Murder Most Mundane is the latest release from Mad Robot Comics and while it knocked aside it’s target early on in it’s Kickstarter, it was just the right time to hear from the creative team on what to expect when the book hit print…..
What can we expect from Murder Most Mundane?
Matt: Murder. Murder. And then some sweet bunny rabbits. Sorry, no – not bunnies – Murder! We are hoping to subvert the expectations of the murder mystery genre – examine why murders occur when the detective or sleuth is always on hand to solve the crime. Look at how small towns and villages have such high murder rates. All wrapped up in a spooky, occasionally violent, twisty tale!
And if there is room we’ll try to fit in some murder.
There’s been comparisons with the likes of Hot Fuzz, The Wicker man & more but what were the main influences behind MMM?
Matt: Well both those works are clearly influential to the story of MMM. We are big fans of Hot Fuzz but didn’t want to tread too much of the same ground – Hot Fuzz is about accidents and covering up murder – in MMM the murders are definitely not covered up! Mainly we wanted to look at the inconsistencies behind concepts like Murder She Wrote, Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple etc – pick apart the underpinnings of that type of tale. I also wanted to write a bit of a clever arse/git type of character – which Rutherford is perfect for.
Ash: For me it was the murder mystery stuff that inspired it. Midsomer Murders, Morse etc. A very busy detective, but in a place where it feels like that shouldn’t be the case. There’s just something unnatural about it, which also ties in to that Lovecraft-esque lurking darkness and fear of the unknown. There’s something uncomfortable going on, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. In terms of the comparisons with Hot Fuzz and The Wicker Man, I’m a fan but until someone pointed it out to me I hadn’t really thought about it! Obviously the setting and some of the types of characters that we have are similar. Isolated community, outsider detective and so on, but the story we’re telling is more about those detectives who can unravel the threads of a complicated situation and tell you why the explanation is perfectly obvious, rather than the conspiracies that are going on there.
You’re co-writing this time – what’s that been like?
Matt: Absolutely superb. Someone else can do the work for a change! Actually it’s been very useful having someone else bring ideas to the table. This is Ash’s first full comic work – but his storytelling instincts are spot on and his understanding of the type of characters we are trying to portray is perfect. The basic concept is Ash’s idea – so if people don’t like it – I have someone to blame!!
Ash: Thanks Matt… I’ve really enjoyed working with Matt on this. He has a bunch of experience and has really helped me in terms of how to flesh out the story. It’s also great when you know exactly what you’re trying to do with a scene but can’t quite make it work for some reason. The second pair of eyes and set of ideas can just make things click and completely sharpen up what we’re doing.
The art from Clark Bint is amazing – did this match what you had envisioned for the book?
Matt: This is Clark’s first real comic project and so far he has totally delivered on every single page we’ve given him to do. Clark is putting so much thought and work into each page – he often produces 2 or 3 versions for Ash and I to decide what works best. The detail, the quirkiness of the characters and, well, the Britishness that Clark brings to the art and the village, mean that I honestly could not imagine doing this project without him. He is a massive talent and we are incredibly lucky to have him on the book.
Ash: Clark has done a fantastic job of bringing Fadfield and it’s residents to life. Some of the pages in this book are just astonishing and Clark has a knack for really nailing the vibe we are going for storywise. He’s doing a great job of capturing the emotions of different situations, and has a bunch of clever ideas for making the story really immersive.
Clark: As this is my first big project I’m really happy with all the feedback so far. MMM has given me an opportunity to incorporate the contrasting mundanity of country life as experienced by someone who just wants to get out of there – alongside the weirdness of characters and the customs of people from throughout the countryside.
You’ve had a great response to this and previous Kickstarter campaigns – what’s the best thing about that approach to a release?
Matt: It’s a great feeling when we get so many backers returning time and again to support our books. It means we are doing something right. And we seem to pick up lots of new backers every time too – so we must be keeping things fresh as well.
Ash: The amount of support we’ve received has been overwhelming. I was anxious that people wouldn’t like the idea or that it wouldn’t take off, but the response has been so positive. For the book to be fully funded so quickly is unbelievable and people seem to be really excited about it. As Matt said earlier, this is my first writing gig, so it’s been quite a humbling experience.
Will we see more of MMM?
Matt: That assumes there is anyone left alive at the end of the book? OK – not everyone dies – and yeah we have discussed a possible sequel – or more likely a prequel!
Ash: It’s difficult to say too much here without straying into spoiler territory, but we talked about doing something that fleshes out the history of Fadfield, set a very long time before MMM. The events of MMM also leave room for us to revisit some of the characters.
With MMM sitting in the Mad Robot universe can we expect some crossovers in the future?
Matt: Well I’d love to see Rutherford and Bonham interact with Jack and Squat (from Last Exit to Brighton) – they are all detectives – even if their approaches are rather different. Also astute readers will have noticed the name “Carnos” cropping up throughout the MRC titles. They are an evil company running a number of things behind the scenes – and they have deep historical roots in the backstory of many of our books. There is an underlying plan and everything is connected!
What else are the MMM team working on just now?
Matt: The 3rd part of the 5 issue Cadavers series – Book 3: Revenant – is coming soon, but I’m also putting together an anthology of short 4 to 8 page Cadavers stories for later in the year. Filling in the history and developing the characters. I’m throwing around story ideas with writers and artists I’ve worked with before, but hope to recruit some new blood on the book as well. I believe Edward Bentley and I also have a story in an upcoming issue of Comichaus – so look out for that one.
Clark: While this will be my debut in comics, I’ve also worked in other media, such as video games – the latest of which is almost finished, so stay tuned on my social media for its release
Go check out the campaign for the book below:
Check out Clark’s website too for more of his amazing art.