10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes
I’m a big fan of Nick Seluk and his daily comic strip, “The Awkward Yeti.” The comic is often a clever commentary on the struggle between our hearts and our brains – it always hits home and many times provokes a belly laugh. The Yeti has a running dialogue many of his body’s organs. You can read The Awkward Yeti at GoComics.com here.
TOM: Heart and Brain seem to have their own spin-off from “The Awkward Yeti” how did that come about?
NICK: Brain first joined Lars (the Yeti) to help me get deeper into the anxiety-driven inner dialogue of an introvert, but it wasn’t long before Heart joined as a counterbalance. Heart and Brain found a dynamic that worked well for me and for my audience, and before too long Lars was on the sidelines (although he stars in his own self-titled series online at Webtoons and still makes cameos). I found that through Heart and Brain I could express myself better, and in a way that many people could relate.
TOM: What did you do before you became a full time cartoonist?
NICK: Before going full time as a cartoonist I was a sort of graphic designer / art director type for several years. I worked in corporate America with tons of huge brands, a job I ended up hating enough to want to start my own business instead. I needed to do things my own way, but more than anything needed to escape the constant meaningless small talk.
TOM: At what point did you first realize you were famous?
NICK: There are over six billion people who have never even seen my work, so fame is pretty relative. But, having a line of people waiting, actually WAITING for me write my name on a book is very humbling. I guess you could say I was humbled first at San Diego comic con a couple years ago, when I was signing books with my publisher and they had to close off the line. But other than that, it’s not like people recognize me on the street or anything.
TOM: What bores you?
NICK: Conversations about sports. (but not the sports themselves).
TOM: Favorite tv show?
NICK: I have lot of favorites, but I think Louie is one I especially look forward to. I’m a sucker for most of the popular action-heavy shows, too (Marvel Netflix series, Game of Thrones, etc., etc., etc.).
TOM: What famous artist, dead or alive, would you want to paint your portrait?
NICK: Picasso, but during his blue period.
TOM: What are two things you would do if you woke up to find yourself completely invisible?
NICK: Hide from my responsibilities, then go back to bed.
TOM: What song would be the theme of your life?
NICK: Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips, but, like, in a good way.
TOM: Superpower if you had one?
NICK: The ability to make other people fly. Whether I would use this for good or for evil is TBD.
TOM: Other than your own, what comic strips are your favorites? Past and/or present?
NICK: I was always a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Foxtrot and The Far Side as a kid, along with almost anything else in the newspapers at the time. I read every comic strip every day for many years, even continuing on through college with titles like Pearls Before Swine. When I first got into webcomics I enjoyed two groups: the first being the established comics like The Oatmeal, SMBC, and Cyanide and Happiness (all of which I still like to read); the second being comics that I happened to find early on, whether because we started at the same time, or just crossed paths online. That list is pretty long and includes a lot of people I see regularly at comic cons (a big group of us will be at Kansas City Planet Comicon this year).