The spooky season is in full swing, and all we can think about is some mysterious and chilling WEBTOON series. This is why Mike Birchall‘s Everything is Fine is a must-read each and every week. Sam and Maggie are a normal couple. They live in a normal neighborhood in their normal house with their normal dog. Don’t pay too much attention to their heads; that’s totally normal. Seriously, there is nothing going on here. Don’t believe us? We sat down with Birchall to discuss his horror WEBTOON series and ask the age-old question – is everything fine?

If you haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole that is Everything is Fine – what are you waiting for? The WEBTOON series updates every Monday and can be read here! Follow Birchall on Twitter/Instagram to keep up on everything! Also – be sure to preorder your copy of Everything is Fine volume one!

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Mike Birchall

Maggie giving Sam a kiss goodbye below the Everything is Fine logo.

Everything is Fine WEBTOON Original Series.

Julia Roth: We really have to ask – is everything fine?

Mike Birchall: In the world? Yeah, I can’t think of anything going apocalyptically wrong right now. Seems fine to me!

JR: We love this horror series. What was your inspiration behind it?

MB: Thank you! A lot of my inspiration actually comes from that classic phrase, ‘I’m fine,’ which is usually a lie. I’ve always thought there was so much tension and drama in the way people either ignore or confront their problems, whether that’s grief, romance, or even just plain old existential dread. I also love stories that put characters in seemingly unwinnable situations, and marrying those two ideas gave me a story where characters have to try and beat a situation they can’t even talk about, and part of beating it is learning different ways to communicate about it.

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JR: Did you know you wanted to make a horror series?

MB: I always knew I wanted to write something scary at some point, but I did experiment with other genres in my comics, like comedy and fantasy, before arriving at Everything is Fine. When I first posted a teaser of my main characters in a suit and a dress, wearing the cat heads, people instantly connected with it and I realized that horror could be a vehicle for all the other themes I wanted to include. I would say it’s almost a horror-comedy, but I suspect I might be the only person who finds it funny…

Maggie looking out the window as Sam sits at the table behind her.

Everything is Fine WEBTOON Original Series.

JR: What is your biggest influence behind Everything is Fine?

MB: Oh gosh. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Nineteen-Eighty-Four, which I reference a lot. I may not be at the level of Orwell‘s writing, especially politically, but I try to write about the social paranoias of our times in a similar way. Other influences include Attack on Titan, The Promised Neverland, Get Out, American Psycho and The Stepford Wives. I’m probably missing a dozen more that I’ll kick myself for forgetting; my fans know that I have an addiction to pop-culture references and showing my influences.

JR: What has been your favorite part of creating this series?

MB: Seeing fanart, cosplay and just all the positive feedback out there. All I ever wanted was to write something that connected with people, but the reactions have been beyond my wildest dreams. I cannot even begin to express my thanks to my readers, and I’m in awe of their passion, creativity and how much red string they can fit on a corkboard.

JR: We are currently in season two of Everything is Fine. Can we expect to see a season three?

MB: I hope so! I’ve always been aiming for five seasons, and hoping WEBTOON + I can make that happen.

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JR: What is your creative process like? Do you have the whole series mapped out?

MB: I do have it all mapped out in pretty good detail, all the way until the last episode, and I know what the last panels will be. That being said, I do like to leave room to surprise myself, and quite often, I’ll genuinely be taken off-guard when I realize a puzzle piece fits in a certain place. I actually stopped writing scripts and started writing straight onto the storyboards because I wanted the characters and situations to have more of an ‘improv’ feel, where I just put my characters in a loose situation and see what comes out of that.

Maggie on the cover of the Everything is Fine Volume One graphic novel.

Everything is Fine Volume One

JR: How exciting was it to be nominated for Digital Book of the Year at the Harvey Awards?

MB: So exciting! I’d never been nominated for anything before, never mind such a huge award. I looked through my fellow nominees and realized each of them had written something great that connected with me on a very personal level. I still can’t believe my name was next to theirs.

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JR: What future goals do you have for Everything is Fine? Would you be interested in seeing it in print? Or possibly telling this story in another medium like tv or film?

MB: The print edition will be out in March 2023! Preorders are already available, and we just decided to split season 1 into two volumes, so it’s not an enormous tome. I wanted people to be able to just pick it up on a whim and discover my messed-up little world. In terms of other mediums, sure! I’d love to see it adapted so that I can horrify non-comic-readers, also. Some people say my series is the next Squid Game, and if I convince enough people to say that, I think I get one of those giant novelty cheques. Is that how it works?

JR: What WEBTOON Series do you keep up with? Any must-reads?

MB: I’m a big fan of Lavender Jack by Dan Schkade, which was my first introduction to WEBTOONs and still one of my all-time favorites. In terms of horror, Wolfsbane by Ryan Cady and Morgan Beem is a fantastic werewolf story in a gorgeous watercolor style that I just adore. There’s also a Canvas WEBTOON series I’ll always have a soft spot for, Hues of Solitude by Penzilla, which is a very beautiful, very alien story that showed me early on how the scrolling format can be incredibly effective in storytelling.

JR: What are your future WEBTOON plans? Can we expect to see another horror series? Or would you be interested in working in another genre?

MB: I have something very exciting in the works that I can’t talk about yet, but yes, I have another horror series in mind. I’m definitely interested in other genres, but I think I’ll always come back to horror. It’s just so fun to give people nightmares! 

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