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'Hyperbole' Creator Considers All The Things

<em></em>Allie Brosh is the creator of <em>Hyperbole and a Half</em>. This is her first book.
/ Sarah Henderson
Sarah Henderson
Allie Brosh is the creator of Hyperbole and a Half. This is her first book.

The drawings are MS Paint-style doodles, and the stories are about everyday things like cake, poor spelling and dopey dogs. And yet each month, millions of people visit Hyperbole and a Half, the hybrid Web comic and blog created by 28-year-old Allie Brosh, who says she "tries very hard to be funny." Hyperbole has just come out in book form with a mix of old and new material featuring Brosh's absurdist take on the world and her author avatar, a stick figure with a pink dress and what might be a blond ponytail — or might not. "It's totally fine to think of it as a shark fin or a party hat," Brosh says.

Interview Highlights

On depicting herself in the comics

This character sort of evolved and doesn't look like me, but in a way it's an impression of me. It's this absurd, crude little thing, and that's really what I am inside, and it's a more accurate way to represent myself.

On cleaning ALL THE THINGS

I would spontaneously decide that I really needed to start taking adulthood seriously. Adults clean their houses, so I need to clean my entire house, everything, all the things in the house. And I would do that, in addition to grocery shopping and going to the bank and doing all sorts of other adult things, all at once, and that would wear me out, so much that I would no longer be able to maintain this newfound adulthood ritual.

On depression and connecting with her readers

One thing I wrote that resonated with a lot of my readers was a couple of posts about my struggle with depression. I was actually very surprised about the reaction to those ones — depression can be such an isolating experience, and it's deceptive, you know, you think, 'Surely I'm the only one that's ever gone through this, or felt this depth of misery.'

I spent a lot of time, just because it was so difficult to get the balance between looking at the subject with a little bit of levity and also treating it with enough respect. But I really felt that it was important to talk about it. It was cathartic for me, and cathartic — I hope — for other people.

On eating an entire cake as a small child

I think it was mostly to spite my mom, who had been trying to keep me from the cake. And once I came into contact with the cake, all of my desire to eat it just sort of burst forth, and I ate the entire thing and spent the rest of the night throwing up marshmallows all over the carpet.

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NPR Staff