An Interview With This Serious Creator Byron Buslig
I had the pleasure of interviewing Byron Buslig over the weekend — the 19 year-old, Arkansasian creator of my new favorite Pokémon web comic, This Serious.
With nothing more than a sketch book full of ideas, a Wacom tablet, and one hell of a hilarious imagination, Byron manages to pump out a steady stream of not only This Serious strips each eek, but he also has another strip which he’s been working on even longer called Eyepatch-tan which he updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Whether you know him by his real name, NFIRE, or his DeviantArt name pyrofire2007, one thing’s for sure: with the rise in popularity that Pokémon nostalgia has been getting lately thanks to awesomeness such as Letters to an Absent Father and 4chan’s recently-launched Pokémon boards, this dude is about to blow up HUGE.
Could you explain what This Serious is all about and what inspired it?
Well This Serious is a webcomic series that revolves around the lives of a Charmander and a Squirtle as they live out lives outside of Pokémon battles. Such as having an apartment, going to work, and etc.
What inspired it was when I was going through the internet, I stumbled upon Nedroid Picture Diary, another webcomic. I adored the style and all the jokes so I decided to do something like it. I was hesitant at first, but then I decided to do the comic series about Pokémon.
It was originally gonna be more like NBC’s The Office and have the Charmander and the Squirtle in an office environment, but I wanted to be more flexible in my jokes.
Where’d the name come from?
Haha, well that’s a funny story. So originally it was gonna be This IS Serious, seeing as how it’s gonna be silly and the title was just irony. But after doing the first strip, I found out that I left the “Is” out, so I just left it like that, because I just thought it sounded funny haha.
What inspired you to set this whole thing in the Pokémon universe?
Well, I’m basically a huge Pokémon nerd haha. Ever since I did the Pokémon arc in Eyepatch-tan, I had an urge to do more Pokémon related stuff. I even thought of doing a more classic Pokémon webcomic, like having a trainer going through all the gyms and become the very best yadda yadda, but then it occurred to me that there aren’t a lot of series about the Poémon themselves. So then my Pokémon fandom and my love for Nedroid brought together This Serious.
Are you familiar with Mare Odomo’s “Letters To An Absent Father”? He’s apparently putting together an anthology of Pokémon fan comics with some other artists, but says that the artist roster is pretty short so far. Would ever ever be down for a collaboration like that?
I love “Letters To An Absent Father” so yeah, I would love to join in for a collaboration.
Do you have any plans to expand the comic into any promotional mediums like shirts or even print collections?
Currently, there are no plans for merchandise. However, that doesn’t mean that I will never do them in the future. Haha.
Do you ever see an end to the overall This Serious story?
Sadly, there is an end to everything….But I don’t see any of it in This Serious for now. It’s still fresh and new ideas for strips come in all the time…I’m hoping that it’ll last a few years before I pull the plug on it.
Final and most important question of them all: Who’s your favorite Pokémon?
Man, I really can’t have a favorite one since I like them all….But I always pick Scizor to be my favorite… I’m really looking forward to putting one in This Serious one day. Yeah.
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