MT Stripped
A Chat With Fred "Piro" Gallagher and Rodney "Largo" Caston

MegaTokyo is one of the most popular, funniest, and poignant comics out on the web today, dealing with such hot issues as robot dolls, unrequited (and sometimes unwanted) love, and the horrible reality of addiction...to video games. MegaTokyo has amassed fans from both the gaming world and the anime world (which are often connected), but also among the general population as well. Some of us here at OniMedia were actually introduced by a friend who is an English major. Scary.

OniMedia: Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us about MegaTokyo, especially since it's so busy. Let's start with more serious questions...Where do you two come up with this?

Rodney "Largo" Caston: Serious, eh?

Fred "Piro" Gallagher: Part of it is that we're both mad, but in different ways...No, actually, a lot of it is just antics and stuff that we're used too, and as a result, you know, most people that have an online life and friends or anything like that, there's always goofiness that you do all the time anyway, so it's just a question of pulling out the stuff that would be funny to the general public. Every group of friends has stuff that they think is the funniest stuff ever, but if you weed through it and are selective you get a little further sometimes. You also have to pay attention to what's going on in the community and stuff. There's a lot of fun you can have with this. We decided pretty early we're not going to be specific, that is, anime specific. I mean, I think anybody who reads MegaTokyo can still get most of the jokes, and you try to insert different levels of humor. Something will be funny, but they if you know anything about Di Gi Charat it's even funnier, but then if you know something about Neverwinter Nights plus Di Gi Charat plus anime, then all of a sudden you can see how it is on three different levels. That's what we think is funny, but then, what do we know?

Largo: I'll be honest with you, what we create about doesn't really restrict what we do, it's just that when we started to do this, we looked at what was out there. They have manga that's translated, they have people that do American-type manga, they're very few, but the problem with it is a lot of the jokes, a lot of the humor, a lot of the stuff that's in manga from Japan, it's Japanese pop culture. Some things have come over, you have humor with mallets and things like that. But we thought "Why basically do something that's already been done - it's already available - why not try to actually come up with, y'know, basically take what's American culture and interject that into some other stuff." So it's actually trying to mix the genres because no one really wanted to do that. It's very easy to take something the Japanese have already come up with and say: "Okay, here's my mallet and here's my cute girl." We thought that we'd at least try to merge the two, do something a little different.

Piro: And another difference is that I don't just copy what I see coming out of Japan. I think a lot of artists spend a lot of time perfecting and making copies, but what I try to do is get to the root of what is it about a drawing like this [points to one of the new posters] that people like - what gets people. And once you kinda learn, you learn the the underpinnings of it, then you can do more with it. It's more exciting...it's more interesting to create something of your own, that does the same kind of thing but is on its own.

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