CREATOR QUARTERLY – Matt Garvey

Creator Quarterly 2019 Q1
Matt Garvey


Welcome back to the Creator Quarterly here at Driving Creators!  Long over due, this feature has been tweaked and given an entirely new approach in order to better facilitate an ongoing effort in shining a spotlight on the creators behind the comics we love.  Now focused on a single creator every quarter (four installments each year) the feature should be able to continue regularly, but more impoartantly do a much better job of bringing awareness to the creator being highlighted.  Enough yammering on, let's get to it.

A big part of the Indie Comic scene resides "across the pond" from those of us here in the United States.  Over the last year the DCN has become much more familiar with the independent books and creators coming out of international outlets.  One of the absolute best is MATT GARVEY.  The man is a comic making machine.  It is absolutely insane the quantity and quality of book that Garvey puts out.  When you add in the fact that he's only been publishing and selling his books since early 2016 (MCM London in May of 2016 was his coming out party) you simply can't help but be astonished by what he's doing.  In under four years his stable of titles already houses ELEVEN different books.

Now, it's one thing to just send books out into the comic world.  It is quite another to produce quality over and over.  The comics that Garvey has written are beyond worthy of having any major publisher's logo sitting in the corner.  Honestly any of them would do well to have books on par with what Matt has in his stable.  I'm not just waxing poetic here.  Take Red Rocket Comet for instance.  This is the "quentessential Garvey book" if you will.  The book's plot has been spoken about with 'Watchmen' tones and given the air of execution reserved for 'Miller' books.  That is high, HIGH praise and it is beyond deserved.  Red Rocket Comet is a brilliantly written post modern super hero tragedy.  Using two different timelines Garvey unfolds both the 'golden age' of a hero/villian rivalry and the 'dark age' of realization and the need to make sense of it all as everything starts racing to an end.  The intelligence and ability that resides within the creative energy Garvey has is on full display with this book.  Each time line has a very distinct look and feel appropriate for the lens through which it is viewed and lived.  It has even given rise to Matt borrowing from himself to create another title that may or may not (wink) be set in this universe.  Glass Hood, which Garvey summarises as being "about a recently released super villain who kidnaps the hero who put him away and makes him dig his own grave" certainly feels like it belongs in line with RRC.  Expanding on the RRC universe would be an excellent step for Garvey and his writing but, you don't have to take my word for it though ... this book is an award winner.

Best UK Single Issue 
- Yancy St Awards (Edinburgh ComicCon April 2019)


Matt is also a ComicScene Awards nominee for "Best New Comic Creator to Watch"

The recognition that Matt has received lately is defintely deserved but doesn't quite do him justice.  In a very short time he has already begun to do what many long time comic creators struggle with even after a decade or more into their careers.  Garvey's work spans several different genres.  His latest book, Camp Blehis a wonderful entry into youth horror.  It is comfortably a Middle Grade entry that smartly balances the horror bits without going overboard or too far.  Most young readers will be thoroughly entertained with Camp Bleh.  This newest entry to his library is a stark contrast to one of his earliest books Chunks.  As Matt puts it himself, Chunks is "inappropriate dick jokes."  Quite the polar opposites with intended audiences and approach to writing.  The thing is though, he pulls them both off rather well.  As he does with Camp Bleh, Garvey nails the humor in Chunks in accordance with what he's writing.  Being funny and having it come across are two different things.  Despite being two completely opposing takes on humor he's able to write them both with ease.  It doesn't stop there though.  Untitled Generic Space Comedy is yet further proof that Garvey has mastered comedic writing.  This take on the mundanities of everyday uses a galactic backdrop to tell a smarky everyman story.  Using the big scale space backdrop drives home the normality of the main characters and it is genius. Thankfully you don't have to rely solely on my take to learn about all of Matt's titles.  Garvey himself was gracious enough to give some one sentence rundowns of his books to give you an idea of what they're about as well as answer some questions to help us all get to know him better:

"I have a few different titles but, ok lets do this"

Cordelia Swift

"steampunk murder mystery/strong female protagonist"

The Ether

"vigilante superhero comic with a very unique twist"

Transfer

"a body-swapping sci-fi thriller"

White Noir

"crime noir story set during a blizzard"

Devil in Disguise

"superhero comic about the devil escaping hell to convince God he's a good guy & deserves a second chance"

Prey for Us

"sci-horror about a spaceman trying to get back to his ship, crew, and wife while something hunts him from the shadows"

Where does your love of comics come from?







Any major or stand out influences?

I've been a superhero fan as long as I can remember...like most 80s babies I grew with reruns of the '66 Batman and Spiderman and his amazing friends. But didn't know there were actual comics until a bit later on... I bought my first comic (Daredevil #305) when I was 10... There was a sweet shop next to the pub my dad used to drink in and us kids were never bought drinks in the pub, we had to go to the shop. Then one day I saw that Daredevil comic and it just blew my mind... I knew who Spider-Man was but I had no idea who this chap in the red was ...



When I was little I never really followed creators... it was more characters and if I thought the art was cool, I'd buy it. I also never bought a lot of new comics off the shelves in those early days... why would I buy a NEW comic for £1 when I could get TWO from the long boxes for the same amount?! But as I got older there were three books that made me want to write my own comics... the following three blew my mind and showed me that you could take a well-established character with decades of history and rip it apart (in a good way) and change everything you thought you knew about them. The first was Millar and McNiven's Old Man Logan.

... leaping to help Spider-Man who is about to be stabbed by the Surgeon General and I just had to know what was happening.I asked my dad to buy it for me and he said no...so the next morning I woke up before everyone else, got up, and sneaked round to the shop and bought it with money from my own piggy bank and that was it. Hooked...and then later I found out there were these places called comic shops and that was it...and that was nearly 28 years ago!





I was never really a fan of the X-men... I was more an Avengers West Coast kinda guy, but that book is phenomenal... it made me really like Wolverine and it just felt like a $200 million dollar movie in a comic... won't spoil it but the reason he hasn't popped his claws in years is genius. The second was Joe Quesada's Daredevil Father... while telling a new story it really played with the history that was both respectful and unique... again won't spoil it. The last was Moore and Bissette's Swamp Thing... especially the first trade... if you haven't read it or know the twist... go read it you are in for a real treat.

Favorite Genre?

Honestly, I'll read anything... if it's a good story and the art is on point I'm there for it. I don't care if its capes, horror or even a love story...good comics are good comics.

Favorite Title?

Daredevil.  Always the man without fear.  It was the first comic I read and it'll be the last. But in the last twelve months, I have read some absolute crackers... Mister Miracle was just another level of awesome and Snyder & Capullo's Last Knight on Earth is amazing... I cannot wait to read the last part of that.

Time period of books?

For me is was Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr's run on Daredevil... as I said I just inhaled the long boxes in my LCS as a kid and every week I'd pick up a DD comic from their run and it was just amazing. Great stories and art that would just make me drool! .

Easiest thing about making a comic?
It's all pretty easy for me now... I've been making comics for around nine years, so I've made a lot of mistakes, but I've learned from them. So, when I go out to make one I now know what I'm doing and I find it all easy.

Hardest?
Nope... I got nothing, I love it all.

Favorite part of making a comic?
It's that moment when i have an idea for a twist that i know will blow peoples minds...i love that.


Do You Collect?
"I have around 4,500 comics (not including trades), so it's safe to say its more of an addiction than collection"

What is your Prize Piece? Grail you don't have?

The original art Rob Guliroy did for the cover for Untitled Generic Space Comedy,  That's pretty cool!

I'd love a Daredevil #1

There you have it folks.  Hopefully you've gotten a good glimpse into one of the most talented new creators in comic books.  Matt Garvey is producing quality books at a phenomenal rate.  Already claiming awards, Garvey is only getting started.  He has big plans going forward and the ability to grow them.  Versed in multiple genres and always eager to learn how to improve, Matt is a rare breed and breath of fresh air in the comic creating community.  Take the time to look into Matt's works.  Even better, take the time to interact with Matt.  As talented as he is creating comics he's an infinitely better person.  You are better off knowing him. 

I truly mean that last line.  You ARE better off knowing Matt.  As dedicated and headfirst as he is with his own projects, he's equally as open to those trying to make sense of the comic making world.  Everything he has learned is open to anyone that asks.  Constantly he is offering up help and advice to those that will have it.  He is a resource for folks that are hoping to create something themselves.  The kind hearted and generous person that resides behind the mound of impressive comics is infinitely more amazing than the stupid good books.  Getting to know Matt, his work, and having him in your comic world is the type of thing you get into it for in the first place.  Do yourself a favor and get some Garvey in your comic life.

Below are links to his Twitter, website, and shop.

Connect with Matt 


Hop on over to Matt's shop and get these top shelf titles for yourself!

Kickstarter Alert – Tokyo Blade Detectives

Friend of the DCN Todd Black has launched his next Kickstarter campaign! With the creative team of Lam Vu Van (2019 Vietnam Webtoon Contest Winner), David Hayes (Rottentail, The Rot), and Zakk Saam (Kim & Kim, Star Trek/Green Lantern) this book has loads of firepower behind hit. Full press release:

Tokyo Blade Detectives #1 Launches On Kickstarter!
A Brand New Anime-Style Comic Has Come To The Popular Crowdfunding Service

Champaign, IL:
Today, BlackMagicWolf Productions, an indie comic book publisher with 29 comics made so far, have launched a new Kickstarter for their next project! The new ongoing series is called Tokyo Blade Detectives and seeks to entrance comic readers with its sleek anime-style visuals, deep plot and fun battles featuring “laser swords”.

The series takes place in Tokyo, Japan over 200 years into the future, where the nation has been rebuilt and isolated after many wars and a reconstruction of the nation. Now, technology rules to such a degree that there is a concrete that must be followed: “No guns allowed”. To re-establish power, the government and several “Factions” use laser swords to fight and wage war for the soul of the nation. The sword has once again become the most powerful thing in Japan.

At the center of the story is a young girl named Miko, who is a detective in this new world. Miko aims to survive every day by doing her job and paying the bills while trying to avoid all the drama that the Factions and the government bring to Tokyo. Yet that doesn’t stop events from coming to her doorstep and putting her on a collision course with a dark conspiracy, deadly threats, and much more.

“Tokyo Blade Detectives is an idea I’ve had for so long, and it’s a thrill to finally launch it on Kickstarter,” says Todd Black, creator of BlackMagicWolf Productions and Tokyo Blade Detectives. “The series is different from many other comic series because everything is in flux. The Factions constantly gain and lose territory in Japan, there’s always angles that people won’t see until much later, and Miko’s part in all of this may not be what you expect. It’s going to be a fun ride!”

The goal of the Kickstarter is to raise $1500 to fund the rest of the first issue, of which 5 pages are done right now, and 10 will be done before the Kickstarter is finished, leaving the other ten to be done if the project is funded. Rewards for the Kickstarter include: digital and physical comics, getting put into a “Thank You” section, getting drawn into the comic, getting t-shirts, and receiving all books in the BlackMagicWolf Productions line.

Those who wish to check out the Kickstarter can go to the project through the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackmagicwolf/tokyo-blade-detectives-1


About BlackMagicWolf Productions:
BlackMagicWolf Productions started of in 2012 when Todd Black started making comics. Since then he has made three comic series in Guardians, Home, and 10,000 Miles, as well as novel series Sherlock Holmes The Greatest Detective and has collaborated on anthologies and science-based comic Seekers of Science. The company has displayed at many comic-cons, and has had many successful Kickstarters to fund their various projects over the years.

Mistakes

W – Brentt Harshman
A – Emilio Utrera
C – A.H.G.
L – LetterSquids

Mistakes, one-shot, cover, self-published, Harshman/Utrera

Another “short” comic (12 pages from cover to close) installment from writer Brentt Harshman, Mistakes takes on the crime genre by virtue of inner conflict. Mick, a criminal, wants to do right by his daughter. That’s a bit problematic for a guy that’s known nothing but a life of crime. I mean it’s kind of tough to try and be responsible when you’re literally sitting in a McDonald’s plotting a crime (which is how we open). It’s a bit hard to describe someone as “good” when they’re a criminal but Mick has that “itch” that only the conscience can bring about. As he’s readying for the next job his morality takes over and he pens a letter to his daughter.

The letter is the heart of the story. It exposes Mick for what he is … a man that knows he has to become someone he’s not, but also has to be true about the person he’s been as well as find a way out of being if he’s to make the change. It is made very clear that Mick wants to be who he should be and that his true inner self hopes nothing more than to find a way to be who he should. It isn’t just a fluff filled hope piece though. The truth of Mick, where he is (and why) is there. The 12 pages short when you hit the end as you want more to this little tale of internal torment. They’re long when you sit back and realize just how much the team was able to put in and how complete the story is (while also managing to leave enough for more). Mistakes isn’t just written extremely well. The pages look every bit the part of a book that you’d see on the shelves any given Wednesday. The closeness of the story is conveyed perfectly while also emphasizing the danger and action of the crime laden life Mick lives. The usage of panel structure, colors, and scaling of the mood of the page all come together to present a striking visual half of the narrative.

I’m quickly becoming a fan of Harshman and the creative teams he rallies to put out his stories. Mistakes is another short comic that has left me wanting more. There’s depth to the premise but plenty to make this a stand alone entry. I can go back and flip through just to take in the visuals as well as re-read and pick up subtleties (such as Mick’s letter being captioned on notepaper) that render even more relatability from Mick.

This is one I hope is being pitched.

STORY – ****
ART – ****
COLORS – **** 1/2
LETTERS – ****
OVERALL – 4.25*

What’s Kickin – SEP 2019

Miskatonic High #4

Fresh off of successfully funding the first three issues of the series, the Miskatonic High crew is back for the fourth installment. We've seen a field trip that was much more adventurous than a trip to a museum, found out that secrets can be unearthed anywhere, that having it all comes with a price, and now we'll be seeing just what a winner has to lose in order to protect his friends.

24 pages of full color goodness.

2 Days Left!

Le Fay #1

An urban fantasy/noir about Morgan le Fay in the modern world working as a detective for the secret magic underworld. After a battle with Merlin she woke up powerless in the modern world. Determined to get her powers back she has decided to work as a PI for the Fay World in order to find clues on what happened to her. Jessica Jones by way of sorcery.

32 pages of top notch art and rich colors present this intriguing concept.

4 Days Left!

Ship Wrecked Vol 4

the story of the Intergalactic Spaceship Bowie‘s Accounting Department. The comic follows a diverse team of misfits as they attempt to get through their work day without going mad. They’re not involved with any of the cool stuff happening on the ship but they still have a job to do and they’re going to find a way to do it before boredom takes their will to carry on.
24 pages of sci-fi office comedy.

5 Days Left!

The Adventures of Captain Cosmic #3

*Driving Creators Top Creator Published Books List 2018

The third installment of the Silver-Age inspired cosmic adventures of the Father/Daughter duo of Captain and Kid Cosmic. This issue sees the menace of the Phantom Spaceman! This galactic filled superhero epic is back for more!

20 (or more) pages of full colored cosmic adventure.

5 Days Left!

The Spark

A comics magazine for kids and adults alike. You’ll read about Monsters, Space Adventures, Alien Planets and an odd Robot Butler named Springworth. A project that will also benefit kids in long-term hospital care by supplying them with comic making kits to keep them from getting bored.

Ongoing magazine sized anthology comic for kids of all ages.

6 Days Left!

Death Sentence: Liberty #4

A mature themed adult comic of political intrigue, opression, and those with the power to do something about the world they live in. The only catch? Their powers are tied to an STD that'll kill them in six months.

28 full color pages of raw comic.

8 Days Left!

Responsive Design

What Fresh Hell Is This?

An indie comic anthology inspired by Dante's Inferno. It's rough making your way in show business. Everyone wants something from you, and no one is cutting you any breaks. Your boss is a real beast, and you're performing for the dregs of society.

100+ pages of hellacious comic.

8 Days Left!

Death Trap #1

Ollie is on a quest for revenge on the father-murdering bastards of Davenport Amusements. Together with her adopted circus sideshow freak family, she's got the pedal to the metal in her haunted muscle car and nothing but vengeance in her headlights. Rockabilly, Vaudeville, and Tarantino all smushed faces basically.

96 page graphic novel tier available.

9 Days Left!

20 Fists

It's Romeo & Juliet meets the Warriors. It's queer. It's all going to shit. The relationship forged in the arena of the unlicensed and illegal fight club has hit hard times.

35 pages of b/w love triumph.

9 Days Left!

Coronary Vol 1

Plastic surgery is free. London is gripped by madness, dominated by cosmetic surgeons, lifestyle coaches, and pill-pushers. On the run from cops and hitmen, an esoteric businessman sets to make amends while he still can. A Black Mirror Romeo & Juliet, if you will.

120 pages of full color Nip/Tuck-esque awesome.

12 Days Left!

Prometheus #4

Today's society has made it clear that the Flame of Knowledge has been stolen. Free of his own imprisonment for stealing it originally, Prometheus must find the flame and once again right humanity's ship in this titanic John Wick style approach to the Olympians.

20+ pages of full color God revenge.

17 Days Left!

Infinity Agents #2

This ongoing series focuses on three agents from a small, internationally funded organization called Infinite Borders Security Agency (IBSA), a secret group of operatives who investigate alien encounters on Earth or in space. In this second issue the agents encounter a lifeform that defies description, triggering a tragic course of events that will drastically change their lives and reveal the dangers of the Infinity Zone that threaten the entire universe!

24 pages of full color space time.

17 Days Left!

RAGMOP: The World Needs Laughter

A brand new cast of characters joins the fun as Ragmop takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the history of comics, genetically modified foods, conspiracy theories, Art House cinema, Tex Avery cartoons and the Jack Kirby Centennial! All this and more in the most outrageously hilarious, action-filled story since the previous Ragmop!

175 pages of side splitting laughing at our own idiocy.

22 Days Left!

Death & Comics: Reincarnation

A collection of short comics all of which are related to death in some way. The stories span genres of romance, crime, horror, and satire. Some were used to explore the medium of comics, while others make a specific point with their content.

24 pages os short comic goodness.

22 Days Left!

Dreamers of the Day

by Beth Barnett

Making its debut at Small Press Expo is Beth Barnett’s InfoGraphic Novel Dreamers of the Day. History lesson, travel log, diary, and comic are all rolled into one as Beth takes us on a journey of discovery about TE Lawrence.

It is a common theme among creators that they care about the subject they are taking on. So often they are labors of love. This is clearly another entry along those lines, but, it is so much more. How so? Well, Dreamers of the Day is actually the base upon which Beth will be building her planned three part bio-graphical take on TE Lawrence. The labor of love is evident as this is a take on the journey Beth took in order to research and truly find the story that lay within the life of TE Lawrence. It is her story of discovery about her subject and a bit about herself. The deep dive of a pilgrimage to Oxford uncovers riches of history that are almost exclusively ignored or glanced over as afterthoughts in the many pieces of media about Lawrence of Arabia.

Perhaps my favorite part of this piece is the absolute personal reflection and unabashedly candid peek into Beth’s feelings and the emotional journey she’s taken. What were surely the feelings she was having at the time of the various depicted events, we can see drawn all over the representative Beth on page. While documentative in nature and biographical in scope Beth presents this journey in a story type fashion that her artwork lends very well too. The book is about her search and discovery of TE Lawrence but the entirety is truly about TE. The scenes of running late for appointments or getting lost are related with candor.

The connection with not just herself, but with the importance of the endeavor she’s undertaken allows so much more to come across from the page. Even though there are more installments coming there is already very large pieces of learning for anyone that picks up this book. Most folks only know the Hollywood given bylines but the story of TE Lawrence is so much richer and deeper than most are aware of. The history involved with the man and his involvement in history is a lesson that will enrich your understanding of the world and educate you in ways you’re not expecting. The zest with which the journey is undertaken jumps off the page and brings you along for the ride.

Beth will be at SPX on SEP 14-15th! Dreamers of the Day makes its print debut at the Expo!