If you’ve spent enough time on Bored Panda, you’ve probably come across Ryan Pagelow’s popular webcomic series “Buni.” Ryan’s comics are known for their surprising and often unexpected endings, which can be quite dark at times. Pagelow’s comics have previously appeared on our platform, and you can find them by clicking here, here, and here.
This time, Bored Panda contacted Ryan with some new questions about his upcoming projects.”I recently created the characters for Monsters Wild, a new animated YouTube series about a team of researchers who track down monsters and attempt to interview them in order to learn their origin stories.” Each episode is dedicated to a different monster, SCP, or strange phenomenon. In 2021, an animation company approached me about animating Buni, but I was more interested in developing an original series with them. They wanted a series based on SCP monsters, so I had to learn about SCPs, which is a whole section of the internet I had never heard of before.
“I recently created the characters for Monsters Wild, a new animated YouTube series about a team of researchers who track down monsters and attempt to interview them in order to learn their origin stories.” Each episode is dedicated to a different monster, SCP, or strange phenomenon. In 2021, an animation company approached me about animating Buni, but I was more interested in developing an original series with them. They wanted a series based on SCP monsters, so I had to learn about SCPs, which is a whole section of the internet I had never heard of before.
SCPs are strange objects, beings, and phenomena that can range from harmless to indestructible monsters. Despite the fact that my Buni comics can be dark and surreal, writing horror comedy for this animated series was a new experience for me.”
We also wanted to know if the artist had a favorite comic, and we thought it would be only fair if he shared his thoughts with us!
“It’s difficult to pick a favorite comic. I’ve always liked the Buni comic in which he imagines himself riding a unicorn in the sky with rainbows, but in reality, he’s just riding a broken-down mechanical horse in a sketchy part of town. One of my early Buni comics helped to solidify the character for me, and I used it on the first page of my book.
I recently created a comic about sunflowers destroying a tank to represent the Ukrainians defeating the Russians. I printed the design on t-shirts and donated all profits to UNICEF, which helps children all over the world, including in Ukraine.”
Artists go through several art phases before settling on an art style they can call their own. Ryan appears to be pretty settled in that area, but that doesn’t mean the artist wouldn’t like to try something new.
“I’d like to try a long-form comic, similar to a graphic novel.” I have an idea for one and have begun developing the characters. I like short-form comics because you only have a couple hours to devote to them before moving on to the next one, so you don’t have time to overthink it. I’m concerned that a graphic novel will be like attempting to eat a giant elephant one bite at a time. However, if you have a long-term project, it may be preferable not to start from scratch every day.
I’m also intrigued by magazine-style gag comics, such as those found in The New Yorker. I’ve been reading those cartoons for years and would like to have one of my own published in the magazine someday.”
Starting out in comics (or art in general) is difficult, so we asked the artist if he had any advice.
“I usually advise people who are interested in comics to start making them right away. Because everyone has a million bad drawings in them, the sooner they get them out of the way, the better their comics will be. With each drawing, you improve. The same is true for writing. The more you write, the more you’ll discover your own voice and sense of humor. Take chances. Be strange. Make what you think is funny, not what you think other people will find funny.”
When it comes to people’s reactions to his comics, the artist believes that “the three seconds that people spend reading my comic makes their day a little bit better.” And maybe they like it enough to send it to a friend to brighten their day, and so on. And maybe they like it so much that they look forward to seeing new comics on their social media feed.
I also hope that, despite the lack of words in my comics, they convey some deeper themes that people face, whether it’s love and rejection or just weird stuff about our relationships with phones, food, and procrastination.”
For some people, art is more than just a hobby; it is something that helps them cope with whatever life throws at them.
“I’d probably draw comics even if I never showed anyone. I enjoy writing and drawing as a daily meditation. In that sense, it benefits my life. I’m a very laid-back person, and I believe it has something to do with comics.
I began drawing comics seriously after breaking my elbow in eighth grade. I had the opportunity to practice drawing and creating comics. Even after my arm had healed, I continued to draw comics. So comics helped me get through that period, but breaking my arm may have been one of the best things that happened to me since I became more interested in comics.”