Here’s a list of questions I get very often. I love to receive reader e-mails, but the questions below are answered in the best detail on the website, so be sure to read here first!

Q: What tools do you use to draw the comic?
A: The comic is initially penciled on the computer using Manga Studio and a Wacom Cintiq. I print the finished pencils out on paper, and use a lightbox to ink it with a Winsor & Newton Series 7 (#3) brush. My favorite ink is Rapidograph’s Koh-i-Noor black india ink. The pages are inked at 14×9″ on Strathmore Vellum paper, then scanned at 600dpi on my Epson Perfection. Finally, I use the Cintiq and Manga Studio to apply the tones and text before exporting to web size.

Q: How long does each comic take to draw?
A: Between 6 and 10 hours on average, but it’s been known to take longer. Most of the time is spent on layout and penciling.

Q: Where does the title “Octopus Pie” come from?
A: Short answer – It’s a nonsense title that means absolutely nothing.

The short answer also happens to be the only answer! Oh well.

Q: How much of Octopus Pie is autobiographical?
A: If you’re asking how many stories can literally be taken as fact, the answer is none. But a lot (if not most) of themes in the stories are taken from life.

Q: Which character is “you”?
A: Just about all of them are, in some way. Eve is most like me, on a bad day. Hanna on a good day.

Q: Now that you’ve moved, is Eve going to move to Portland?
A: No.

Q: Do you feel like your move to Portland is affecting your ability to write about New York?
A: Not at all! In fact, I feel I can write much more fondly about a place I no longer live. I have enough memories of New York – and I still visit often enough – to keep the well from running dry.

Q: Why don’t you have a schedule for when new stories will appear? Why don’t you release a few pages at a time?
It’s not as simple as drawing pages in succession. Since my process now involves different stages of revision, no page is completely “finished” until the last day or so before it goes up. Think of it like a graphic novel – the pages are scripted at once, penciled at once, and inked/toned after all edits have been made.

I do it this way because I think it creates a better, more thoughtful story.

Q: I just realized Eve’s name is a pun. Am I the last one to notice?
I hear this from at least one person every week, so probably not! Someone will notice after you. Sorry if the realization caused you pain.

Q: Are you going to be drawing any more Mongo Minis?
A: Yes, probably! I’m not sure when.

Q: Can you explain how Bake N’ Bake operates? Do they put drugs in the food?
A: It’s food made by stoners. There are no drugs in the food. The idea is that being high makes you a better cook. And it does*.

Q: When can I buy Volume 1 again?
A: The self-published Volume 1 is completely out of print. Sorry! You will, however, be able to get all the comics in Volume 1 in the Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars In Brooklyn collection, which is coming out on June 22nd, 2010 by Villard Books.


*if you’re a professional.