Last time we talked with Matt Miner we had talked a little about the Westboro Baptist Church. Their reaction to Toe Tag Riot ended up being printed on issue #1 of the book. We also discussed funding comics like Critical Hit through Kickstarter. Now he’s back with Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and GWAR.
Lindsey Bass: Toe Tag Riot featured Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy, and now you’re doing a project with GWAR. How has the working dynamic changed from a band member being featured compared to working with an entire band on a comic?
Matt Miner: It actually hasn’t been all much different – GWAR is definitely more involved in this book than Andy was with Toe Tag Riot (honestly, Andy let us do whatever we wanted – I guess he trusted us not to make him look bad) but I guess what I can say is it’s just a lot of fun. Matt Maguire is the guy I talk to from GWAR and you might know him better as Sawborg Destructo or the GWAR slave with the knight helmet. He’s a fun guy to collaborate with, he is still passionate about all things GWAR and he’s a great artist and has really smart ideas.
L: The kickstarter was live for less than 24 hours and had already made it past 10k. Did you expect this kind of response?
M: I’m getting to your questions a little later than I’d hoped, mostly BECAUSE the Kickstarter has been so busy – I think we’re almost to 25k in 3 days now. It’s bananas and it fills me with hope that we reach funding. I know 39k sounds like a lot of money, but when you break down page rates, rewards, shipping, and Kickstarter’s cut – it’s just what it costs to make the books.
L: I know I had mentioned to you that I was introduced to GWAR through Empire Records, but what really got you into them?
M: When I was 16 a friend loaned me a cassette tape of SCUMDOGS OF THE UNIVERSE, which is the perfect intro album honestly. It kind of blew my mind and warped me for the better. Related to Empire Records, Ethan Embry tweeted about the GWAR Kickstarter and says he wants one of the exclusive shirts. I hope he does it, because I’d love a picture of grown-up Mark in a GWAR T-shirt for our backmatter.
L: When you’re not writing comics you spend time with Redemption Rescues. Does the success of comics affect your involvement?
M: Not at all. My work in dog rescue most days involves helping network our dogs to find them homes, helping get people to donate to the charity, and looking after the fosters we have here at home. So, most days I don’t even need to wear real pants at all. When there’s a dog rescue emergency I can always drop everything and get on it. I love working in comics because it allows me to really go all-in on my other passions like rescuing animals.
L: Prior to GWAR: Orgasmegeddon you worked with Matt Miner on Critical Hit. There’s a big difference between the two projects. What did you think about working with him and GWAR on a comic?
Jonathan Brandon Sawyer: I knew it would be a blast! Matt is one of my favorite people to work with and he’s the biggest GWAR fan I know. GWAR is one of the craziest and most unique metal bands out there, so I knew it would be a ton of fun to draw.
If someone has picked up something either of us has worked on, that person is probably not shocked that we’d do a GWAR comic. Matt and I both make our love for music apparent in our work, whether he’s quoting Ian Mackeye in dialogue or I’m drawing a character in a Coliseum shirt. I think I can speak for both of us when I say music, especially punk, metal and their related genres/subgenres, factors heavily into both of our lives and has shaped who we are.
L: In the comic book industry you end up working with a variety of people and personalities. Did you ever expect to work on a project with GWAR or any band?
BRENDAN WRIGHT: I wouldn’t say I expected a band or GWAR specifically, but working in comics has meant brushing up against all kinds of surprising things, so I guess I didn’t not expect it?
MARISSA LOUISE: I try not to assume what my life will be. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with snow leopards, so doing a comic with well known comics fans seems a much more plausible reality than playing tag with one of the most beautiful, endangered species on earth.
TAYLOR ESPOSITO: I never in a million years expected to be working on a project with a band. I thought those days ended with KISS in the 70s. The fact that it’s something as crazy and visual intense as GWAR is just all kinds of awesome.
Thank you everyone for taking time out of your day to answer some questions. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter for GWAR: Orgasmegeddon. If you’re interested in the animal rescues Miner helps with, visit Redemption Rescue‘s website.