If you're a Husker fan and haven't heard of the Tunnel Walk of Shame, you haven't been paying attention.
The series lampooning Nebraska's ups and downs debuted this past season and by year's end, it's likely that a good chunk of Husker Nation knew of the comic. After exchanging several coded messages, I was able to get an interview with the anonymous TWOS creator to discover the method behind the madness.
My Jason Lohr Secret Decoder Ring revealed the following thus far:
- The obvious first question: What inspired Tunnel Walk of Shame?
I mean… beer? Maybe that fuels it more than it "inspires" it. I think a couple years ago I just noticed a void in media coverage of the Huskers. There were teary accounts of walk-on punters and volumes written about "THE CARDINAL MOONEY CONNECTION."
I read every word of those things voraciously, but nobody was out there poking fun at this whole thing. There was room for that. I thought I could make some jokes about the angry dad persona of Bo, the mercurial fist pumping T-Magic, the deification of Rex Burkhead and, well, Carl.
I’m also a writer at heart, so I’m always looking for new things to write about and new ways to stretch that muscle. So before the first game in 2011, I wrote this 30-panel comic and sent it to some buddies. Like most pilot episodes, it was truly awful. I coined it "I Like Playing Against Road Games," an homage to Taylor.
Regardless, my friends liked it, I kept writing more, and they got passed around a little that year. Before the 2012 season, I came up with a new name, had a couple friends make me a logo and a website (thanks guys!) and started a Twitter account. That way, everything had a home.
Has your following changed from the first episode to the most recent one?
I track some basic analytics on the site and I think each comic now gets a little more than 5,000 views when I post it. That’s more than the five friends I used to send it to, so maybe I’ve had to clean up a joke here or there so as not to offend too much.
Other than that, Twitter has been a fun place to interact with readers and post stuff on the fly. I remain anonymous, and sometimes I see people I know follow or talk about TWOS on Twitter without knowing it’s me who does it, so that’s kind of funny.
Also one time Kenny Bell retweeted me and I peed some. God I love Kenny Bell. He could have his own spin-off comic. I’ll call it To and Fro: The Adventures of Kenny Bell.
Do you get more hate mail or fan mail?
Knock on wood, I’ve gotten almost ZERO hate mail. In fact, yeah, zero. I’ve seen people say "This one wasn’t as funny" or "This one kind of sucked," but that’s about it.
I think people who don’t like it just tune it out, which is pretty easy to do. Really, I expected more hate. I see Dirk Chatelain get called Triple Hitler in the comments of his well-thought out, wonderfully well-written columns. And here I am making fart jokes about Santino Panico and everybody’s cool with it.
I suppose "fan mail" comes in the form of comments on Twitter, message boards, etc. I think people want to laugh at stuff, and if implying that Rex Burkhead is Jesus Christ provides that laugh, I’m happy for that. I really appreciate people who take the time to say something nice about TWOS.
My fingers strained from ascertaining what the ancient symbols stretching across my screen mean, I had to stop here, but will continue deciphering the text tomorrow.
What are your thoughts on the TWOS? Hilarious? Idiotic? Leave your comments below.