Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich is one of our all-time favorite funny books. It's the brainchild of (dare we say?) evil genius and artist extraordinaire, Adam Rex. Adam's talents run the gamut from fun and funky to evocative and poetic as in his beautifully detailed illustrations for Ste-e-e-e-e-amboat A'comin! by Jill Esbaum and Small Beauties by Elvira Woodruff.
We never quite know what to expect from Adam. So we were very excited to learn about his brand-spanking new novel, The True Meaning of Smekday. Check it out!
When you create a book, do the pictures or story come to you first?
The story is written first, but I can't help but think about the visuals as I write, so I'm making a lot of early illustration decisions as I go. I'm currently working on a story that started out as a dream, so we'll see how that goes.
How do you know when what you write is funny??
I don't, I suppose, but I know whether or not it's funny to me. Then I just sort of assume it'll work for some people. I'm not trying to throw the net too wide–burping and getting hit in the crotch is always at least sort of funny, but I'm usually trying for something a little less obvious. Of course, your reader will probably point out that I wrote a poem about big Japanese monster poo, which kind of undercuts what I just got through typing.
Do you have any tips for writing funny books?
Not a one.
Do you have any tips for illustrating funny books?
Watch the collected cartoons of Chuck Jones. Rent Buster Keaton movies. The General is a favorite of mine. I tend to think less is more, visually. Of course, your reader will probably point out that I wrote a poem about big Japanese monster poo, which kind of undercuts what I just got through typing.
Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?
It got me married. You can decide for yourself if I was in more trouble before or now.
What are some of your favorite funny books?????
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, especially the first one. Books by David Rakoff, David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell. The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman. Anything by George Saunders.
If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?
I have to change this to plain text. I don't know how it was originally formatted, but it's playing hell with my answers– generating duplicate numerals whenever I hit return, making my cursor jump to random places when I begin typing...it's like it's trying to compose some kind of Fluxus stream-of-consciousness thing. I'm sorry, what was the question?
Do you prefer The Marx Bros or Three Stooges?
Marx Brothers. Ironically, I prefer Iggy and the Stooges to Richard Marx, however.
What was your best Halloween costume ever?
Last year I shaved my head and wore a Charlie Brown t-shirt. Several years ago I made a full-body robot costume that weighed fifteen pounds and lit up. The year I was working on Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A- Comin'! by Jill Esbaum I went as Steamboat Head. Take your pick.
What is your Dream Job for a Day?
The same job I have now, but astride a unicorn.
Clown V. Mime Deathmatch.? Pick your winner.
Clowns. Meaner. But it's a moot point, as clowns live at the south pole and mimes at the north. Wait–no. I'm thinking of penguins and polar bears.
Funniest dead person you'd like to meet??
Oh, they're all funny. I couldn't choose.