5 Questions with Reza Farazmand, creator of Poorly Drawn Lines
What inspired you to start
got into cartooning toward the end of high school when I discovered Matt
Groening’s Life in Hell. I’d mainly
just read the Sunday comics up until then, and Groening’s stuff was this other
side to the medium that I hadn’t seen before. It was edgy satire, and it felt
like such a cool way to express ideas. A few months later in college I started PDL.
I’m partial to Mrs. Jones, but who is your favorite character? Are any of them
based on real people?
like Kevin the blue duck. He’s naïve and trusting, but might secretly be the
smartest guy in the room. Or he might just be thinking about cake. His character
has a lot of depth.
only PDL character explicitly based on a real person is Jacques Cousteau, who’s
based on the French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. And also Small Cat, who is
based on Neil Armstrong.
I read that you only took
on writing PDL full-time a year ago. Tell me more about your background, what
were you doing before?
I started writing PDL
full time in March 2013. Before that I worked for a media company in Los
Angeles, mainly writing and editing for blogs. It was my first job out of
college, and I spent a lot of time there day-dreaming about being a
professional cartoonist. After a couple years of drawing PDL on my lunch
breaks, my audience was large enough that going full time became a real option.
With so much great content
to choose from, how do you choose what gets published? Is there a larger
narrative arc you try to convey in our book or is the idea to just print the
my work on the internet means I know exactly which comics have done well with
the most people. So it was easy for me to put together the fan favorites, along
with my own personal favorites. A big chunk of the book is brand new material,
which keeps the same tone as the stuff from the website. There’s no narrative
arc, but the book is divided into sections based on topics like robots and
It’s pretty incredible to
see the success of PDL take off so quickly– you have an amazing following
online that manifests itself in the form of hilarious comments, and hello,
your book is coming out in October from Plume!– what kinds of projects are you
looking forward to in the future?
like to do a longer form graphic novel or novella. I love writing short strips,
but it would be a fun challenge to work on something with a story arc.
Bonus: What books have you
read recently that you loved?