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Trouble with Comics, Five Questions for Box Brown

Five Questions for Box Brown

I first reviewed some Box Brown comics about a year ago, when it seemed like no one had much heard of the emerging cartoonist. I had became aware of him on James Kochalka’s message board, and in the year since I looked at Everything Dies, Brown has fairly exploded into the consciousness of people interested in comics, not least because of his efforts with Retrofit Comics. On Friday over on our new spinoff blog Flashmob Fridays, the [FMF] team weighs in on Brown’s latest effort, The Survivalist. — Alan David Doane

Who are you?

I’m Box Brown. I’ve been making comics of all kinds since 2006. Lately, I’ve been working on a lot of non-fiction comics but The Survivalist is pure fiction so that was an exciting change for me.

What led to the creation of your new book The Survivalist?


When I set out to create The Survivalist I wanted to put a specific character type in the center of the story. Noah is a conspiracy theorist. He’s the type of guy who’s highly influenced by the stories of the Bilderberg Group and the Illuminati and he believes that “big pharma” is to blame for a lot of the world’s troubles. As a skeptic, I’ve become interested in these types. It’s so opposite my own thinking that it just fascinates me. I’ve listened to countless documentaries and podcasts about conspiracies. It was through these podcasts that I became interested in all of the weird products that are advertised to conspiracy theorists (tent, dehydrated food, urine-to-water systems). The book really started out with that character and his things. I really wanted to get into the mind of a person like that.

What is the fascination?

What would motivate someone to become this extreme type? How true to their convictions are they? Ultimately, I think Noah isn’t much different from anyone else really. I still find those types interesting.

Not to give anything away, but it seems like there could be a sequel to this work.

Not sure if Noah will ever reappear, but his favorite podcaster “Dick March” probably will. He was my favorite character to write, even though he appears only as a disembodied voice.

How do you fit The Survivalist into context with your previous comics?

I think people who haven’t read the story though would be surprised that while drawing it, it reminded me more of my old webcomic Bellen! than Everything Dies. A lot of the dialog is between these two major characters, male and female. It’s not a romantic relationship as it was in Bellen! but their dialog is kind of similar. I’m hesitant to get deep into the plot as most people haven’t read it yet.

Buy The Survivalist from Amazon.com or directly from Blank Slate. For reviews of The Survivalist, visit Flashmob Fridays this Friday. 

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