The PNP Crew Q&A Series, #2: MATT KYME

The PNP Crew Q&A Series, #2: MATT KYME

As mentioned on the weekend, over the next few weeks we here at Project-Nerd Publishing have set ourselves a mission (of sorts): to raise the profile of the people we work with, both creators and admin — and to address any questions you might have about our directions, interests, goals, home-truths, influences, ideas, and not-so-hidden agendas!

Next cab off the rank is Australian artist/writer Matt Kyme, the man behind That Bulletproof Kid.

[BTW, if you missed #1 with PNP’s Galo Gutierrez, you can check that out here.]

 

That Bulletproof Kid version 1Who are you, and what do you do?

Matt Kyme here, a comic book writer from Melbourne, in Australia. I’m probably best known for my superhero series That Bulletproof Kid, but I’ve worked on numerous other titles including Tales To Admonish, Gaining Velocity, Carmen and Decay.

I have a reputation for being very productive and prolific. I am ambitious and I want to make great comics. I aim to make my characters and dialogue seem genuine and realistic. I weave important issues into the subplots involving the lead and supporting cast such as bullying and harassment, self-esteem and body issues, family breakdown and a plethora of other common concerns but balance them against world shaking superhero action and diabolical villains. My stories range from grounded realism to way out fantasy. I delve into the rich history of comics and literature but aim to be progressive.

Other than writing I have some experience with various art forms, most notably oil painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. I have exhibited paintings, drawing and sculptures. I studied Art at University and have a decent knowledge of art history and I remain interested in modern art.

How did you become involved with Project-Nerd Publishing?

I’m immensely proud to be associated with Project-Nerd Publishing. I was very fortunate to have had some terrific supporters in the U.S., including the charming Mr. Galo Ramiro Gutierrez, who invited me to submit That Bulletproof Kid for consideration. I was equally lucky that the big boss — Iggy Michniacki — saw something in it that he liked… and the rest is history.

Tales to Admonish_Vol 1_cover_IF COMMIXWhy are indie comics so damned important?

Because they are made with blood sweat and tears. They are created by people who feel compelled to make them and don’t have the resources and backing of major companies. Indie comics often don’t make money, but the creators persist because they feel duty bound to continue – their stories are so important to them they must be told. That’s how it is with That Bulletproof Kid. Nobody interferes with the direction of the comic, it’s not controlled by a board room full of suits who have data from focus groups. If Indie comics do make money, it goes into the creation of the next project, it doesn’t fine the pockets of some CEO.

Who are your favorite comic book artists?

This answer is probably based on sentimentality more than the artists’ ability, but here we go: Rick Leonardi, Norm Breyfogle, Frank Quitely, Jim Lee, JR JR, Frank Miller, Hans Lindahl, Greg Capullo, Dave Johnson, Chris Samnee, Becky Cloonan, Travis Charest, Cliff Chiang, Ryan Ottley, Mike Allred, Jamie McKelvie, Stanley Artgerm Lau, Adam Warren, Phil Noto, Sami Basri, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby and Ray Moore. Plus more. There are so many more.

What style/genre of comics do you prefer to read?

That Bulletproof Kid version 2Superhero is my favourite. Why? Who knows. I don’t like violent or gory horror comics, or anything that looks smutty or sexist. I like good old fashioned ‘white hat’ superheroes. I read a lot of different stuff and enjoy a lot of different types of comics and genres. I guess it’s like music. Open-minded people can appreciate a wide range of music genres and it’s the same with comics. My personal preference is superheroes. I know they are daggy and old fashioned now — but whatever.

What is the most innovative, landmark comic book title (or graphic novel) in history? Why do you feel this way?

It’s a huge cliché but you can’t understate the importance of Maus, The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. It’s just a fact that these three comics are giants in the field. They had a huge impact on comics and on the market, as they helped usher in the age of graphic novels and trades which resulted in new readers investigating the medium. What’s unfortunate is that their impact on the comic industry wasn’t necessarily good — as grim and gritty became the flavour of the next few decades. There are lots of comics that have made an important impact such as Lone Wolf and Cub, The Walking Dead, The Spirit, Promethia, Blankets, Love and Rockets, Sandman and All Star Superman. Lots more.

Who is your all-time favorite comic book character — and how did he/she/it achieve this status?

Matt (left) with Paul Bedford—creator of 'The List'

Matt (left) with Paul Bedford—creator of ‘The List’

The Phantom. The original and the best. When I was a kid, I had some Asterix, Tintin, Peanuts and Footrot Flats comics. Even some Donald Duck. But it was The Phantom that really grabbed me and dragged me into comics. Go out and read the original 1930s stories by Falk and Moore.

Who’s your favorite non-comic book writer, and why? Which book of his/hers is the best, so far as you’re concerned?

I find it impossible to pick a favourite, so here is a short list: Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Harper Lee, Wyndham, Steinbeck, Angelou. Why? Find out for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed.