Bernard Derriman Talks Bob's Burgers Comics And Show

Here are the r/BobsBurgers AMA highlights from yesterday's AMA with Bernard Derriman, the Supervising Director of the Show. Derriman has also done a lot of work on the Dynamite comic series as well. The interview touches on both and is pretty insightful.

D.E. Comic Page Template.epsHi Bernard! Thanks for doing this AMA. I've been loving the comic. How exactly did your partnership with Dynamite come about?

The creator of Bob's Burgers, Loren Bouchard really liked the idea of seeing Bobs as a comic. The studio that creates Bobs, Bento Box Entertainment, reached out to Dynamite who were a great fit to produce them. Also, one of the driving forces of the comic in the studio was Bob's Burgers Animation Supervisor Tony Gennaro. His passions in life are baseball and comics, so he was really excited to work on this project – then go home to his new batting cage.

Hi, Bernard! You have made some amazing contributions toward both the show and the comics! First of all, when did you realize that animation was your field of interest? Secondly, what are the similarities and differences for formatting episodes and comic strips? It seems like a hefty process! Thank you so much and keep up the good work! :)

D.E. Comic Page Template.epsAround the time I was finishing school, I found an ad to work at Walt Disney Australia. I could draw and I had no desire to go to college, so I applied and got a job there. So I kind of fell into animation, in a way.

The similarities are that both the episode stories and the comic stories begin with writers pitching their ideas to the creator of Bobs, Loren Bouchard. He picks the ones he likes, gives a bit of input, and then sends the writers off to flesh the stories out. The biggest difference between the two is in the show, we rely on the voices of our great cast – the big challenge with the comics was trying to have the characters have that same voice, but on paper.

I love that the Belchers are a family with high points and low points. Were there / are there character rules or guidelines that are used by the writers on the show and in the comic? Everything is just so well flushed out and consistent while also being complex, and that is one of the things I love about the show. Thank you!

D.E. Comic Page Template.epsThere are no hard rules or guidelines but having worked on the show for 5 seasons, the writers instinctively know what the characters would do or wouldn't do. For instance, the writers would never have Bob high five Teddy because it would be totally out of character for him – it's not written anywhere, they just know he wouldn't do it.

I now look forward to someone pointing out the time that Bob high fives Teddy sometime in season 1.

Who is your favorite member of the Belcher family and why? Who is your favorite character outside the Belcher family? Also, why?

I really like all the Belchers, and while a boring answer I don't really have a favorite. Although when it comes to drawing them, I think Bob would be my favorite.

D.E. Comic Page Template.epsMy favorite outside the family is probably the closest to the family, and that's Teddy. Teddy is voiced by Larry Murphy, and his ad libbing at records is always hilarious – a lot of it which makes it into the episodes. Animation Supervisor Tony Gennaro's favorite character is Hugo – he said mainly because of his voice (he is voiced by comedian Sam Seder) but also his humanity.

Why don't Linda and Gayle's glasses have outlines?

This is a fantastic question. I wasn't involved in their designs, but going by the other characters designs I've worked on, it would have to do with making the glasses less obtrusive on the character's faces. Linework and color on glasses can make them bulky – like Tina's – so to make them appear finer, it's best to do that without outlines.

Any exciting people doing voices in the new season?


We have a lot of now regular guest stars returning – for next month's Christmas episode we have both Jordan Peele and Bill Hader coming back to voice new characters, and in that same episode we have the legendary Carl Reiner doing a voice!

Bob's Burgers comics are available in comic shops everywhere or at Dynamite's DRM-Free Digital Store.


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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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