The other night I had the pleasure of a lovely little sit down with Andrew Schnorr and The Elderly Apple Guy, the two halves that make the whole that is Elderly Apple. Probably my favorite idea comic in existence. I know you have heard me talk about Elderly Apple before, and I really can not say enough great things about this comic, but after this interview I have a whole new level of respect to the level of commitment Andrew and EAG put into this comic. It should be noted this interview was conducted over an IRC chat room, hence the use of smilies in it.
jhorsley3: Tell me who you are and where you are from?
Andrew Schnorr: Sure thing. 😀
AS: My name is Andrew Schnorr, I am the originator of “Elderly Apple“.
AS: I am 21 years old; I was born near Los Angeles, and I currently attend business school at the University of California, Berkeley.
TheElderlyAppleGuy: Ooo, how about me?!
j3: yes, please tell us about yourself as well
EAG: I was formed in one of Andrew’s bad dreams! I’m an orphan, as all my family and friends died in an unfortunate Lye accident in Delaware!
EAG: I currently reside on the internet and the crevasses of Andrew’s mind.
j3:well that sounds like an interesting upbringing
j3: and you’ve come so far! from a bad dream to being able to use a computer!
EAG: That’s why I’m the REAL brain behind the comic!
j3: well all know talent when we see it!
AS: Hey! I’m the one in a prestigious university!
EAG: Quiet, you flipper!
j3: yeah, but you have a ‘name’ he has a ‘calling card’
j3: Please tell me the name of your comic and it’s URL.
AS: The comic is “Elderly Apple“, and the URL is www.ElderlyApple.com. Alternatively, just google “Elderly Apple“.
j3: See, that’s why I would beleive he is the true brains, his NAME is the NAME of the comic!
AS: He came *after* I created the comic, though! Doesn’t that make me the true progenitor?
EAG: Michael Jordan is better at basketball than the creator of basketball, isn’t he?
j3: I half to agree
j3: Tell me why you started Elderly Apple and when.
EAG: Well, I-
AS: Quiet, you!
AS: Elderly Apple actually had its roots in my job as a resident assistant in the Berkeley dorms.
AS: I was known for making weird little drawings, like a five-year-old would make.
AS: And they’d always have captions, like “flying pot” or “octopus on monkey bars.”
j3: Is there a point?
AS: Around this same time, I was getting more and more intrigued with the idea of starting a webcomic, but I knew I didn’t have the artistic ability or sense of humor to do a traditional one.
AS: No, never a point. 🙂
AS: So, a couple Christmases ago, I made a series of holiday cards.
AS: These cards had more elaborate versions of my little drawings, done in marker and colored pencil.
AS: I had scanned these cards, so as to keep the drawings for posterity.
AS: And then, it clicked!
AS: I knew I could make a webcomic that had no point, and just centered around these ideas.
AS: And those 29 holiday card ideas came to be known later on the site as “EA Classics”.
AS: And the rest is history. 🙂
j3: I enjoyed the EA Classics
AS: Thanks. What they lack in polish, they make up for in nostalgia.
j3: I also enjoy the fact that there is no point to Elderly Apple
AS: Very true, and I made sure to make that clear.
j3: do all the ideas inhabit the same ‘world’
AS: Yes, they do, but it’s not a normal world.
j3: do explain?
AS: It’s called the Microcosm.
AS: The Microcosm is, paraphrased, the world of our collective imagination.
AS: If you’ve ever studied Jung, you may have heard of the collective unconcious.
j3: oddly enough, I have studied Jung
j3: but on accident
j3: I thought his name was funny so I checked out his book
j3: wrote a song about it
EAG: Ah, it looks like he got disconnected. So sad.
j3: uh oh
j3: that means I have you to answer questions!
* CGM412 has joined #inkspotcomics
j3: this should get FUN!
j3: damn, he’s BACK
EAG: So, I’ll continue. The Microcosm is-
CGM412: NOT SO FAST!
CGM412: Not so fast!
j3: go on! CGM412 can’t stop you!
EAG: As I was saying, the Microcosm is like a giant cupcake where you can blink sprinkles into and out of existance.
EAG: Where a flying dog a mile away only takes three steps to walk to.
EAG: Where your body proportions are your own choosing!
* CGM412 is now known as AndrewSchnorr2
AndrewSchnorr2 Ah HA!
j3: whoa theres TWO OF YOU NOW
j3: this is getting weird
EAG: He’s multiplying! He’s a witch!
AS2: This is MY interview, EAG! I should have never let you out to play.
j3: well, that is what you get for bringing him along
AS2: So, yeah, the Microcosm is a world where everything is fleeting and malleable…and possible.
j3: will there ever be anything that effects the world as a whole?
AS2: Well, yes and no.
AS2: Because what you see of the world at any one point in time IS the world as a whole.
AS2: So, every time you flip to a different page on the website, the Microcosm has completely changed.
j3: so it’s like the chaos theory, if you can’t see it then it theoretically does not exist
EAG: Trippy, ain’t it?!
* AndrewSchnorr Quit (Read error: Operation timed out)
AS2: I’ll just slip into something more comfortable…
* AndrewSchnorr2 is now known as AndrewSchnorr
AS: Ahh, much better.
j3: much better
EAG: Slightly better.
j3: how do you keep going?
AS:> Haha, I almost don’t know.
AS: Some sick sense of pride?
AS: Seriously, though, I am one to stick to my commitments.
AS: Even if they keep me up at night.
j3: yeah, we can accept that answer
AS: More than anything, every night I say to myself, “It’s not finished yet.”
j3: that’s a good way to do it, stick to your commitments
AS: And until it is finished, I need to keep going.
j3: is there ever an end?
j3: 1000 days of dream.
AS: That is the goal.
j3: so once you hit 1000 you will stop?
EAG: He wants to kill me!
AS: I doubt I’ll ever STOP totally.
AS: But it is planned to be the end of regular updates to the site.
AS: *Planned*, mind you.
j3: that’s not for a few yeras though, right?
AS: Well, I’m only about 2/5 of the way. So, you still have some time to get your fill. 😉
AS: Also, I don’t plan to stop comicking altogether.
j3: good good!
AS: I have…plans.
j3: care to share those ‘plans’?
AS: Maybe later in the interview, as we’re supposed to be talking EA here. 🙂
EAG: Yeah, those plans don’t involve me! >_-
EAG: Er, that was an angry pirate.
j3: quiet you!
j3: What sort of things would you include in a printed colletion to get readers to buy since they can still read it for free on your website?
AS: Ease of access, for one. No clicking required. 😛
AS: But more than that, behind the scenes commentary.
AS: There is a story behind all, er, most ideas.
AS: And usually, I don’t get to tell them on the site itself. It just doesn’t fit the format.
AS: Also, I would put in special, never-before-seen ideas.
j3: do you have plans to print one?
AS: Yes, though I’m still debating when and how.
AS: There are no real good cut-off dates or strips.
j3: why not each year?
j3: didn’t you start on January 1st?
EAG: Ooop, he got cut off again!
EAG: I’ll fill in!
EAG: He started on January 22nd because the release of Elderly Apple was actually to celebrate the one year anniversary for his blog.
EAG: He won’t mention it, but Elderly Apple (and I) was only an experiment.
EAG: But now, his blog is on hiatus, and I require all his attention! I rule!
j3: so you are like his girlfriend?
EAG: He’s never asked me out. *Sniff.*
j3: well that bastard!
* CGM611 has joined #inkspotcomics
j3: If you could make one interesting merch item out of Elderly Apple (cost is not a factor) what would it be?
* CGM611 is now known as AndrewSchnorrAgain
AndrewSchnorrAgain: Why am I the one getting kicked off here?!
ASA: Anyway, merch!
ASA: Only one piece, eh?
ASA: A video game.
ASA: An adventure game that takes place in the Microcosm.
ASA: Pliny the Elderly Apple has been framed for murder, and you have to prove his innocence!
j3: before he dies of old age!
ASA: Of course, such a game would butcher my first two tenants (“No Plot Twists” and “No Character Development”), but hey: we all have a chance to sell out in life, and I mean to take it!
j3: for a video game it’s worth it!
ASA: Better than a mousepad!
EAG: How about a mouse *bachelor* pad?
j3: a new idea!
j3: that was easy!
* AndrewSchnorr Quit (Read error: Operation timed out)
ASA: Ah, time to assume a new (old) identity…
* AndrewSchnorrAgain is now known as AndrewSchnorr
AS: Yeah, some days, ideas come easy.
EAG: Other days, he needs me.
j3: Sum up in one sentance why people should click the link to Elderly Apple.
AS: With crazy, funny, and whimsical ideas to match all personalities, moods, and lifestyles, “Elderly Apple” is your daily dose of hand-drawn zen.
EAG: My sentance is: Pop Tarts smothered the blender!
j3: I like Pop Tarts Smothered the Blender!
j3: but yours is good to Andrew
j3: now we are done with talking about Elderly Apple, Let’s talk about your ‘future’ plans
AS: Ah, okay.
AS: Take a hike, lawn chair!
EAG: Fine, I’m getting a pina colada and watching “Wheel of Fortune”!
EAG: Tooooooodles, J!
EAG: And I’ll see you later, Andrew. *Wink*
j3: later EAG! See you inmy dreams tonight!
* TheElderlyAppleGuy (Quit (Quit: TheElderlyAppleGuy)
AS: Okay, so this is still in early, EARLY development.
j3: like my career
AS: But anyway, I have a future project called “Vagabond Lions”, and it couldn’t be any more different than “Elderly Apple”.
AS: It will be a long-form comic, written by me, and drawn by somebody else.
AS: Somebody better than me, specifically. 😛
AS: It will be an epic narrative, in the same vein as the Homeric tales.
j3: planning any ‘cameos’ from Eldelry Apple in it?
j3: like the main character eats an apple, calls it Phinos
AS: Heh, that might be tricky. But maybe the little crab will have an appearance.
AS: (Note: The Little Crab is my only recurring character.)
AS: So, VL will take place in a post-apocalyptic medieval period.
j3: not at all
AS:<AndrewSchnorr> It takes place in the 25th century, about 200 years after a magnitude 11.5 earthquake destroys most of the earth.
j3: excuse me while I get a drink, preferably heavy in alcohol
AS: Sure, I’ll just use the time to type. 😀
AS: Anyway, only a handful of people remain (maybe 300 million), and they’re mostly concentrated in this one landmass. Society has become a mix of medieval times and “Mad Max”-style futures.
AS: Basically, it’s a setup that allows me to have technology span to whatever I want.
AS: So, I have one guy with a gun, one with a sword, and they’re listening to an Edison phonograph while watching a helicopter being reconstructed.
AS: Oh, and there’s this one guy who lives in a hot air balloon!
j3: nice! hopefully he throws things at people!
AS: He has a sniper rifle that he converted into a net gun to catch birds.
AS: And he throws the bird bones down!
AS: But, just a little setup.
AS: Politically, the world is divided into “The Church” (a militaristic, very medieval psuedo-Christian sect), which controls most of the world…
AS: The New Iberian Empire, a small but rich and powerful confedration of kingdoms that is slowly stealing territory from the Church.
AS: And a bunch of barbarian (that is, non-incorporated) tribes.
j3: (Phinos appeared in a y2cl comic)
AS: So, the comic follows the Vagabond Lions.
AS: Which is a name of a group of adventurers (not actual lions).
AS: Specifically, the main character is Daikana Mizuyama, a knight of the Church.
AS: Having just turned…20, maybe, he begins his knighthood, in hopes of becoming a “champion” (the equivalent of a Medal of Honor winner).
j3: sounds very tehno-punk-knights-and-dragons
AS: Yeah, kinda.
AS: No dragons, but there is magic.
AS: Scientifically explained, of course.
AS: I’m still in the process of world-building.
j3: sounds pretty awesome
AS: That is, I’m writing a series of documents outlining the world, the characters, and concepts of the story.
j3: what art style are you shooting for?
AS: Then I plan to write a script.
AS: Then, I plan to do a storyboard.
AS: Then, I plan to find an artist.
AS: And go from there. 😀
j3: that will be a huge change from EA
AS: But that’s probably years off, so don’t hold your breath (unless you’re David Blaine).
j3: im not!
AS: Damn, I wanted his autograph!