted to jump in, where should I start?

qwantz5 karma

The book is actually designed to be friendly to new readers who don't know anything about the larger universe, so this is a good choice! I'd recommend the first trade: Squirrel Girl Vol 1: Squirrel Power. It's got the first story in it and it's a great example of what the book is, so if you like it there's plenty more volumes to read!

Joba_Fett3 karma

Thank you so much for Squirrel Girl. My daughter turned three and I’m so excited to get to share with her this goofy female positive superhero story. It is easily one of my favorite series. Do you have any other series or characters you’d like to write about?

qwantz6 karma

Oh sure! But I feel like I've got this really great deal with Squirrel Girl, where it's kinda - the perfect book for me? Marvel gives us lots of creative freedom, PLUS, if I want to write a character, I can just have them show up in Squirrel Girl! And Doreen is so great - we've put her in space, in the 60s, in dinosaur land, and in school, and it all just works for her. So it feels very open and not at all constraining.

That said: Galactus ongoing when

GeriatricAnimaniac3 karma

Hello! I love SG and it's the first comic I reccomend to anyone getting into superhero comics. It worked on my girlfriend, and now we have an awesome hobby to share thanks to yours and Erica's hard work.

How many Cat Thor stories do you have already planned out, and when is the mini series is going to be announced?

qwantz3 karma

Aw that's great! Awesome.

For SOME reason the Cat Thor ongoing keeps being postponed??

Kalean3 karma

So, Chip's work on Jughead was fantastic, and you somehow kept up the awesome after he left, instantly making you one of my new favorite writers. ("Chip was ripping you off!")

What happened to make that series end so suddenly? It certainly wasn't a massive decline in quality.

Sidenote: Marvel Rising has now hooked me. Thank you.

qwantz3 karma

Jughead was really hard to leave! But Derek and I had a great run that we were BOTH really proud of, and we felt like it was time. Also I realized that I was approximately 125% overcommitted, and I could sustain that sprint for half a year, but something had to give. Otherwise I would turn into a pile of dust :(

ChezRoxwell3 karma

Do you support Donald Trump? Do you believe we should drop an a-bomb on Mecca?

qwantz18 karma

I just answered a question about how I'm so nice and positive, so I guess what I'll say here is, um... you guys, is there a chance that he may somehow... NOT be particularly good at being President??

DisturbingDaffy2 karma

Was your Squirrel Girl inspired by Daniel Clowes’ “Squirrel Girl and Candy Pants” from the Eightball comics? Were you even aware of their existence?

qwantz3 karma

NO, and it's rare there's a squirrel-based comic I don't know about! I'll check it out - I love tons of Clowes's stuff.

megaminxwin2 karma

Can I give you a hug? You're tall and seem huggable (167 cm down here).

qwantz2 karma

200cm up here, and let's go for it!

Draconius422 karma

With so many other Marvel titles that have come and gone in the last few years (as comics are wont to do), it's amazing that what began as basically a joke character has ascended to the point of justifying an ongoing solo title that's managed such longevity. Have you had to fight to keep Squirrel Girl off the chopping block?

Aside from sheer good writing and art, is there something more specific you would attribute Squirrel Girl's success to?

Was the Marvel Universe just in dire need of representation among the Comp. Sci. student community?

Will Monkey Joe ever come back from the dead? (C'mon, everyone else is doing it.)

qwantz3 karma

Oh heck, it's nice that you think I fight to keep the book from being cancelled, but the truth is the thing that keeps it from being cancelled is people like you buying it! The book succeeds because enough people love it that we can afford to keep making it. I think we got lucky in several ways - lots of terrific books never find an audience before it's too late - and I try not to take that for granted. I think people have grown attached to Doreen's optimism, empathy, and of course, kick-butt computer science skills. AT LEAST I HAVE??

nezumipi2 karma

Why does Nancy Whitehead get along so well with the Norse pantheon?

P.S. Squirrel Girl is the best.

qwantz4 karma

The whole Nancy/Loki thing was a COMPLETE SURPRISE that emerged while I was writing. I think Loki appreciates the way Nancy is so direct in how she speaks, and Nancy appreciates that yes, while Loki is this lovable jerk, he's HER lovable jerk and he absolutely has her back. They have this really unlikely friendship, and the fact it's so unlikely is why they both appreciate it so much.

Also: thank you!

MixyTheAlchemist2 karma

What's an element of Doreen's personality that you didn't expect to find when you started writing for her? How much do you and Erica collaborate on things like character attitudes and presentations?

qwantz6 karma

The first draft of the first issue had her beating Kraven by stuffing squirrels down her pants - just like she CONSIDERS doing in the final draft that we printed. But after I sent it in my editor, Wil Moss, said that he always saw Squirrel Girl as the kind of person who would try to help people, and it was like reading the answer key in a teacher's textbook, you know? I immediately wrote back and told him to pretend he NEVER READ the first draft, and then wrote a new version in which she actually helps Kraven with his problem. Doreen's willingness to try to find compromise before throwing fists (or squirrels) around - has become one of her defining traits!

theboy2themoon2 karma

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has been an awesome, strange, and engaging take on one of Marvel's most off-beat characters. If you could write on another Marvel comics character or team - who would it be? Someone more mainstream (Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men), or another GLA-level underdog?

qwantz2 karma

I do love the underdogs - proven by how often they show up in Squirrel Girl - but the characters that I've fallen in love with unexpectedly are the ones that keep showing up in Squirrel Girl: Kraven the Hunter, Brain Drain, and Galactus. Put those three in a road trip/heist story and I am THERE.

kanagan2 karma

Have you assassinated Andrew Hussie yet?

qwantz2 karma

why would I assassinate... MYSELF

SuchIsYOLO2 karma

A couple of notes before my question:

-Before we were married, my ex-wife hand made me a Dinosaur comic out of stickers as a keepsake while we were temporarily apart for a few months. I hadn't thought about this for years until I saw your AMA and now I've made myself sad. It was quite good however and I will probably keep it as it's worth saving and will jet hide it from future ex wives - The Dr McNinja guest Dinosaur Comic was awesome

So to the question: How did you feel about Dinosaur Comics being a permanent addition to The IT Crowd?

Big fan man, thanks for your work

qwantz7 karma

Aw, you should keep it! It's a memory of the good times, not of how they ended. I'm sorry!

As for the IT Crowd: I was thrilled! The set decorator emailed me asking if it was okay and I was like "YES IT'S OKAY, THE SERIES TWO OPENER 'THE WORK OUTING' IS THE PERFECT HALF-HOUR OF COMEDY TELEVISION". Then when I saw my designs on the characters - and on the set - it was just amazing.

ObviouslyNotAMoose2 karma

If I remember it correctly, Squirrel Girl was mentioned in Deadpool 2. Can you confirm or confirm that casting is being made as we speak for a possible movie or Netflix show?

qwantz2 karma

I HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET!! But I'll watch it and look for it!

OldMan-Logan2 karma

Any ideas on how Squirrel Girl beat Thanos? What's your favourite breakfast?

qwantz3 karma

I love Mark Little's comedy, my favourite show is The Good Place (IT'S LEGIT BRILLIANT AND WE'LL BE TALKING ABOUT IT FOR YEARS), my favourite breakfast is eggs Bennie, and Thanos told me that I can't tell you about the Thanos situation.

UPDATE: this reply was to your first version, which had more questions in it! And thus you get: MORE ANSWERS

MarsNirgal1 karma

How did you come up with the original layout of Dinosaur Comics?

qwantz1 karma

I just started laying out panels and got really really lucky that it produced something that wasn't horrible!

nezumipi1 karma

Right now in comics, there are a lot of very harsh words from fans when women (especially not overly-traditionally-sexy women), people of color, and LGBT people are included in mainstream works. Squirrel Girl has all three. Why did you feel that was important to do? Did you get a lot of that hate? Do you have a sense of why or why not?

qwantz2 karma

I don't get much of that hate, because here's a secret: a lot of it is gendered. For some mysterious reason, women get the brunt of the harassment online, and I usually only get mentioned in passing, if at all. Don't get me wrong: I get some of it for sure, but you just need to take a glance at the feeds of the people behind the anti-diversity movement and you'll see that the real hate gets spewed at women. Weird! I wonder if there's some reason for that which these people could, perhaps in a moment of introspection, examine and address!

groovekittie1 karma

I met you at the Calgary Expo many moons ago and bought the ORIGINAL "THERE, now I'm not naked anymore" t-shirt. I still have it. It shall be willed to one of my children when I die.

Would you ever consider coming to the Saskatoon Entertainment Expo? It's small, but very cute and fun. :)

qwantz2 karma

That's AMAZING. Thank you!! I remember that shirt so fondly.

I like doing Canadian shows a lot, but there's only so much time in the year. I hope to do more out west in the future! And out east too. MORE CANADA IN GENERAL PLEASE

Thy_Inventor1 karma

Omgosh I never catch these AMA’s in time! What question should I ask you, Ryan?

qwantz2 karma

WHY ARE YOU SO HANDSOME??

(the answer is "oh, you ;)")

supercrazybunnylady1 karma

Hi Ryan! I met you at San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks ago and was so star struck all I could manage to say is how much I love Squirrel Girl. Afterwards of course I thought of so many other things I would like to say to you! One of them was about Brain Drain—where do you get the inspiration for him? He’s seriously hysterical.

qwantz1 karma

Oh my god, I love Brain Drain. He started out as basically "what if there was a character that was just the impressions me and my friends do of our favourite director Werner Herzog" - but he's become even more than that, and that was already GREAT.

Mein_Captian1 karma

Have you heard of people wanting a live action Squirrel Girl thing with Anna Kendrick? Would you think she would be a good fit?

qwantz2 karma

Once you've seen Milana Vayntrub in her own homemade Squirrel Girl cosplay, you know that there can truly be no other:

https://imgur.com/a/XOzy5kp

nobigideas070 karma

All my friends don’t take squirrel girl seriously despite my recounting of the numerous powerful villains she has defeated (including Dr doom and Thanos). How do I show them the true majesty of squirrel girl? Thanks for your writing btw, it’s great!

qwantz2 karma

Option one: make them read Squirrel Girl comics!

Option two: give them a house with a squirrel infestation in the attic and see how long it takes before they realize that the squirrels aren't at our mercy, but that we're at the mercy of them. True fact: most power outages aren't caused by storms, hackers, or anything else. They're caused by squirrels. And that's with them not even TRYING to mess with us.

https://cybersquirrel1.com/

ultimatewikibot0 karma

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is an ongoing American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The solo series initially debuted in January 2015 and ran for 8 issues, and was rebooted in October 2015 as part of Marvel's All-New, All-Different Marvel branding. The initial and reboot series are written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson, based on the Squirrel Girl character created by Will Murray and Steve Ditko. Critics have praised its comedy as well as the empowering portrayal of Squirrel Girl.

Image


About | Leave me alone

qwantz9 karma

and thank you, ultimate wiki bot, but again, there is no question here for me to answer

WRONGonRED-6 karma

when are you going to write something good?

qwantz11 karma

one day, WRONGonRED. i gotta believe