Zach M. Stafford Prepares Readers On the Fabulous World of Good Comics for Bad People
Good Comics for Bad People: An Extra Fabulous Collection, the highly-anticipated print collection of cartoonist Zach M. Stafford‘s webcomic Extra Fabulous, is finally making its way to stores in November 2023. Originally a successful Kickstarter campaign, the upcoming hardcover edition from Skybound promises to deliver even more laughter and absurdity.
With a total of 240 pages, this collection includes all your favorite Extra Fabulous comics, along with exclusive book-only content and an introduction from author and artist Sarah Andersen.
Good Comics for Bad People also brings together a talented lineup of guest strips from renowned creators including J.L. Westover of Mr. Lovenstein, Nicholas Gurewitch of The Perry Bible Fellowship, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, and more.
Ahead of Good Comics for Bad People: An Extra Fabulous Collection’s release on November 1, 2023, we got the chance to ask Stafford a few questions about the upcoming collection. Check it out below:
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
ZMS: Thank you for the interview. I am a sleepy, balding man, full of remorse. I am stressed all the time. My blood pressure is extremely high. I dream about drilling a hole in my head to relieve the tension in my brain. I am also extremely fortunate. I get to draw stupid comics all day. My life is very fulfilling. Everything is good and great in my life!
First, The Extra Fabulous Experience raised $475,000 & became a top five webcomics graphic novel campaign of all time. Now, you are making your graphic novel debut at Skybound with Good Comics for Bad People: An Extra Fabulous Collection. Walk us through the journey through your eyes from the day the Kickstarter launched to this next achievement.
ZMS: The events after the launch of the Kickstarter were a strange blur. Sometimes the brain will do a thing where anytime something becomes too stressful, the mind goes into some sort of autopilot mode and you black out until the stressful event is over. This is how my mind works. I do recall sitting in a chair in the corner of my living room for a couple of months as I inked and colored bonus comics and signing and doodling on bookplates. I managed to develop carpal tunnel in the process.
My family became distant and I missed parts of my child’s development which I’ll never get back. My dog died. Two members of my family were diagnosed with cancer. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I had to go on a diet and stop eating packages of stroopwafels every morning. It was the most difficult time of my life.
The Extra Fabulous Collection comes in a hardcover edition with 240 pages. What new content can readers expect in Good Comics for Bad People?
ZMS: There are loads of bonus comics included in the book that I hope people will enjoy. I also spent a long time drawing the cover. Beyond that, I imagine there are a lot of comics that even normal readers of my stuff haven’t seen, or have understandably forgotten about.
You tackle a variety of topics including life, relationships, rude bananas, and lifeguard Jesus. What inspires you to come up with such a mixed bag of subject matter?
I try to not simply wait for inspiration to strike, and instead let the ideas just pour out whenever they’re ready. This often results in the comics being influenced by whatever I’m feeling at that moment, which almost always is something negative about religion and the way it has ruined the planet. I encourage anyone who is struggling with writer’s block or a creative slump to simply sit with a sketchbook and let the unfiltered garbage flow out of your brain. Sometimes that stuff can cause a blockage and you just need to give yourself a brainema!
Lastly, anything you’d like to cover or share with our readers?
ZMS: I would like to share with the readers something that has helped me enormously over the years. Try not to be a butthole. If you can, if you have the energy, try to be kind and reflexively give people the benefit of the doubt. If they reject your kindness, try to imagine what they might be going through to make them such a butthole.
I like to invent situations for people like this, like maybe they were fighting in a war and they saved a hundred innocent civilians but a piece of shrapnel hit them in the nuts and doctor’s couldn’t figure out how to remove it and the lingering feeling of a piece of shrapnel in their nuts makes them super grumpy all the time.
There’s so much sadness and difficulty in the world these days, and there are a lot of folks who are living an endless unbroken string of bad days right now. Maybe you’re one of the ones living those bad days, and if so, try to be kind to yourself. You deserve kindness, and to someday have that piece of shrapnel removed from your nuts.
Thank you, Zach, for allowing us to ask a few questions about Good Comics for Bad People. We thoroughly enjoyed the endless laughter on every page.
ZMS: Thanks for having me!
A variety geek who enjoys geeking out with friends over video games, comics, or movies/TV shows. An avid wrestling fan since the days of the Attitude Era and N64’s No Mercy, he now spends much of his time reading and collecting comics. All of my puns are intended.