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Comichaus Meets: Matt Hardy

Today we meet creator, writer & Mad Robot Comics founder, Matt Hardy

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

I’m Matt Hardy - I share my name with a famous WWE wrestler. Having his wrestling chant shouted at at conventions never grows old ;) I founded Mad Robot Comics in 2014 with artist Edward Bentley. I’m the main writer for our line of books and oversea a team that includes Jordan Thomas, Charlie Etheridge-Nunn and Ash Deadman. Our books have featured a variety of very talented artists - some like Clark Bint have worked on multiple projects for me. I live in Sussex in the UK. I’m a trustee of the Gaming Vs Cancer Charity and my star sign is Bacon. Hot bacon.

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

You have no idea how much I hate this type of question! :) 30 years of reading comics mean there is very little that I haven’t read and tried to learn from. Last time I gave a short list it was 30 creators. So probably best to just concentrate on new books I’m currently loving. The world building Star Trek with demons that is Outer Darkness by John Layman, Al Ewing’s creepy Immortal Hulk, Kieron Gillen’s stunning DIE and his nicely meta Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt, Chelsea Cain’s thought provoking Man-Eaters, Jordie Bellaire’s utterly compelling Buffy relaunch. I really could go on.

Oh and I cried like a baby when James Robert’s Lost Light finished. If I ever write a book half as good as that - I’ll die happy.

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

I tend to write a lot of evil, calculating megalomaniacs or half mad monsters, so in hindsight - I guess quite a bit of me goes into my books! I fall into the category of a writer that plots a book out first - then inserts characters. Let the plot govern the story and the characters direction. It’s a very cinematic way of approaching things I find. But my next book - VEHI-KILLER - actually has quite a deep and rich cast that I’ve spent a lot of time fleshing out - and I might let them drive a little for a change. And not all of them are evil, mad or monsters this time!

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

Everything, everyone and everywhere. There is this quote - I think it’s usually attributed to Chris Claremont - at a panel he was asked where he gets his ideas. His answer was ‘Deadlines’ - it’s a bitter-sweet funny retort - but with much truth. You let the world around you - the stories around you - seep into your consciousness - then mix in a healthy degree of ‘must get this idea to print’ - push yourself to make your concept a reality. There are untold stories about everything - I have notebooks and beer mats filled with hundred’s of scribbled ideas - more beer mats for some reason ;) Creating comics is heaven as you get to see those ideas made ‘real’ - and through the lens of an artist that elevates your idea to an art form. Wow - that turned passionate quickly. I also read widely - nothing like being inspired by those already creating amazing stories.

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

Is this a question about Cadavers: Word Gone to Hell? ;) Who knew that 6 writers and 11 artists on one book would be a lot for one man to juggle!! But the book is now out. It looks amazing - so many art styles and story types meshing to tell parts of a whole. Every single creator on that book gave me work that I would hold up as some of the best in their careers.

In regards to the creation of other projects - we have 3 new ongoing books coming out this year so I’ve had to get a lot more regimented with deadlines and schedules. The first of the books - Frank At Home on the Farm was recently funded through - ‘Frank’ is a 4 issue series - and we’ve made sure the first issue is already in the bag and the second started. So giving ourselves a nice head start. The other releases for latter in the year are Ash Deadman’s ‘Saxon’s Second Hand Books’ and the project I’ve been building towards - VEHI-KILLER - a look at religion and government control - with insane possessed killer cars! Enemy of the State meets Ghostbusters.

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

Mad Robot books gravitate towards dark, quirky tales. Stories that twist and subvert your expectations. My work especially has a vein of dark humour running through it. ‘Horror Comedy’ is a short hand we’ve adopted to describe a lot out our output - but we do serious stuff as well. Murder Most Mundane and the upcoming Frank at Home on the Farm are both mysteries that explore serious themes like repressed emotion, trauma and hidden secrets.

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

This would be another opportunity to mention Frank at Home on the Farm - I’m the editor on that book - which basically means telling writer Jordan Thomas how many ‘O’ to put in a Cow’s ‘Moooooooo’ (it’s set on a farm!) and gushing over Clark Bint’s art. Also following up on the recently released Cadavers Anthology is Cadavers 4: Bogeyman - that hits later in the year. I’m also working with Rob Jones (Madius Comics) on Hell In Stalingrad - Russell McEwan’s art on that book is magnificently gritty and brutal - I can wait for that to come out.


You can read Matt'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

Last Exit to Brighton  #1
Madhouse
Cadavers  #1

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