Mat Greaves recently cruised through the Kickstarter for his impressive Chip McFitz release and it seemed like as good a time as any to catch up with him.
What was the first title you worked on?
My first proper crack at my own comic was NYE, a five-pager that’s up on my Tumblr. About a very drunk young man who finds himself at this weird pub in the middle of nowhere. It’s very loose and a bit rushed, but I still kind of like it.
How has your work changed since then?
I’ve honed in on the process and tools that suit me best. There’s still room to experiment and mess about, but I like having a framework that I can work within and focus on improving my artwork and storytelling.
Who are your main influences?
Archer Prewitt (Sof’ Boy was the reason I started making my own comics!), Daniel Clowes, James Callahan AKA Barf Comics – there’s too many to list. As well as illustrators such as Nick Edwards and Shawn Dickinson and animators like Bob Clampett and John K.
What comics are you reading just now?
I just finished Dirty Rotten Comics: Issue 10, a UK indie comic anthology published by Throwaway Press which is great! I started re-reading “The Auteur” By Rick Spears, James Callahan and Luigi Anderson for inspiration while I was doing all the Kickstarter stuff– I do love that book! I’ve also been getting into Noah Van Sciver’s stuff on his Tumblr and Instagram, need to buy some of his books and properly dig in.
What’s the best thing about creating comics?
The autonomy and the creative freedom. Working in animation is great and I love it, but at times it can be a bit restrictive. I like that I can draw whatever weird characters I like and write whatever dumb gags that I find funny and put them out there. It’s so rewarding to read something that you know came from one or two people’s brains rather than a committee.
What are you working on just now?
After the Kickstarter I’m going to work on some short form projects, maybe some mini comics or strips. I’d quite like to try and do a one-man anthology at some point – like an “Eightball” (Clowes) or “Blammo” (Van Sciver) type thing. I’ve got tons of ideas; it’s just finding the time to do them!
Where can we see you next?
I’ll be at Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds this September, not tabling but will hopefully have some copies of Chip to flog and be up for meeting people and having a chat – never been before and am really looking forward to it!