“Are they balloons?” This is what my father-in-law asked my wife about this strip. Another, younger individual once called the strip, “The thing with the little houses.” I’m starting to think that TTB is kind of weird and hard to grasp.
Sometimes, people ask me what The Talking Boxes is about. This is a difficult question to answer. The point of TTB is that it isn’t really about anything. Seinfeld is described as a show about nothing, but that isn’t entirely true. If pressed to explain its premise, you wouldn’t find yourself stammering for an answer. You would probably say, “It’s about four friends who get into goofy situations.” It’s not like there’s no continuity. The show is about something – it’s just not a narrative show. It’s silly.
The Talking Boxes wants to be silly, too. It wants to be even more about nothing than Seinfeld was. The main characters are three sentient geometric shapes and a floating eyeball. They are joined on purposeless space adventures by another shape and a skeleton in a sweater. I stay away from narrative because I don’t feel like my art skills can carry a story. I have no sense for camera angles or anything like that. When the strip started, the whole point was to make something as sparse as possible. Despite the fact that I’m now taking that sparseness and putting it against lush backgrounds in full color, I remain committed to minimalism.
This does not make for a good, quick summary of the strip. It’s an absurdist exploration into just how little I can actually put in a webcomic and still be funny. Its substance is nonsubstance. At first, I thought it was a simple idea. I thought it had endured because it was straightforward – elemental. But I see now that The Talking Boxes is actually approaching dada. It’s almost like the strip has aspirations of being high art, and that blows my mind.
In summation: your shoe’s untied, and you stepped in badger mess.