|Interview conducted by Fred Galpern|
Comic strips have been providing readers with bite-sized, laugh-out-loud entertainment for decades. The postal service has also been around for awhile, possibly serving up even more humor than comic strips. To the best of our knowledge the two haven’t met in any meaningful way in pop culture.
Sorry, we don’t count those Postal video games as meaningful.
Lucky for us, MAD Magazine contributor Peet Tamburino has melded his day job, as a postal worker, with his hysterical cartoon vision and served up a fantastically funny new comic strip called Hey Mailman!
Peet’s been busy prepping for the Boston MICE show this weekend but took a few minutes to talk with Forces of Geek about his comic strip, his new Amazon and iBooks collections and what really happens behind closed doors at the Post Office.
Are you a mailman or a cartoonist?
I am a cartoonist who delivers mail.
I know this is true because when I’m delivering mail I’m always thinking about comics.
When I’m not at the post office I’m never thinking about work. I mean,
I’m thinking about what I’m going to write about, what to make fun of, but not actual work.
What’s fun, awful and weird about writing and drawing your Hey Mailman! strip?
Having to make a new strip all the time is both fun and awful at the same time.
Trying to think up a new joke is tough, but when I get an idea for a joke, and then that idea gives me an idea – that’s pretty awesome. The weird part is working with people that I have modeled these characters after and they don’t even know it!
My Freddie character is 100% based on a man I work with. I’ve showed him the strip and I don’t think he is too impressed. He says he doesn’t know how to work a computer, so he doesn’t read it.
Can you describe your idea of success for Hey Mailman! ?
My idea would be getting the strip out to as many people as possible. I just want to make something that will make people want to come back to the website, want to see what happens next.
Tell us about the MICE show?
The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo is only a few years old, and the focus is more on the art of making comics, and less so on memorabilia. It’s this weekend (9/28-29) and it’s not only my first time exhibiting it’s also my first time going! (This is the first year it’s taking place over two days, and in the past I had to work on those Saturdays).
Where can readers get more Hey Mailman! ?
I’ve been drawing the strip for just over a year, and I put the first year together in an eBook, which is now available on iTunes and Amazon. I also try to put sketches and bonus stuff on the Hey Mailman! Facebook page, to make it worth “liking” it.
Most important cartoonist question – what is your favorite pen?
That is a question that I feel I’ll never be able to answer.
I am always searching for a magic pen that will make me turn into Robert Crumb or something. Until I find that one I mostly stick with Micron Pigma pens, and a Pentel brush pen.