Nick Seluk Gets To The Heart Of 'Heart And Brain: Body Language' [Interview]by Caleb Goellner
Something very special happens when a cartoonist devotes his heart and brain to drawing... a heart and a brain. Just look at The Awkward Yeti creator Nick Seluk, whose Heart and Brain: Body Language collection arrives in stores and online today. Since launching The Awkward Yeti in 2012, Seluk's anthropomorphized organs have gained the kind of following most guts can only dream about. It's a testament to their creator's hard work and entrepreneurial guts -- you could say Heart and Brain have Seluk's drawing arm to thank, as he's drawn 144 pages worth of material for the latest book. But you don't have to take our word for it! We interrupted Seluk's busy workload to ask him about it directly.
Get a look inside the mind of the man behind the guts, below.
GoComics: Heart and Brain: Body Language is the third volume in the Heart and Brain collection trilogy. What can readers expect after last volume's cliffhanger where Heart revealed that he was Brain's father following a harrowing lightsaber battle? That's my assumption, anyway. I kinda only skimmed the last one.
Nick Seluk: One thing I can say for sure is that it’s not the Godfather 3 or Matrix 3 or Superman 3 of the Heart and Brain series. It’s just as good, and includes dozens more exclusive comics that you won’t see online.
GC: Though The Awkward Yeti still stars Lars, Heart and Brain have kind of taken on a life all their own.Did you expect your personifications of organs to become so popular?
NS: Definitely not. It was something that really entertained me, but I never even intended for Heart to be a longterm character. It was originally going to be more of a cameo presence with most comics being about Lars and Brain.
GC: Earlier this month you traveled to Sofia Bulgaria for Aniventure Comic Con. How did the show compare to more domestic shows here in the US?
NS: Surprisingly, it was very similar! The fans were so nice and passionate, the cosplay was entertaining, and I got to hang out with my super talented friend Brian Gordon (Fowl Language Comics). It was a small but very pleasant show.
Now live at Aniventure Comic Con in Sofia Bulgaria pic.twitter.com/RBCeaRloIq— The Awkward Yeti (@theawkwardyeti) September 9, 2017
GC: You'll be at our New York Comic Con booth just a few days after this interview runs. What are you looking forward to most about NYCC 2017?
NS: Everything! New York has great fans, the comic con is epic and it’s a city I love visiting.
GG: You've merchandised your strip a number of ways, creating stickers, mugs, plushies and other items. What's your favorite piece of merch so far? What's your dream item you'd like to sell? (Personally, I'd like to see action figures)
NS: My favorite is probably OrganATTACK because of the amount of time I spent on it (although my Heart and Brain party game that’s on Kickstarter right now is going to be right up there). Action figures would pretty much complete the childhood dream for me. As a young kid, I designed a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain and sent it to Playmates to see if they would make it. (spoiler alert: they didn’t reply)
GC: You had a corporate career for many years before you built your own business. Do you wake up screaming, night after night, suffering from nightmares inspired by that time in your life?
GC: Like all cartoonists, your art style has evolved over time. Have you made a conscious effort to switch things up, or is the evolution simply a gradual shift informed by your creative process and life circumstances?
NS: It’s more the latter… I make a character, then as it develops personality I make small shifts in the style to help accentuate it. I also just start to naturally get better at consistency after drawing something hundreds of times.
GC: You currently live and work in the greater Detroit area. My understanding is that a number of Transformers battles have taken place there. Am I correct to infer that you are close personal friends with Michael Bay's mean Optimus Prime? What's he like?
NS: When I first met Optimus Prime I took a selfie with him, told him all about what I do, did the whole ‘fanboy’ thing, telling him what a huge Transformers fan I am. He just seemed like this strong, silent, introverted dude. Never said a word! Totally reserved but someone you felt comfortable with, you know? He would just sit there, hanging on to my every word, never interrupting. We spent weeks during filming where I’d just come by to chat, and he was always so cool about it. Like, didn’t seem the "Hollywood" type, right? Anyway, movie gets finished, they pack up, I say my goodbyes and give him my email address to keep in touch. Well, come to find out, it was just a truck. I guess they use CGI for the movie.