Dairy Boy Comics Don't you find it surprising how you can have one opinion about a field of work, and then when you start looking into it, your opinion starts to become something else altogether. Take my mate Austin for example, he's a farm boy with a upbeat view on the media today. Moreover, he has a really great web-comic that is one hundred percent class on a computer screen. Here, check out an interview I had with him whilst riding a heard of pink wildebeest through a shopping mall in Bangkok.

Home Dairy

1) In your own words Austin, how would you describe your web-comic, Dairy Boy Comics?   My series is a look into high school life through the eyes of a taco-snacking, classroom-slacking Halo fan boy. It's semi-autobiographical in the sense that the characters are all heavily based on myself and those I went to school with. But the stories I tell range from either loosely based on real events to just completely fictional (unless someone feels that a rancor destroying a classroom and eating a student isn't fictional. But that's up to the reader I suppose.)

2) What piece of music, movie, or object, would you say your website is like, and why?   I would have to say "No Such Thing" by John Mayer. I feel that that song and my own method of storytelling share a similar message, so it was one of many things inspiring me to go forward with the website. Also, when I made the website over the summer, I was listening to a little more John Mayer than is probably healthy for the human ears. My friend Bryan would put that number at one, or possibly say that even considering listening to John Mayer results in brain damage.

As for objects... err... I'd say anything on my bedroom shelf. It's various nick-nacks with some sort of sentimental meaning behind each one that I've collected over the years. It's quirky, but my heart is in it.

3) I find that your style of art is very reminiscent to Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield. Who would you say your artistic inspirations were, and why?   Garfield was actually the first comic strip I ever got into! A small part of me died and rose from the dead as a zombie the day Garfield was taken out of my local newspaper. Garfield is on a small list of cartoon characters I was really into as a little kid.

Before Garfield, I was really into drawing Yoshi, from the Mario games. Yoshi's Island was one of my first video games so when I learned to draw around the age of 4, Yoshi was what I was drawing. Now around the time of creating the art style I use for my web-series (this was around the sixth grade), I was really into making my own fan comics about Spongebob and The Fairly Odd Parents, since those were my two favorite shows at the time. Me constantly doodling those characters when I should have been paying attention to my math teacher's lessons was definitely the forerunner of my current art style.

Family Guy Meets Simpsons
4) In a similar vein to Jim David again, I additionally find that your observational humour derives from popular culture. Who would you say your style of comedy is similar too? And again, who are your inspirations?   I see my humor as a cross between The Simpson's, Spongebob Squarepants, and just a touch of South Park.

I'm really into random humor you see. Name any serious movie, and imagine a scene added into it where a velociraptor smashes through the window, eats one of the characters, and then leaves and no one mentions the event throughout the rest of the movie. I would be completely okay with that. I enjoy that type of humor.

I also really love humor that depends on the quirkiness of the character, which is why shows like the three mentioned earlier appeal to me. It's a given that any character in any fictional medium will have quirks (otherwise it'd be boring and no one would pay attention to it), but I feel that those shows take it to another level. They have always been a huge inspiration. Other cartoons that have had some influence are Family Guy, Invader Zim, Rugrats, Robot Chicken, and anything Pixar. A web-comic that really inspired me was Ctrl+Alt+Del. And then of course, my friends have always been a huge inspiration.

Observational humor is another thing I really enjoy. I love writing parodies of popular TV shows, video games, movies, etc. where my characters are the characters in the story (like Family Guy Star Wars, for example). I never get around to ever drawing these parodies out but I always save them, so when the time is right I might make one.

5) Where does the name 'Austin Inferno' and the title 'dairyboy' originate from?   "Austin's Inferno" is a reference to the poem "Dante's Inferno". My reason for this is that one of the reoccurring themes of the series will be that the High School years are Austin's hell.

As for 'dairy boy', well, I live on a dairy farm. Verburgs have been in agriculture going back all the way to Holland. Our dairy farm is a family business. We (my dad, my older brothers, me and my youngest brother) pretty much do all the work and only have one hired hand. It's difficult being able to keep up with work on the farm, my schooling, and my comics, but so far I've done alright!

The name came from years ago when my parents wanted me to go to this school called Pine Ridge to finish out my elementary years. It was in the mountains so a new kid that lived on a dairy farm was different but interesting. So I picked up the nickname for myself. When I started my art style in the sixth grade, I made the label "DairyBoy Comics" (except at that time I spelled it Comix) and have used it since for whatever comic project I work on.

It's weird being a part of the Ag Industry and then being into the things I'm into, like comics, video games, etc. I meet someone who lives on a dairy farm and we get to talking about it and then it'll come up that I write comics or that I attended the midnight release of Halo: Reach and they look at me like "you're into that?". And then I'll be talking to someone who loves comics or video games and then they find out I live on a farm and they ask "what's that like?". It feels much like two different worlds that I'm comfortably sitting in between.

Dairy Boy Comics
6) Do you have any amusing stories about your site?   On my 'About Page' I made a pseudo "About the Author" in which I'm actually a hillbilly that widdles his comics. Taking the picture of myself as a hillbilly had a ton of laughs behind it. I went up to a friends' house to take the picture because they have a trailer with a porch set up so it was perfect for creating my hillbilly picture. I put on some overalls, JUST the overalls. The look on my friend's face when she saw me was priceless.

Then one day earlier on in the creation of the site, I accidentally messed up the wordpress coding. The change wasn't noticed as the site didn't appear strange at all. It turned out that I actually messed up the administrator log-in page. When I logged out, I wasn't able to get back in because the admin log-in page wouldn't load up! You know that feeling when you can't log into facebook or whatever because of site issues, so you just tell yourself "okay I'm sure they'll fix that right up."? Well I found myself unable to do that since I WAS the person I'd have been mentioning if I said that. Hahaha! But I figured out the problem and got it fixed up.

Then during the SOPA protests, I placed a link on the site that showed a censored message, and the only way my fans could remove the censor was to go to the SOPA protest support page and send an email to their representatives. Once they did this, they would be able to read my censored message... I got one or two upset emails from readers who went through the process just to find themselves reading the lyrics of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". Ha!

Shy Boy
7) Have you had any acknowledgement in the media about your web-comic? Or interesting feedback?   A website called The Doug and Jon Show actually stumbled across my facebook page and liked a few of my comics. They featured their favorite two! This was back before I had went digital, a year or so before my website project had started.

Then Jessica Shea, 343 Industries Community Manager, liked one of my Halo comics that were on DeviantArt and featured it in Halo Waypoint's Weekend Webcomic feature.

8) If you're website was a person, who would it be and why?   My website is every shy kid's idea of a good time with friends is spent playing Xbox until 3 a.m. rather than getting wasted and passing out. It's every guy or girl that has been walked on by some shallow person in high school.

But also, to name someone specific, probably Michael Cera. That guy is hilarious. If I ever had one of my comics made into a movie, he'd likely be the lead role.

9) If your website was a ‘singleton’ looking for a ‘date’, who would that date be and why?   Probably Ellen Page. Because Michael Cera and Ellen Page made a cute couple in Juno. Her or like, Felicia Day. Or one of those cute gamer girls that wear glasses that even guys who aren't into video games secretly want to get at. Not the ones that pop up on google image search when you type in gamer girls, since that's probably just models pretending to like video games just to break into the modeling industry. Not to say they aren't nice to look at... not to say I spend any amount of time looking up images of them... What? I'm not sweating...

OK Austin, I believe you, even if thousands wouldn't, ha! Anyway, they're you have it folks, my pal Austin and his web comic, Dairy Boy Comics. When you have the time, check it out as well as his facebook, twitter, and deviatart pages. Go on. Do it now. Or else I will set Rick Ashley on you!!!!