When The Talking Boxes began, I had no plans for it at all. It was just a lark, and I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, so I figured it could be the lens through which I examined life and myself. Snore, right?
Basically, it started out as a sickly imitation of Calvin and Hobbes.
At some point, the strip became more like The Talking Soapboxes, as I started to use it to advance my own opinions about society and such. I got caught up in allegorical narrative and became very precious about my own ideas. Looking back at some of those old strips now, I’m mostly embarrassed. I mean, there’s a strip in which Floap goes on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. What was I thinking?
Easy: I wanted the strip to be edgy and smart. That was the next phase in my personal evolution – which took almost as long as actual evolution. I went from wanting to write Calvin and Hobbes to wanting to write Bloom County, and I was just as bad at being Berke Breathed as I had been at being Bill Watterson.
Now the strip is out there in the world. I’ve grown a lot, and I’ve decided that I don’t want to attempt witty pop culture references anymore. I don’t want to try to level biting insight at current events or whatever. This is mostly because I’ve finally realized that neither pop culture nor current events interest me at all and that I gnash wind when it comes to being relevant. I’m not smart about that stuff, so why pretend to be? As a result, I feel like The Talking Boxes is finally coming into its own – after almost 20 years. Hooray! I’m calling it a good thing that I was able to grow out of my experimental, self-important wangus phase before other humans actually saw the strip.
That said, sometimes I still compare myself to Breathed and Watterson and get bummed out. I consider myself neither a great artist nor a great comedian. My sense of humor is weird at best and just dumb at worst. I do feel like the art’s getting better though! Right? (Validate me.)
So anyway, to sum up, all I’m really trying to get across to you here is something about Kanye West and the Electoral College. And also did you see the cool new show lately and do you know of all the interesting things that happen on it that are the reason people are talking about it all the time? I know I do.