A good friend of Comic Crusaders, Matt Kyme best known for his fantastic work on That Bullet-proof Kid and The Demon was kind enough to spend time with me.
Matt, Where did your comic journey begin?
It started with a superhero story called ‘The Ace’. I wrote and illustrated it myself and basically taught myself as I went. I hadn’t written a story since High School and had never drawn proper sequential comic pages before. I thought once I finished it, Image would publish it then I’d merrily go work for Marvel. That didn’t happen.
I made heaps of rookie mistakes but am still happy with it. I started to release it as a weekly web comic but quickly realised how amateurish it was. I got some encouraging feedback about the story so it wasn’t a total waste. A few people told me it was similar to Watchmen and The Boys. At that stage I hadn’t read either of them. I would still like to do something with it, but It’s on the back burner for now. I started working on That Bulletproof Kid after that.
When and what led to you deciding in making your own comic books?
When I became interested in making comics I did a lot of research to see what else was being produced in Australia and how they were going about it. I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be many opportunities for comic creators. I saw that there were a bunch of interesting webcomics being produced so I figured that would be the way to go. Sawbones and Kranburn were big inspirations to enter the world of Web Comics. After a short while I realised that creating webcomics wasn’t for me. I needed to produce a physical product. I sent out submissions to a STACK of publishers, most of whom never bothered responding, so I rolled up my sleeves and started Self Publishing. My first foray was my collaboration with Andrez Bergen, ‘Tales to Admonish’.
Can you tell the fans about IF?COMMIX and where they can pick up your awesome books?
Ah, IF? COMMIX…. where to start? Andrez and I put the IF? COMMIX logo on the cover of ‘Tales To Admonish’ to make the comic look more ‘professional’. There was no IF? COMMIX. It was just two daggy dads making comics. We slapped it on the next two covers of Tales to Admonish and started to use it on my That Bulletproof Kid. Somewhere along the line, IF? somehow grew into something. It was still just two dorks, but we were starting to produce more and more. In addition to our two main titles, we decided to release an anthology of comic stories Andrez had created over the last few years called ‘Black/White’. Andrez suddenly got self publishing fever and started work on a graphic novel called ‘Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat’ which was based on his novel of the same name. Next came his new series ‘BulletGal’ and then ‘Trista and Holt’. We also published the first issue of ‘Carmen’ written by Mike Speakman. I got overwhelmed, freaked out and left IF? COMMIX as it had grown into something bigger than I ever imagined. It was stressful because as I was the only person living in Australia, I was handling the printing, distribution etc. Too much! It was a fun time, but I’m happy to be able to focus more time and energy on what means the most to me creating comics. As for where to buy them, contact me via facebook for That Bulletproof Kid, The Demon and Tales To Admonish. Contact Andrez for copies of BulletGal, Trista and Holt and Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat. I’m sure Mike Speakman would happily put readers onto Carmen if they reach out to him. Also check All Star Comics, Classic Comics and Santa Carla.
What inspired you in making That Bullet Proof Kid?
Initially the biggest inspirations were Spider-Man and other Marvel and DC comics, particularly from the 60’s – 90’s. I was right into ‘Love and Rockets’ by the Hernandez brothers and ‘Empowered’ by Adam Warren, and hoped to do something that could merge all of these styles.Teen characters like Peter Parker and Tim Drake were probably the ones that had the biggest influence on the characterization of my character, Anth. His costume was inspired by Green Lantern, Space Ghost and Iron Fist. I started writing That Bulletproof Kid around 2012. Then I became aware of Invincible, an Image series that is pretty much doing what I wanted to do (but better) and have found that to be a big inspiration. I like books like Invincible and Savage Dragon because they are long running creator owned comics and you can tell the creators are pouring their hearts into them.
And The Demon?
EASY. The earliest Phantom stories by Lee Falk and Ray Moore. I just love those old stories. I’ve read and re-read them and I only appreciate them more each time. The Phantom is the first costumed ‘superhero’ and easily my favourite.
What challenges did you face when making your own comics?
Making my own comics. Self publishing is crazy. No sane person would do it. If you see a self publisher, approach with caution because they are responsible very step from inception to production of their comic. It’s enough to drive anyone mad.
Can you tell the fans any news about Matt Kyme and IF?COMMIX in 2017?
Hmmm… Issue #2 of The Demon is coming along nicely and the next few issues are mapped out. Issue #7 of That Bulletproof Kid is ready for print. Issue #8 is almost in the can. Issue 9 and 10 will feature a prominent Australian Superhero who I’ve been a fan of for decades. On the IF? front, Andrez is working diligently to produce more Magpie tales after she became a popular character in ‘Oi Oi Oi’.
If given the chance of working on any title (Marvel/DC), what would it be?
I’d only want to write The Demon or That Bulletproof Kid for them, but that wouldn’t fly, I’d like to write some street level characters like Dearedevil, Iron Fist, Nightwing etc. Or maybe something fun like Squirrel Girl, Ms Marvel or something like that. Nothing with Deadpool. Please.
What does Australia Day mean to you?
That day took on an entirely new meaning for me when my oldest son, Chad was born on it back in 2008. We got a spoon in the mail and everything. That’s a tradition I didn’t even know existed!
To pick up books go to: http://www.facebook.com/ThatBulletproofKid/?__mref=message_bubble