1) What are your own origins Matt? And when did you first realize that you wanted to create your own web-comic? I remember making four-panel comic strips featuring our dogs when I was six or seven years old. Before then, and after, my Uncle Sidney would visit us for Sunday breakfast, after which he’d read me the Sunday comics, especially “Pogo” which he would patiently explain to me. Twenty years later, working in a comics store, I was introduced to mini-comics made by other employees, and by Matt Feazel, Scott McCloud, and others. When we bought our first computer, (maybe another ten years later still), and scanner, and joined Facebook, there was the opportunity to post my comics on-line.
2) What inspired you to create ‘Walking Man Comics’? Cindy showed me how she showed movement using rubber-stamped images -- like a grass-hopper jumping. I drew three panels around her ‘drawing’ and suddenly discovered I could illustrate my own comics. I’d written two or three mini-comics for other people, who could draw, but my scripts were not too terrific, and the artists not terrifically reliable regarding finishing things. I’d carved a figure from an eraser, a man walking, and now I had a way to make up comics, myself.
I’ll also add the word “persistent” to the description of WM Comics. For ten years and a month, I published a mini-comic monthly, usually alternating between “Musicomics” and “Specials.” And after about 20 years, my current project is reworking the 25-issue ‘Walking Man Comics” series, for on-line publication by -- maybe -- summer 2013.
When I first looked into other possible on-line sites, they seemed not geared to a “page format” and it was difficult to find attention. When I came across Facebook, there was the platform readily available, with a kind of automatic outreach built in. Since then, I’ve not felt much need (ignorance, doubtless) for ‘a site of my own’.
4) What song would you say best represents your comic and why? James Taylor’s “Walking Man” for reasons I hope are obvious; IIRC, he’s even got a line that says, “and the walking man walks…”
If you mean which of my songs -- I’ve decided “Musicomics” #4, “Rainy Day” best represents my stuff, as it’s short, no extra words; I’ve used the panels specifically, here to suggest window panes; and play with effects, enlarging/reducing the size of the rain drop image to create more depth to an illustration. And, it’s a really pretty song…
6) If you could assign a smell to your work, what odor would it be and again why? Sage -- specifically purple Russian sage -- because it is a calming, soothing, deep, chest-filling smell and grows right outside my door.
7) Your writing style is obviously lyrical, Matt? Which I like a lot. But do you have a strong music background yourself? Singing? Playing an instrument? Once upon a time before seatbelts, I was 'Going to Be a Singer', and then I hit a tree with a car and my throat on the steering wheel, and have been recovering a voice ever since. My parents were very big into music, my father -- an at-home pianist -- and my sister and I grew up with hours of music every Sunday morning, Fitzgerald and Armstrong, Goodman and Krupa, Lerner and Lowe, Rogers and Hammerstein, Beethoven and Sinatra. My sister brought rock and roll into the house, and I first followed the pop guys (I will not here admit ‘who’) and then the folkies and psychedelicals. After the car accident I took up guitar; have blues harps and drums and keyboards, which I play to varying successes. And lots and lots of CDs. And now I have a camera in the computer which’ll record my (ahem) singing, and provides an opportunity to add the lyrics to the video, and put them out to view on Facebook & You-Tube.
I sum up my discrimination between Marvel and DC by suggesting interested parties compare the companies’ Previews ads: not all DC’s characters look noble, smiling, but 99.98% of Marvel’s are snarling unhappy-looking people, and I’m very tired of people like that.
9) During your time in this creative field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead? Compulsion. I once tried to stop writing songs and that lasted less than a year. I have enjoyed slowing down production of comics… but… I feel bad when I’m not creative-working; feel worth/less. Sometimes comics ideas just sort of come along, or some of the anthologies I place work with -- Oh, Comics!, Banzai, Trees & Hills Anthologies -- come up with an irresistible challenge and I’m happily back to work.
People can see a lot of my work by visiting Facebook, looking for me under my name, for my comics under Walking Man Comics, and for my songs, often the songs illustrated in “Musicomics”, under Walking Man Songs.
Well, you heard the man dear reader. Go ahead. Click on the links provided or you can email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Trust me, it would open your world to a new type of tale.