INTERVIEW: Matt Miner Talks DEATH TRAP and Kickstarter
Hello True Believers! Kai Kiriyama here. Today on the blog we have the one and only Matt Miner chatting with us about his brand new Kickstarter project, and his recent RINGO nomination. So let’s drop the link to the kickstarter first and then dive right into this interview!
Kai Kiriyama: First off, congratulations on your Ringo nomination for ALL WE EVER WANTED – that’s huge! Did you have any idea that you were in the realm of getting a nomination?
Matt Miner: Hey, thanks! And, I wouldn’t say I was expecting it, but I hoped we’d get a nomination because I knew the level and quality of work put in by everyone involved in that book. When making All We Ever Wanted, my fellow editors (Eric Palicki, Tyler Chin-Tanner) and I soon realized we were making something special, something that would hopefully stand out and inspire. I’ve never done Baltimore Comic-Con before, but I think I’ll be heading there this year just in case we win – it’s totally awesome and humbling and I’m just so proud of all the teams who put their dreams for a brighter future in that book.
KK: AWEW is a positive comic, dreaming of a better world, how did that project come about?
MM: Palicki and I had done another anthology right around, or after, the 2016 elections, titled This Nightmare Kills Fascists, which is a collection of horror stories told against the backdrop of modern politics. We were all angry, so the book’s angry, and scary, and also a pretty great collection of stories by some of comics’ hottest talent, but we felt our second anthology should try and capture a different feeling – something more positive and aspirational.
KK: You weren’t the only editor on AWEW — How is it different than being the sole writer or editor on a project? Do you prefer working in a writing or editing capacity alone, or with a team?
MM: Well I’ve never co-written anything, yet, though I’m working with Katy Rex on a thing soon that’s so f’n gross and horrifying I’m sure it’ll get green-lit and be the only thing I’m remembered for when I’m dead.
But in terms of these anthologies, I like sharing the responsibilities. Eric and I have different strengths, and I think we bring the best out of each other when we work together. Like, he’s a brilliant writer with a knack for high concepts and great hooks, while I prefer deep dives into characters. I’m more organized, believe it or not, but Eric’s great for problem solving and creative solutions. We’re a good team.
KK: You’re big with Kickstarting your projects, having 5 successfully funded campaigns. And now you’re moving into the 6th. Tell me about why you think Kickstarter is such a popular way to crowdfund a project, and what challenges you face, rather than just running a pre-order to cover costs?
MM: I mean, I’m not rich. I help run a dog rescue and I write comic books and I have an obsessive physical music collection that’s recently branched off into cassette tapes in an unstoppable way. There’s never money, and a lot of times publishers don’t have the budget, so Kickstarter’s a must if I want artists to get paid. The biggest challenges I face are thinking of the news media, blogs, podcasts, and sites outside of the world of comics who might be into the book we’re funding – and then getting them to care about a comic book Kickstarter. Those outside drivers from places that don’t normally cover comics are like gold for a project.
KK: Your new Kickstarter is for a comic called DEATH TRAP. What’s the series about?
MM: It’s about Ollie and the ghost of her dead father, who haunts his old muscle car. Ollie’s teamed up with dad’s spirit and an utterly bananas circus freak crime family and they’re looking for a little revenge on the methed out carnies of a rival crime family.
KK: I am totally sold on the possessed muscle car and carnies angle of this book. How is this comic different from your usual projects? Is there anything you can tell me about it that screams MATT MINER?
MM: Well this book’s just a lot of fun without the overt politics you might expect from a story of mine. My fingerprints are all over this thing though – Ollie’s a rockabilly punk girl, she has a weird relationship with her parents, there are queer characters, and the albino dancing bear is named Wojtek named after the famous Polish World War 2 bear who helped carry artillery shells and smash Nazis. That bear has a serious body count of dead fascists, he’s my personal hero, and you pronounce his name “Voy-tek.”
Also, I’m working with some of my favorite people in comics. Christopher Peterson, artist of Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight, returns to comics in Death Trap and I’ve loved that guy and his art for ages. Plus we’ve got rising star Josh Jensen utterly killing it on those gorgeous colors and Matt Krotzer, an absolutely ace letterer and damn fine posse partner in Red Dead Online.
KK: So what can fans and newcomers expect in your upcoming Kickstarter? What special treats can we tease for DEATH TRAP?
MM: Ah jeez, well both available covers are Kickstarter exclusives – this book will be hitting comic stores worldwide with a great veteran publisher, but these covers are gonna be super duper scarce since they’re only available through the Kickstarter. Don’t you want the cool rare covers? I know you do. On top of that we have digital copies, trade paperbacks for the folks who like a book with a spine, and lots of opportunities to put your own fingerprints in the book, like appearing as a bobblehead figure on a bad guy’s dashboard or customizing a vanity plate. We even offer a bunch of services to help out aspiring creators – like I’ll read and give real in-depth critique of a script, or Chris Peterson and Josh Jensen will do cover art for a backer’s book, or Matt Krotzer will design a killer logo.
KK: One last thing! If there was a message running through your work, or something that you hope readers would take away from your work, what would that be?
MM: That caring about people, the environment, and animals is cool.
Thank you so much, Matt. This was a super fun interview! Be sure to check out the Kickstarter for DEATH TRAP – right now! Go! Go support this bananas muscle car mayhem comic! GO!