Creator Quarterly 2019 Q1
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 Bleh, is 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"
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.
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.
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.
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!