Q: Why doesn’t your character have a name?
A: When I started the comic I couldn’t think of a name because I’m terrible with names so I thought I’d get to it later. I’ve gone over seven years now without naming the character, and I feel that at this point any name that I would give the character would be a huge disappointment to everyone myself included. In the Oh No Robot transcripts I refer to him as the Dude.
Q: Is your character ever going to have any friends?
A: I don’t think so, which is kind of sad really, but I have a number of reasons why I’m 99% sure he’s never going to have any friends or a girlfriend. One reason is that I just don’t want to create a new character design. The other is that I’ve written this comic for long enough that I think any attempt to add a new character would seem like a cheap way for new story ideas a la Poochie. Right now I kind of think of his co-worker as his friend, though nothing is there to distinguish him from the rest of the smiling guys.
Q: Are all of these stories true?
A: The majority of them are based in some reality. A few of them were transcribed word for word as they occurred in real life, but most take one thing that irritates me and just exaggerates it a bit for the purposes of the comic.
Q: Do you look like your character?
A: My parents are Taiwanese so sometimes friends ask me why the character isn’t Asian. The character design is based off of a friend of mine who when he has his beard looks like The Dude from The Big Lebowski. I think a cartoon version of my friend looks a lot funnier than a cartoon version of me.
Q: Are you as irritable as your character?
A: Yes and no. Clearly itâ€™s very easy for me to find things that irritate me on a daily basis, but for the most part Iâ€™m very laid back and never lose my temper (though the urge is always there).
Q: What do you use to make your comic?
A: When first starting out I used ball point pens because I didn’t care much abou the line quality. Then I started using Pentel hybrid gel pens. Later in 2005 I went to an art store to experiment with other pens, I had this one that said “Stylist” on the side, which was more marker-ish and gave me a more consistent line. But I was too lazy to find more of them after it dried out. So now I use Pilot Precise rolling ball pens.
I use my computer to mess up anything I fudge. Usually when I draw characters interacting with anything like holding a backpack or a box of candy I need to erase overlapping lines. The only kind of complicated things I can draw without having to erase are the subway settings since I do them so often. My panel sizes are also dictated by the size of the drawings and bubbles rather than having a set size I adhere to.