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EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK and INTERVIEW with MATT LIGETI for PROJECT CRYPTID #8


PROJECT: CRYPTID #8


(W) Matt Ligeti, Deron Bennett

(A) Steve Yeowell, Steve Ellis

Cover: Steve Yeowell, Steve Ellis


More mythical creatures of the modern world! Matt Ligeti (Comic Book Yeti) and Steve Yeowell take us to Florida, where the sun is hot, the air is humid, and the people—well, they aren’t always what they seem.


Deron Bennett and Steve Ellis travel to deep New Jersey, where we discover that someone has to be the Devil’s advocate. The Jersey Devil, that is! 


April 24, 2024

$3.99



Hey.


Hey, kid.


You want a sneak peek at the first half of my first comic story? I'll even let you see the credits page.








 

COMIC BOOK YETI: Matt Ligeti! It's so great to meet you, finally. What an honor! Thanks for making time to sit down with me to talk "Florida Man: The Passion of the Skunk Ape" and Ahoy's Project Cryptid #8. I know you're immensely busy.


MATT LIGETI: Oh, I truly am, Yeti. But never too busy for you.


CBY: So, tell me: how did this all come together? I didn't know you were writing comics, on top of running the Internet's favorite comics website.


ML: So, a while ago now, Sarah Litt reached out to me. I knew she was an editor at Ahoy, so I was intrigued, but trying to temper my excitement. So often in the industry, people reach out, wanting you to volunteer your time, which I don't have much of these days. I'm more used to being the one asking others to volunteer their time!


But when she said it was to write a short story or comic for an issue, I was all about it! I only hoped she didn't find out I was utterly talentless and relying on a host of extremely talented volunteers to keep the comics site and podcasts afloat.


CBY: Are you kidding? I've read this, and I think you're quite talented and attractive, if I do say so, myself.


Now, about the comic: why the...Skunk Ape, is it?


ML: Skunk Ape, Swamp Ape, Florida's Bigfoot...it's a cryptid I only learned about after leaving Florida in my early 20s. (Yes, I grew up there, please don't tell anyone.) He's a furry fella who lives in or around the Florida Everglades, smells worse than the average Floridian, is shorter than the average Bigfoot, and just sort of keeps to himself.


As a recovering Floridian with a yeti-themed brand, I knew this obscure, D-list cryptid had to be the star of my story...


CBY: *looks up from X/Twitter* Hm? Yes, of course. Hah!


ML: ...but if I was going to write a story that takes place in Florida, I'd be seriously remiss if I ignored the A-list celebrity of cryptids who lives there: The Florida Man. And so I thought: what if the Skunk Ape was Florida Man? And the rest wrote itself.


Well, I wrote it. I should make that clear in a time when so many people get robots to do their writing for them. Though I suppose an overworked, undertalented AI writer would make for a fun cryptid to write about...



CBY: What was it like, making your first comic?


ML: Fun. Easy. Hard. Very different from judging comics, I'll tell you that.


The hard part was pacing out the story. There's so much that I wanted to happen, but I had a maximum of 10 pages to fit it all into. Add in establishing shots, reveals on a page turn, space for dialogue and captions in each panel, and suddenly, you've filled up your allotted space.


Working with Sarah and Ahoy made it easy. Sarah Litt is my kind of editor: calls you out when you try to fit 16 panels on a page, strives to simplify, and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Steve Yeowell's a pro, and holy moly, this comic looks exactly how I imagined it when writing it. It's kind of an incredible, surreal experience, like someone looked into your mind and said, "Yup, got it." I'd read Kieron Gillen and some other comic writers put a note at the beginning of their scripts saying, essentially, "You know more about this art thing than I do, so feel free to make changes if you think there's a better way to do it." So I did that, added in references to my script, and tried to make it as helpful and informative as possible. And Yeowell knocked it outta the park.


CBY: Beyond that sort of domino effect of writing and fitting everything into 10 pages, like you mentioned, what inspired the look/tone/feel of FM:TPotSA?


ML: Outside of a couple decades growing up in South Florida, going on field trips to take air boats through the Everglades and the like, I think I inadvertently channeled Tucker & Dale vs. Evil through a Bloodline lens. Tucker & Dale because our protagonist is this simple, pure soul who just wants to join society, but because Florida society is unlucky at best and toxic at worst, things don't go as planned for him. Bloodline because no other piece of media captures the hot, bright, seedy aspects of Florida better. I also used Charles Bukowski as a mental reference for how the Swamp Ape might look if he shaved all of his body hair — one more thing Yeowell absolutely nailed.



CBY: FM:TPotSA ends on...not quite a cliffhanger but in a way that leaves the door open for more. Was that intentional? Do you have plans for more of Ape's story?


ML: Well, it seemed like a good place to end the story, or at least, this part of the story. (You'll see what I mean soon, dear readers!) That being said, I have certainly imagined what humorous, horrible hijinks might ensue beyond this ending. The less we know about a person, the more we project our hopes, our fears, our expectations on them, which is one of the themes at play here in Florida Man. What would happen if we expanded that to an entire state? What happens if and when Florida man actually gets to join society?


Maybe if we sell enough copies of PROJECT: CRYPTID #8 from AHOY COMICS, we'll get the chance to find out!


 

The interviewer and interviewee are the same person. Neither of me has any idea if more of this story is even possible, but you should buy this issue anyway.


Thank you to Sarah Litt and Ahoy Comics for the opportunity, and to Superfan Promotions for the exclusive preview, knowing I like to shamelessly plug my own work as much as possible.

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1 commentaire


I love everything about this and can’t wait to get some more Florida man in my life! Awesome stuff!

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