Comic Book Yeti Interview Content Editor Jimmy Gaspero welcomes Matt Garvey into the Yeti Cave for another installment of Cryptid-Bits to discuss his current Kickstarter campaign for Chances Are, whether you can make your own luck, what he's learned about crowdfunding, and finding the time to do what you love.
COMIC BOOK YETI: Matt, I’ve followed you on Twitter and watched a lot of your YouTube videos about making comics, so it’s wonderful to get a chance to chat with you today. Currently, the Kickstarter for Chances Are runs until September 2nd. What’s Chances Are all about?
MATT GARVEY: Awwww, cheers, dude. Flattery will get you everywhere with me…
Can people see me wink in a written interview? WIIIIIIIINK!
Chances Are…what's it all about…luck.
Even in our “real world,” some people are just naturally lucky. But how long can that luck really last, especially if you were threatened into entering a sick game of life and death by billionaires who bet on who is gonna die next? So, it's over-the-top epic, brutal action with humour thrown in…it's good fun.
CBY: What’s your comic creator origin story? Meaning, when did you first get into comics, and what was it that made you want to create comics?
MG: I've been reading comics for over 30 years. I’m old, and the body reflects that. But I saw my first comic in a sweet shop when I was 10 (Daredevil #305), bought it and haven't looked back. As for making them, well I got to my late 20s and I just wanted to have a go. Was terrified that people would laugh at me, but just wanted to write to see if I could do it. I was lucky I had a great support network around me to encourage me, my wife and the members of the Millarwold forum, so I just kept going.
CBY: Is there a comic (single issue, trade, or OGN) that made you feel the way you hope readers of Chances Are will feel after reading it?
MG: Nope. There's not a lot of depth to this comic or no hidden meanings. I don’t think people are going to read it and go "I FEEL INSPIRED," but if they are, that's wonderful! I just wanted to write a FUN, over-the-top action comic that I would buy if I saw it on the shelf of the local comic shop. So, that's what I did.
I’m selfish like that.
CBY: Do you think there are folks out there that are as lucky as Bruce Gray? Other than being forced into a deadly game like Bruce, are there downsides to being too lucky?
MG: I know people say you “make your own luck” but I think there is an element of luck in real life. Making comics is a great example of that. I mean everyone is trying to “break in” and you could be the most talented, hardest working creator out there BUT if the right people don't see your work at the right time you might never get discovered. You need a bit of luck on your side.
CBY: The KS campaign page references ‘80s/‘90s action movies as an influence on Chances Are. What are some of the specific action films from that time that you find yourself returning to?
MG: I was always fascinated by The Running Man and there are scenes in that movie where the lower classes are betting on who would die next and that never sat right with me as a kid…probably because it would most likely actually happen in real life. But, then in 2000-ish, there was a comedy film called Rat Race where billionaires gamble on “real” people trying to win a million dollars…so I just combined them both. Then I threw in a bit of Smoking Aces and Rounders, and we have Chances Are.
CBY: Having read a few of your other comics, like Big F#@k Off Worms and Untitled Generic Space Comedy, I appreciate the humor in your writing. What are the biggest influences of your sense of humor?
MG: My two favorite things are Comics (the paper kind) and Comics (the stand-up kind), so I’m fascinated by humour and the mastery of crafting a joke. Whether that be in a stand-up set or in a sitcom. Plus, I grew up with stuff like The Young Ones, Seinfeld and the movies of Kevin Smith, so I have many comedy parents.
CBY: With Chances Are, your collaborators are David Cousens (co-creator and artwork), Rob Cloma (flats), and J. Francis Totti (logo). I’m sure you have a YouTube video about this, but how do you go about finding collaborators for your projects and what qualities do you look for in a collaborator?
MG: It all comes down to networking and being involved in the comics community. I’ve known Totti for a few years and we’ve done a few books together and [he] is super fun to work with. Rob I met on Twitter when I was looking for a flatter and David I met because of the YouTube channel. He reached out asking if I knew anywhere he could find any one-page scripts, so I wrote him one. He was a good laugh to work with and I asked him to jump on Chances Are.
CBY: With Kickstarter, I think you had one project back in 2015 that wasn’t funded but, since that time, Chances Are will be your 2nd successfully funded project. What have you learned about crowdfunding from that first project until now?
MG: Never assume that the audience will find you or your comic. YOU have to show the world it's out there. You have to be your own biggest cheerleader. I learned that from my first Kickstarter (the one that failed) badly. I thought, well I have issues #1 and #2 ready, I'll just Kickstart them both together and it’ll easily fund #3. But I didn't have my audience, people didn't know who I was seven years ago. Some do now, and that is the reason why both Kickstarters funded quickly.
"Never assume that the audience will find you or your comic. YOU have to show the world it's out there."
CBY: Comics isn’t your full-time [job] even though, by the looks of it, you pour a lot of time and effort into it. You work, you have a family (including the adorably nicknamed “Little Legs”). I struggle with managing my time properly. What are your keys to making the time to create?
MG: Gonna sound horrible, but you have to make sacrifices in your life to make time. Might mean watching TV or playing Xbox a little less, getting up an hour earlier or going to sleep an hour later, but it can be done. IF you really want to make comics, what are you prepared to give up to find the time? Me, personally, I LOVE making comics, so for me it's easy to give up an hour of sleep or not binge-watch the latest Netflix show because I'm having more fun doing what I love. So, in reality, it's not even sacrificing, it's just replacing something you enjoy for something you enjoy more.
CBY: Your YouTube channel is officially two years old. What made you want to start a YouTube channel about making comics? What has the feedback been for your YouTube channel and are there any particular plans for the channel in the future?
MG: When I do comic cons, I get so many people coming up to me and asking, “How do you make a comic?” or “How do you write a script?” or “How do you find an artist?” and I'll happily talk to people and help, but then Covid hit, there were no cons, but I knew people still had these questions. So why not help and put the answers online? And people seem to like it and I've had some lovely messages from people saying it helps.
So, just my way of trying to give something back to the comics community and helping others.
CBY: What are the comics, books, TV shows, and movies that you are currently enjoying?
MG: VERY little, purely because I have very little free time, but I did just read the first couple of issues of DO A POWERBOMB, which is awesome.
CBY: Where can you be found online?
MG: I’m massive on Myspace!