First of all, Matt Fraction is one of the most genuine, relatable, and humble creators in the comics world today. Even as his work has blown up critically and commercially (deservingly so), he remains down-to-earth and focused on the fans first. The early panel at Emerald City Comicon’s “Secret Origins” was a discussion with just Matt and the audience. He declined a moderator to keep it more open for fans to weigh in. What follows is the Q&A:
Q What was the inspiration for the cloudy Sex Criminals variant cover with Chip? (found here)
A Chip wanted a “Sears family photo look.” Along with a lot of Photoshop.
Matt goes on to explain how “crazy” the Sex Criminals process has been and how 4th printings are selling as fast as 1st printings.
Q The recent solicitation mentions a Hawkeye finale. Is that true?
A They wanted to use the F-bomb to describe it but weren’t allowed. Sadly, it is indeed almost finished, as the writing nears completion.
Matt jokes that “everyone dies.” (Hopefully not.)
Q Is the Eastern European bro an actual thing?
A Matt said he follows the news often and has seen men in Ukraine wearing the track suits so lovingly depicted in Hawkeye. It’s definitely based on a real thing.
Q How do you feel about your version of Clint Barton being “taken over” and used throughout the Marvel Universe?
A “It’s definitely weird. I’m surprised anyone reads anything I write.”
He also states that he works equally hard on all titles, and that the Hawkeye craze was lightning in a bottle that no one imagined. He expected to lose David Aja and only last six issues. Although he normally avoids reviews, all the positivity found him regardless.
After that question, Matt explained that he was never into super-heroes as much as he was into super spies: nice suits, espionage, etc. It was an interesting change of pace hearing that from a writer who’s written many super-hero books.
Q Where did the female perspective in Sex Criminals come from?
A “I made it up.”
But Susie is indeed based on a real friend of his. Some of the other stories are also anecdotal, whether from different friends or Chip and himself. Originally the book was planned to be more of a story about John, but it ended up “more shallow and filled with too many dick jokes.” Since it felt thin, Susie was added to give it a more satisfying feel.
Q What is your work week like?
A Matt said it was rare for his kids to make it to school all five days, which is usually when he has an eight hour chunk to immerse himself into whatever he’s writing. He doesn’t have a schedule so much as he writes what currently interests him. He pays most attention to one area, as long as boredom doesn’t set in. He was approached for three different “X-Men #1” issues but turned them down because they didn’t fit with his creative process.
Q Why did the letters section at the back of Sex Criminals turn into a Q&A?
A He originally wanted the letters but it shifted over time. His biggest laughs were from a proposed idea that he and Chip would put out a book of sex advice, entitled Just The Tips. But he really wants to earn readers’ $3.50 and loves that the female readership has been so vocal at writing in. Porn in the woods stories have also been consistently told to him since the book released!
At the next break, Matt says that if Hawkeye were to continue on, he knows what the next 25 issues would be about. David Aja knows this as well. He also explains a little behind-the-scenes for his new comic based on The Odyssey.
Q Any chance of you and Kelly Sue writing a book together? (His wife and writer of the fantastic Captain Marvel run).
A “If we did, it would be more of a book book.” No comics planned, although him and his son have a meeting with Boom! to discuss Adventure Time.
Q Comments on the drawings in the ladies restroom for Sex Criminals?
A “They were awesome.” Both creators came up with 50 different obscene names and acts, from which they picked the best. He also noted that merchandise for Sex Criminals was tough because of the name, so they’re getting creative. Expect it soon!
Q Favorite comic series?
A Love and Rockets: “It is art that will change your life.” He’s read it since age seventeen and buys every edition.
Overall, “Secret Origins” was a very informative look at the process behind Hawkeye and Sex Criminals. It was also a nice gauge for the excitement that Fraction and other creators feel about the success those works have gained.
“Wednesday is the worst day in comics. It’s when all your mistakes become permanent.”
Alex Smith is a news and reviews writer for Capeless Crusader. When not wasting away in class, he spends all his free time with comics, movies, and video games, and has been since birth. He can spend hours discussing Saga, Hawkeye, or Game of Thrones. Lying Cat’s number one fan. Random brain thoughts: @imapensfan