Meet Your Creator: Patabot of 'BFGF Syndrome'by Caleb Goellner
It's been a busy past few months for BFGF Syndrome creator Patabot, but the Brooklyn cartoonist has finally caught up on her mountain of creative endeavors and is ready to answer our usual brand of questionable questions. We didn't mind the wait much, mostly because like Patabot herself, we've been catching up on a little gaming. Sometimes the stars align, even in the midst of hacking away at to-do lists and respawning online. Anywho, without further ado, we give you our Q&A with our BFGFS BFF.
GoComics: I promise I will ask actual questions, but first I must know: How is your dog Fifi doing?
Patabot: Haha she's doing pretty good! July, aka terrible boom boom nightmare month, is over. Also, we discovered a spot above her butt that drives her crazy when we scratch it. That's about as good as it gets for a dog, right?
GC: Prior to your debut on GoComics, you came to Planet Comicon as part of our Creator Showcase. You even made some awesome comics about your trip! I was surprised to read on your Tumblr that it was your first time tabling. Was it a good first show for you?
Patabot: It was a great first show! GoComics took such good care of us, I loved meeting the fans, and every night back at the Airbnb was like a creator showcase after-party/club house. It's going be a really hard act to follow up. Speaking of which the next convention I'm doing is NYCC in October with Jane from Pigeon Gazette. It's going to be terrible.
GC: You recently got married and did a gag strip about changing the meaning of the acronym "BFGFS" to something else. What did you wind up deciding on???
Patabot: It'll always be Boyfriend Girlfriend Syndrome to me! That comic strip was to respond to and have some fun with all the 'Now you're going to have to change the name' jokes that were coming in. People came up with some really funny and random things though. A lot of them were fart jokes.
GC: Speaking of, how have your most recent life milestones impacted how you think about and work on BFGF Syndrome (so far)?
Patabot: I haven't tapped too much into it yet, but I always thought it would be really cool if the comics changed with us - from us as 'boyfriend and girlfriend' to 'husband and wife' then 'dad and mom.' Maybe we'll even get to 'grandpa and grandma' if arthritis isn't too much of an issue. I hoped the acronym 'BFGFS' would stand on its own as a name for the comics, so that the comic content could be fluid and at the will of my whim, but still have a wink to where it all started. Then I discovered that 'BFGFS' is kind of hard to pronounce out loud and so I figured "BFGF Syndrome" would make everyone's life easier.
GC: Many webcomics creators are known for cartooning even though they work in a variety of styles including fine art. Are people ever surprised that you don't *just* do BFGF Syndrome?
Patabot: I prefer a simpler style for gag comics- I think a certain amount of reduction helps a joke land smoother. They're not really a secret, but I guess my other art styles seem pretty different as a result! I started doing a new comic series for NCSoft called 4 Scoops of Spoonz and there were some people that were surprised to learn that I made those too. It was me all along! Bahahaha!
GC: Everyone's experience is different, but there's a kind of cultural truism that the internet becomes a different place as your profile as a content creator rises. What's your experience been like so far?
Patabot: Is the consensus that it's usually a negative or positive experience? You get both, of course. You get haters and people who use your content in ways you might not approve of, but you also get people who tell you that reading your silly doodles affects their lives in a positive way. I'm really grateful to have had a good reception- it's been a really great and self-affirming experience. There's something scary about putting your heart and sweat into creating something and putting it out there to be judged. My experience has allowed me some much-needed confidence and helped open the world up a bit more for me.
GC: It seems like every webcomics artist is battling an Overwatch addiction. How have you been handling your habit?
Patabot: Not very well... if you're looking for advice on how to maintain a healthy adult lifestyle don't look at me. I'm a mess. Just...oh god, I'm going to be someone's mom one day.
Patabot: I play it while walking Fifi and I'm getting pretty close to catching them all! "Pokemon Master" is going to look great on my resume. Suddenly I'll be over qualified for most jobs. Garfield Go sounds like it would be really easy. Walk to the kitchen, grab a snack, catch the Garfield, done. Anything further than room length would seem out of character. Not a very good resume garnish.