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Wiley Miller talks about Non Sequitur, Basil, and Maine

Comic Book Resources has an excellent interview with Non Sequitur creator Wiley Miller about all his feature, his book and his move to Maine.

Was it hard to sell the syndicate on a strip without characters or themes, just focusing entirely on the funny?

At the time, yes. I created this during a severe recession when all newspapers were making drastic cutbacks. The newspapers that were still in business, that is. As a result, all the syndicates were playing it close to the vest. Instead of looking for something different and creative, they were only looking at stuff that was familiar, thinking that would be easier to sell to editors.

They all said the same thing â?? “we love the art, we love the humor, but we’d like to see it with a central character.” They figured having a central character would give them a single image that would make it easier to sell. They, of course, were wrong.

There was only one syndicate that was actively looking for something different at the time â?? the Washington Post Writers Group. Alan Shearer had been in charge there for about year at the time and wanted to make sure that his first selection for a new comic strip was going to make a splash. And it did. “Non Sequitur” out sold everything during that bad economic time. And did it with a syndicate that had no sales force like the other big syndicates.

Community Comments

#1 JeffM
September/27/2007
@ 11:47 am

Very cool insight to the man that doesn’t like me very much, but is still one of my favorite cartoonist.

Nice interview Wiley!

#2 Danny Burleson
September/27/2007
@ 1:25 pm

Nice! I didn’t know he made children’s books; what a great idea! I’ll have to check them out.

#3 Weston
December/10/2007
@ 10:51 am

I love that Basil comic it has a great plotline!

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