Q: You've mentioned the importance of your duo partnership before. How would you describe your and Alissa's working process for coming up with your captions?
A: Writing funny captions is a grueling endeavor. Believe you me, there's no magic-pill that guarantees success: rather, a veritable concoction of pills, along with full-time dedication and a fair amount of drinking, are necessary to get the job done. Thus we forgo sleep entirely starting on Sundays at 11, after submitting our captions for the previous week. Typically we start by (step 1) reading the current New Yorker issue through several dozen times, until we've either memorized it or are so drunk that we can't read anymore (whichever comes first...right). When we're ready to get down to business after a few days of step 1, we move on to step 2: divining and visualizing the current cartoon through an ancient form of Eastern meditation, in consultation with our resident psychic. Once we've not only figured out the content of the cartoon but have also felt that, in a larger sense, we are the cartoon, we proceed to arguably the most critical step: firing our psychic and getting rid of our fan mail. Then, in an attempt to boost our by now devastated immune systems, we go to sleep, waking up at 10:45 PM Sunday night to submit our captions, which have come to us fully formed in our dreams.
Q: To whom or what does the "conceited" part of the blog title actually refer?
A: It's interesting you should bring that up, as the conceited actually refers to you, the reader, for not commenting enough. However, I'll admit it's delightfully ambiguous...are the New Yorker editors conceited for picking such abysmal captions? (Yes). But perhaps we are even more conceited for believing our captions are better than the New Yorker's selections? (No.) Ultimately, the reader must make hesh own choice as to the true meaning (and then leave it in a comment).
Q: Speaking of your readers, how would you describe your readership?
A: Our readers are a diverse group, but certain traits set them apart from the general population. For instance our internal surveys indicate that they are more likely than the average person to use the internet, and to have the last name Anderson or Post. They are also quite adept at close reading, going to great lengths to analyze our work. One fan wrote in to ask a question about the blog, in which she quoted something from the blog that wasn't even there [this is a true story]. That's how hard she was reading, and how creatively this blog was allowing--nay, forcing--her to think.
Q: So what is the most challenging part of the job?
A: That would definitely be coming up with aliases and pseudonyms under which to submit various captions to the New Yorker. The key is to come up with a name outrageous enough your friends will never think it belongs to a real person, but believable enough that those idiot editors will think it belongs to a real person (on the outside chance that they are actually literate). Choice examples include "James Postilnick" and "Posty Wosty." After coming up a suitable alias, you're not even done, as you have to forge a whole new set of personal data too! Creating gmail addresses and google voice numbers is easy enough, but stealing all those social security numbers is a chore!
Q: You have to submit a social security number to enter the caption contest?
A: Of course not....hehe...scratch that last one.
Q: So who is your biggest influence?
A: Right here.
Q: I meant in terms of caption-writing.
A: You meant? Who are you, anyway?
Q: One of your dedicated readers!
A: Yeah, like anyone's gonna believe that.
We welcome your input! Questions and comments of nine words or fewer, along with your social security number, should be sent to Conceitedly Captioned c/o Alissa Anderson, Chicago Il, or submitted in the comments section below.