We interview the hilarious duo behind the best thing since…ok, maybe we should leave the comedy to them.
Ever wonder what superheroes talk about on their downtime? One website has an answer: TextsFromSuperheroes.com. And, spoilers, it’s awesome.
Text From Superheroes is the brainchild of comedians Diana McCallum and Andrew Ivimey, and was launched in 2012 after Diana and Andrew had the itch to do a comedic take on superheroes and sidekicks but little to no artistic ability. They say they were inspired by the likes of Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics and other “Texts From…” sites like TextsFromLastNight and TextsFromDog. And so, from the combination of superheroes, an inability to draw, and the “Texts From…” format, Texts From Superheroes sprung into being.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Diana and Andrew about their site and its future.
NMR: How many people work on the site? Do you have writers?
Texts From Superheroes: Everything on Texts From Superheroes and Sketch From Superheroes is written and created by the two of us, always has been and likely always will be. Once in a blue moon we’ll get a submission from someone with an idea for a text and run it, but that’s maybe once every six months. It’s pretty much just the two of us doing all of it. We have growth plans that involve moving into new forms of media in the next year, early stages for now but there will be exciting new things for sure.
NMR: Do you try to find a balance between writing for comic book fans and writing for people who have just seen comic book movies?
TFSH: We don’t consciously work all that hard to achieve that, it just kind of happens naturally. A lot of our ideas come from watching and then discussing superhero media, whether that be in movie, cartoon, or TV form, and since the joke idea comes from the show or movie it’s usually relatable to both the casual and intense superhero fans.
NMR: It looks like you’ve mostly stayed in-universe. DC with DC, Marvel with Marvel, and just occasionally characters with real-world people. Has this been a conscious choice? Do you have plans for future crossovers?
TFSH: It’s not so much a choice, it’s mostly that ideas for crossovers don’t seem to come very naturally, they can tend to feel forced, which is an odd thing to say considering one of our first texts to get a lot of traction was between Superman and Spider-Man, but other than that one we don’t cross the universes over very often unless an idea really strikes us. But the Deadpool movie is coming out soon so if any character is going to be jumping universes it’ll be Deadpool.
NMR: What comic book TV/Movies are you most excited for and why?
TFSH: Like the rest of nerdom we can’t wait for Civil War, the story is going to be epic and the Cap movies are the most well done in the MCU in our opinion. Diana is also super worried about Bucky, like is he warm, is he eating well, does he have his memories back? Iron Fist is one of our favorite characters of all time so we can’t wait for his Netflix show either, or to find out who they cast for Iron Fist.
NMR: I saw at least one direct movie tie-in (the Civil War/Captain America dating bit). How to the movies/tv shows affect what you decide to write about?
TFSH: Upcoming movies and shows play a pretty big part of the writing process. We like to riff on and get inspired by casting announcements and trailers. About ninety percent of our writing process is the two of us talking about whatever is happening in superhero news and figuring out the best comedy angle for it. And from a business perspective it just pays to be on top of current events and trends. We always plan to do posts about characters or teams that have movies coming out, the same way we plan for texts about upcoming holidays.
NMR: What’s the future of the site look like? Are there new types of content you’re hoping to introduce?
TFSH: We’re currently partnered with IGN to provide TFSH content on their Snapchat channel and that’s been great so far. We’d like to put out a book in the next year but that’s in early stages, and we plan to move into a podcast in 2016. But most importantly for the Texts From Superheroes site we plan to just keep doing what we’re doing, making the best content we can and letting it grow organically.
NMR: What else do you do besides Texts From Superheroes?
TFSH: Andrew is a stand-up comedian who just performed at Just For Laughs 42 Festival in Toronto and is on tour this month in Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario. Diana is a freelance writer, writing superhero comedy for a bunch of sites like Cracked, Bleeding Cool, Dork Shelf and GeekPr0n. She also has two stories in the upcoming anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls alongside Margaret Atwood and a bunch of other amazing writers.
The Texts From Superheroes team also launched a YouTube channel earlier this year, a sketch comedy channel fittingly called “Sketch From Superheroes.” Here’s one of our favorites so far:
Well done, Andrew and Diana, well done indeed.