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Comichaus Meets: Aaron Sammut

Today we meet creator & writer, Aaron Sammut!

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Please introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

I am Aaron Sammut, the creator and writer of Maurice & The Metal and I brought this comic to life with illustrator Jesse Hamm. Jesse has worked for most of the big-time comic publishers (DC, Marvel, Dark Horse) and has now worked with me on this crazy concept of a comic.

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

I guess it wasn’t because of any one comic in particular that inspired me but it was more of the fact that I felt like I had a good idea and an overactive imagination that is fueled by all forms of creativity. When I first started reading comics in the early 90s I was instantly engaged with that first run of Image comics like Spawn and Savage Dragon because the characters were so overdesigned, the stories were so over the top and an easy thing for a 12-year-old to engage with. Likewise, with the hallmark heroes for Marvel and DC. However, it would've been more the concept of the superhero that inspired this story. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a superhero, and then in my 20s I wanted to be a drummer and then in my 30s, I wrote a comic about a superhero drummer.

As for creators and their comics, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is just next level - easily my favourite comic in both art style and story.

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

Probably too much. Maurice, the lead character is me. Sharing aspirations, a love of music, stubbornness and my imperfections and (not quite) perfections and an unhealthy reliance on music to get me through any situation. It was definitely easier to write a character that I felt a connection with. I am not from a writing background, so any time that I could make my job easier I would. That involved asking myself what I would do in a scenario that my character was faced with or going back to moments from my childhood to draw inspiration for certain scenes. It all helped.

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

I try to draw inspiration from everywhere. Comics, movies, design, music, friends, trends, memes… but this story really was inspired by my commute to work one day. I had been working in publishing for about 15 years and one morning on the way to work, I felt deflated and not sure how I was going get through the day.

Whatever music I was listening to as I got off the bus wasn’t working so I decided to listen to Metallica’s Master of Puppets. Loud! From the opening riff, I was walking taller, and with every second of that song, my energy increased. It was crazy. This song was making me feel different.

My overactive imagination stepped in and started developing the idea of a hero who was fueled by heavy metal. It was easily the best day of work I have ever had. I got on the bus home at the end of the day, went crazy listening to metal (louder!) and making notes about this story and I ended up overshooting my bus stop by about 30mins. 6 years later and now it’s a comic.

What struggles have you faced with the creation of, and producing, the final release?

There were so many hurdles involved in producing a comic. Most of the anxiety was down to doubt - doubt about creating my first comic at the age of 38, doubt that I had never written

anything like this before, doubt that I haven’t read enough comics to think that I know what people want to read… I got through the doubt because of my passion (and my stubbornness) and an irrational belief in this idea. I initially tried to pitch the comic to multiple publishers but I realised that was not the way I wanted to do my first book. I was looking for validation from the industry, rather than my belief in the idea. It was cowardly and I started thinking ‘why would I expect others to invest in this idea when I wasn’t willing to do it myself?’... things really changed when I realised that. I invested in myself. I had issues throughout the comic sure, but no matter how big they were the passion for it got me through.

The final release was stressful! Is it 100% ready? Are there any spelling errors (yes)? Are the readers going to understand my intention? I have sent a number of publications to the printer, but none were quite so stressful as my own comic. I have been working on this comic for the past 6 years, so of course, there was going to be some anxiety about sending it the printer or to digital outlets like comichaus.com. Ultimately it came down to a very selfish goal that I set myself - I wanted to be the first one to read this comic. So, for me, this is the most expensive (but also the most rewarding) comic that I have ever read.

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

Initially, I was worried that I created a comic for a very niche audience in Maurice & The Metal. As it is about a specific sub-genre of music (thrash metal), in a specific time (1985), and specific place (San Francisco). Having an understanding of the genre and the origin of the sound and bands like Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth will help but I think the story does have broad appeal.

I don't think that there would be a person out there who says that they haven’t felt a rush of energy from a song that is special to them. For me, it just had to be about thrash metal. I couldn’t see it working with any other genre and whenever anyone asks me what genre of music you wish you could've been “there” for, it will always be thrash metal!

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

I am currently working on the script for issue 2. About 90% complete but struggling with certain scenes - and if you've read the first issue you will know how awkward that first scene will be. I feel like I have a handle on the characters and story now so it shouldn't take me to long to get this one done and in the works.

I will be launching a crowdfunding project to help me fund the second issue later this year but right now I am still working on promoting and getting this first issue into as many hands as possible - so I really appreciate the support from Comichaus and any feedback from readers of Maurice & The Metal!

m/ m/


You can read Aaron's titles over on the Comichaus App now, or purchase a print copy from the Comichaus Marketplace by clicking on the cover images below.

G-Man

Maurice & The Metal  Vol.1 #1

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