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Originally published Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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A "Penny Arcade" for their thoughts

Q&A: Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of the webcomic "Penny Arcade" talk about themselves and their inspirations.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Artist Mike Krahulik and writer Jerry Holkins base their webcomic "Penny Arcade" on their conversations. Here's a glimpse into how they communicate.

On each other

Krahulik: Do I have to do this in front of him? This is weird. (Holkins gets up to walk away.) No, you can stay. Come back, because you'll have to do this for me. It better be good, real good.

He is a very talented writer. Listen, I have to keep him hungry. I can't compliment every day. He is steered by self-loathing and despair to create better and better work, and as soon as he thinks he is (substitute a profanity here that means roughly "the bomb"), then I'm afraid that well is going to dry up and I have to find some other new writer to plug in like a new light-bulb fuse. He's a good writer. I think he has a knack for conversational humor. That's all I'll say. Don't make me say anything else.

(To Holkins) Step up to the plate, sir, let's hear it.

Holkins: Mike Krahulik is a psychic vampire, and every day there is less of me. That's my final statement.

On what games they play

Holkins: Everything.

Krahulik: Every one — if you can think of one, we own it. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PSP.

Holkins: I just wrapped "Braid" on the 360. On the DS, I've been playing some "Civilization" ("Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution") and "Space Invaders Extreme."

Krahulik: I've been playing "Soul Calibur 4" on the PS3, and I'm playing "Final Fantasy Tactics (A2)" on the DS.

On how they create

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Krahulik: It's violent.

Holkins: With karate.

Krahulik: With broken bottles.

Holkins: A lot of times we'll karate fight until the death!

Krahulik: Whoever wins gets to do pretty much whatever they want. That's the trick, what allows us to continue as a creative endeavor — whoever dies gets reborn the next day, like a phoenix from the ashes.

Holkins: What you are experiencing right now is pretty much our creative process. It's a metaphor.

Marian Liu: 206-464-3825 or mliu@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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