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  1.  (7178.281)
    here's a hint: JR

    Oh shit you're doing a Dallas one shot.
  2.  (7178.282)

    Being from an extremely small community has meant that everyone knows you and.... everyone knows your business. An adage that my father instilled in me was "keep your nose clean" as whatever you do in public directly reflects on your family, your professional reputation and standing within the community.

    Yus. Being a professional in all things; don't talk about family business, don't tug on superman's cape, don't bash, don't throw people under the bus, don't let your friends get bashed, etc etc.

    I came at it wrong; between SAVANT and the columns I had some fences to mend because i said and did some dicky things. Never say something online you wouldn't say to someone's face. A good lesson to learn.
  3.  (7178.283)

    Ever have something mulling around in your brain that you want to write, but think would be a bad idea to put into words? Not just something you'd consider unworkable, or unmarketable, but a bad idea for your career?

    hmm. no, not really. i dunno if that makes me boring or a coward, but no, not really.
  4.  (7178.284)
    although axel wasn't too into my WOLVERINE'S ABORTION DENIES THE HOLOCAUST DURING A GAY WEDDING pitch.
  5.  (7178.285)
    I don't really have a question, but I wanna echo the glee over Casanova news and the mad love for everything you've been doing Fraction (and Ba and Moon and Aja and on and on...).

    And also that I JUST tried La Cucina di Mamma for the very first time tonight and had the pizza and it was friggin' AMAZING. Too bad yall vacated the KC area, because the heads-up on finer dining locations was maybe going to be the straw that broke the I-think-I'm-going-to-stalk-Matt-Fraction camel's back.
    • CommentAuthorJohn Q.
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009

    You just mentioned how you had some fences to mend because of your pre-professional internet comments. But on the flipside, was there anyone you met once you broke into the industry that you were star-struck when you met them? Anyone that you thought 'oh my god, i'm talking to my hero, Johnny Comicswriter/artist!'. Also was there anyone you gushed about online that you met, that you felt embarassed about the gushing like 'shit i hope he didn't read that thing about me wanting to bear his babies'?

    And finally, any advice for someone planning to break into the industry from somewhere not one of the 'powerbases' of the industry? I'm Irish, and an artist (in need of much improvement, but i'm trying), and while there are plenty of good writers here, there's not really anywhere in this country where we can physically go and present our work. I guess what i'm asking is what are the best online 'forums' for displaying work in your opinion?
  6.  (7178.287)
    I'm Irish, and an artist (in need of much improvement, but i'm trying), and while there are plenty of good writers here, there's not really anywhere in this country where we can physically go and present our work.

    There are no conventions in Ireland any more? Or, you know, a plane or a boat-and-bus away, if you get me?
    • CommentAuthornickellis
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    First, thanks for doing this Q & A, very cool. Secondly, again, thanks for the books - I don't (and can't) know what it would have been like picking up comics when Kirby, Ditko, Lee, or Miller, Moore and Chaykin were hitting strides, but I know what it's like going to the store with the people (yourself, all pros in this thread, and many more, included) we have making comics now; and it's pretty fucking cool.

    Questions for Mssrs Aja and Moon;

    - Are there any 'how to' or comics theory or art theory books you'd recommend?

    - What do you do about the things you suck at drawing? ie: for me, anything that isn't a person is going to look like arse...

    - And finally; what's your favourite cheat? Like, I know I can fake up a light source and its resulting shadows pretty easily by picking one or two sides of the object and chucking some colour onto them. And by doing so, I can make a five minute line drawing look a whole lot better. (btw, no judgement intended with the use of the word 'cheat', substitute 'technique', 'trick', 'illusion').



    PS - Matt, completely agree re: Quantum Solace, it's like it's the third act of Casino Royale that makes the tacked on third act of that film more like a quickening of pace in a long second act. I think they're both kinda flawed separately, but work together as a 5 hour film.
  7.  (7178.289)
    Warren, thanks for blasting that troglodyte--I had drafted a response, then realised I was feeding the trog, and nuked my post. No accounting for manners, sometimes.

    Matt--here's a question I finally got: Is one of the reasons why you had requested this was because it has some of the benefits of doing a con, but from the safety of your home, family, and boxers while at the computer vs. missing your wife, son and pets and dealing with con crud, lost work time, etc.?

    Regardless, thank you--every single time someone opens themselves up for a week of question-bombs, I think they take a step towards sainthood for all of the mercy and compassion they show.

    You've been nothing but stellar in your responses to the less-than-savory this week, and not only does it show you learned from your earlier 'net days, but damn if Henry isn't going to have a helluva upstanding template to learn what it means to be a man. Tip of the hat t' you, Sir.
    • CommentAuthorJohn Q.
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009

    Well, there were conventions in times past, but i didn't have anything ready for them, and as far as i know there's no plans for another. Also, i've been unemployed since december last year, and living in Dublin's not cheap, so travel's a bit unfeasible at the moment. I am moving to a (far) cheaper area in the next couple of weeks, so it may be possible in the future, but at the moment the internet is sort of my best option.
  8.  (7178.291)
    What piece of work has incited the strongest fan reaction/feedback?
    I'm not necessarily asking how much "U SUCK FOR RUINING XXX!" messages you get — but what got people really talking about you and to you?
    And how different is the feedback you get from readers who read your creator owned stuff vs. WFH?
  9.  (7178.292)
    Thanks for doing this guys. First time on the board and this designated Hug Room seemed like a good place to start.

    A few somewhat random questions:

    For David Aja:
    - David, I just happened to read your "3 Jacks" story from DD #500 last night. It's stellar work - the marriage of design and drawing and story that makes me a disciple of the medium. Incredible use of flats between you and Matt H. and the fight choreography ranks up there with Paul Smith's Wolverine v. Silver Samurai fight in Uncanny # 173.

    What was your working relationship with Ann Nocenti (!) like and how much does her, or Matt's, scripting dictate the layout of a page?

    For Matt:
    - Have you had a chance to catch Iron Man: Armored Adventures? I'm pretty certain it's the best boarded show on television and the stories fit their take on the characters, even if the character animation can be stiff.
    - RESCUE, huh? I believe I slipped you the names Iron Dove and Nightingale at the NYC Comic Con when you were panhandling for suggestions. Any other names nearly make the grade? Either way, your work with the character is a boon to the MU.
    - Have you seen the portrayal of The Ghost in Thunderbolts? I'm really into this revival of the character and I was curious if you're looking to utilize him.
    - And, just wanted to echo the appreciation for your talent when it comes to the done-in-one. Your work on Spider-Man, Thor, The Young Avengers, and "Happy Birthday Danny Rand" should get it's own collection as a book I would share with any non-comic reader to show them some fine short fiction. The heart of the Marvel Universe as opposed to the spandex fix. Do you ever consciously write in terms of rhythm, almost musically maintaining beats across a short or story arc?
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009

    We've twice recently been invited to Dublin cons, so I do believe they are a going concern. Check again.

    Also, I know Steve Niles' posting board used to be a great place for artists to get themselves work and collaborators, but I haven't been active there since Henry Leo came along, so I don't know if that's still the case.

    The Isotope used to run a mini-comic contest every year that seemed to always get someone noticed--and you certainly don't need many resources to put together a mini and mail it out.

    I'm not going to do the legwork for you, you'll have to see if these things still exist on your own.

    Also, YOU'RE ON THE INTERNET. There exists at least one database of sample scripts that I know of. Pick a script, draw some samples, put them up on teh olde interwubs and start getting the link to your "online portfolio" out. Take whatever feedback you get to heart--but don't take it personally. Keep drawing, keeping improving, keep reposting and resubmitting.

    CB Cebulski's Twitter feed is a GREAT resource for tips for aspiring comic artists.

    Respectfully, you no longer need to be in New York to make a name for yourself. To my knowledge, Brazil is hardly a comics publishing headquarters, nor is it host to any major cons of which I am aware. And yet, Brazilian artists are doing some amazing high-profile work. Somebody's figuring out how to make it work. No reason you can't do the same.

    It's been said before by people with far more clout than me, but it bears repeating: no one is conspiring to keep you out or keep you down. No one's really hurting for talented writers, but ARTISTS? Artists who can put together a page and meet a deadline? These are people are GEMS and they are fought for the way women in 30s movies fought over married men.
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    I'll throw out a question for both Matt and David, regarding the work you did together on Iron Fist.

    When working on the visual style for the Iron Fist book, were there any particular influences you drew upon? The way you drew the martial arts action felt very unique -- in particular, the technique of zeroing in on a strike's point of impact on the target with a circle of color or whatnot. I'm not aware of any other action comic that used that technique, manga or manhua or western or otherwise, and I rather liked it.

    When designing the new characters for Iron Fist, the other immortal weapons in particular, did the ideas start with one of you and then fleshed out by the other, or was it a balanced collaborative all the way down the line?

    To be more specific: would a character like Fat Cobra have roots in David Aja doodling a Smiling Sumo Guy With Tattoos with the name "Fat Cobra" underneath with some character notes, which Matt would look at and go, "Oh Wow, let's use this guy somewhere"? Or was it more like Matt writing up an outline with all the details worked out as an instruction sheet for David? Or something in the middle, where both of you contributed significant detail to the character in the planning stages? I'm just using Fat Cobra as an example, I'm curious about all the Immortal Weapons and other new characters created for the book.

    Thanks again!

    - Isaac
  10.  (7178.295)
    Thanks Kelly Sue for the job counseling.

    I just learned about the Isotope contest myself (missed the October deadline) and will definitely look into Steve's board.

    Seriously, I'm newish to this and "putting together a page" is no easy task.

    Then, it's a matter of putting in the work so some Art Deco Dames can fight over me.
    • CommentAuthorJohn Q.
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009 edited
    Kelly Sue,

    Thanks for the tips. I've only fairly recently decided to go for this whole hog, so it's a help.

    I'm aware that my post seems kinda like i'm completely ignorant of how the whole thing works, and to a certain extent you'd probably be right to think so. I'm trying to build up a decent bit of work to start pimping out in various places and the various places you mentioned will be checked out.

    I'll check out again for Irish Cons, but last I heard Dublin City Comic Con, the bigger one that's run in recent times wasn't going ahead this year despite them trying to get it going, and their website ( seems to support this.

    Anyway, thanks for the info, and for answering a question i'm sure you're sick of hearing.
    • CommentAuthorkev
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    Hi Matt-

    There is some speculation going around as to who Wolverine's 'classic pal' is as referenced in the Uncanny 518/519 solicits. Is this character by chance his former sidekick and daughter-figure, Jubilee? If not, do you have plans to use her in the near future since she is rejoining the X-Men come January? Thanks :)
    • CommentAuthorniklasb
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    Hi Matt,

    I've been following your run Uncanny X-Men run with great interest. I'd love if you could answer a few questions about it, hopefully
    they will not be too spoiler-ish.

    It's recently been revealed that Emma Frost (and also Professor X) are Omega Class telepaths. What does that really mean? Is it the same as the old "omega-level mutant" term meaning infinite power power potential, immortality etc, or is it just a way to say she's one of the most skillful telepaths around?

    Will the X-Men still be associated with the city of San Francisco now that they have relocated from Graymalkin Industries to Utopia? It feels as if their stay there would have been cut too short otherwise.

    As you also write Iron Man, is there any chance for a crossover with that title? Or some guest starring perhaps?

    How far ahead do you plan your upcoming stories? I assume long-range plans might be difficult due to the many X-writers working on connected titles?

    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009
    I'm sorry to hear about the Dublin con. We really wanted to go, but the move made it impossible for us this year.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to suggest that anyone was thick; I know it's frustrating. Someone--I don't remember who--said that breaking into comics was like breaking into a high-security government building. Once you're in, they figure out how you got in and make sure no one can ever get in that way again. It's funny--and I know it FEELS that way, but there's also...

    Okay, this is horribly embarrassing to me, but here we go:

    I have BA in Drama. Before writing, I was an actor for umpteen gazillion years. For a while, I made my living doing improv comedy at colleges all over the east coast. Mock me at will.

    Let me tell you truth: compared to cobbling together something like a living as an actor, "breaking into comics" is a simple and incredibly dignified process.

    For one thing, you can't really sit around your house acting. Well, I suppose you can. But beyond working on those monologues, there's not much to do. You CAN however sit around your house writing or drawing pages. In fact, you kind of have to.

    Also, putting on a play is expensive as all hell. Even if everyone works for free (Hello, "showcase production!"), you have props, sets, costumes and the venue to pay for. It's a nightmare. Now, got any union actors in your production? Great. You get to spend a couple of days getting permission from the union not to pay them and you need to make sure you're insured. How fun is that?

    If you can get a couple of friends together who can write, draw and letter, you can put our your own comic--printed by the fine people of Canada just EXACTLY like the big boys do it--for about $1500. (That dollar figure might be outdated, but that's what I remember.) You might even be able to get Diamond to distribute it--I'm not sure how that works. You're not going to get rich in the process, but you'll have yourself one hell of a calling card for passing out at cons or even hand-selling.

    Don't have $1500? Congratulations! You're "old skool indie." Hit your local Kinko's and put together your clever mini for something like $30.

    Don't have $30? Congratulations! You're now a webcomic creator! Put together some related merch at, say, Cafe Press and, do a POD in a year and, honestly, you might be the smartest and most financially profitable model of the lot.

    Blah blah blah.

    I'm not suggesting you're thick or that it's not hard. Doing the work is hard. Doing the work is particularly hard when you've got a job and a family and you're fucking tired. And when you've finally got the thing in hand, no one is going to send you flowers. (Which is a bummer, btw.) But in the big picture I just can't help but feel like it's not THAT hard. I mean, you're not sitting around for 4 hours missing a day of work, waiting for your audition "appointment" only to be told that--despite the fact that they have your photo right in front of them--they were really hoping for a blonde. You can't be too short to be a comics artist. You don't have to deal with a fucking agent (not for a while, anyway). And the people who would hire you are generally pretty respectful of your time, your talents and your effort.

    And they're probably not angling to fuck you. Not in the literal sense, anyway.

    Is there room for improvement in the system? Oh god yes. I'd like to see freelancers getting health insurance, for one thing. But that's a whole other conversation and I need to get HL ready for school.
      CommentAuthorRob Bass
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2009

    Thanks for doing this. Seeing that you were rereading the work of Los Bros Hernandez made me wonder how you weighed in on LOCAS v. PALOMAR. Of course, they're both brilliant works, but do you favor one over the other? Any single story that you think stands out above the others?
    (am a Beto man, myself)

    Changing gears, I found it intriguing to learn that you and your wife met on Our Sainted Host's old forum. If it's not too personal, can either of you recall what post or topic shifted your thinking from "I always enjoy reading this person's comments" to "I believe that I should like to meet this person for conversation and possibly procreation"? Again, please blow this off if it's too personal, but I thought there might be a funny story or two to be had.